Collaboration between school and business community yields unique chairs

A successful collaboration between a school and the business community has given dedicated students the chance to challenge their creativity by putting their own stamp on chairs donated to the school. After eleven weeks the creations are now ready, a winner has been selected, and the school has gained some unique new chairs to furnish its premises.

Senior-level students at Djurgårdsskolan have spent eleven weeks designing their own chairs as part of the subject Elevens val (Student’s choice). The chair model is the Shanghay Chair from Hay, designed for the Shanghai World Expo 2010, and the chairs have been donated to the school by Input interior in Karlstad, which regularly supplies interior furnishings to the school.

“The chairs were returned to us owing to a complaint, but as they were still fully usable with only a minor defect in the paint, we wanted to find a way to reuse them. Shortly thereafter I met Pia Malmström at Djurgårdsskolan when I was there trying out sound absorbers for the art room. There and then the idea was born that we could undertake a project together. It’s a great feeling to have been able to contribute to a creative project popular with the students,” says Björn Carlsson, Sales Representative and Project Manager at Input interior in Karlstad.

Stimulating assignment

The project has been popular among the students, who have shown great interest in the assignment.
“Elevens val is a non-graded subject, which takes the form of projects and is based on existing school subjects, which means that the students do not always feel motivated to put in optimum effort. However, this time has been totally different. They have come into the lessons fully focused and have worked really hard to be finished on time. I believe the fact that there was a clear purpose and objective to the project and that there will be something tangible that others will be able to see has motivated them,” says Pia Malmström, who is the art teacher at Djurgårdsskolan and has supervised the project together with social studies teacher Liselott Persson.

Great interest in the results

The students were given complete freedom to create their own version of the chair. The process began with a presentation of the chair and its history. The students then produced sketches, sanded, primed and painted. Now, eleven weeks later, it’s time to show them off to the other students and teachers, who all get to vote for their favourite.

There was great interest in the chairs. Many people spent a long time reading the students’ descriptions of the chairs and where they got their inspiration. The winning design, El ancla, had a nautical theme, with red and blue lacing on the back and an anchor adorning the seat. Its creators, Hilda Modin and Alva Thorin from year eight, will be awarded cinema tickets as their prize.

“These fantastic chairs will now be put to use in some of our slightly more sheltered environments, such as the library or the break room. They will be something the students can use and be proud of,” concludes Pia Malmström.

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