How do you make the invisible tangible? Now or Never - 1kg CO2e is an exhibition about the invisible climate impact of our furniture and the power of choice.
Climate change is very real, but the the greenhouse gases that are causing the problems are invisible and hard to grasp. In the Now or Never exhibition at Stockholm Furniture Fair, we’ve stripped away a lot of the complexity to physically display each material in the quantity that you can create for one kilogram of carbon dioxide equivalents (CO2e). A single chair can cause everything from a few kilograms of CO2e, to several hundred.
I have been thinking about the climate impact of furniture and materials for a long time - wanting to find a simple way of making a positive difference through the choices I make. Exhibiting the amount of different materials that we can get for one kilogram of greenhouse gas emissions is, I hope, an easy and graspable way of understanding the importance of the material choices we make, says Emma Olbers, designer and sustainability strategist.
In a few short years we have to reduce humanity’s climate impact by half if we're to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement. This will require far reaching changes across society, including how homes and offices are furnished, and the creation of furniture itself. The furniture industry has to act and make better choices. You can create a small piece of leather, or a large roll of woven rattan for the same amount of CO2e. By making the climate cost of materials visible we’re making it tangible for the producers and designers to make better material choices in their work.
This is a matter of now or never. The furniture industry has to transform quickly, just like everyone else. It starts with focussing on the furniture that is developed, and the materials that are used - and, at the same time, we have to do something about much too fast consumer trends. We also need ways for the industry to earn money from keeping already existing furniture in use, rather that always producing new, says Kristoffer Lundholm, Head of Sustainability at EY Doberman’s future manifestation lab SALLY.
The exhibition is created by Emma Olbers, designer and sustainability strategist, together with our SALLY future manifestation lab, for Stockholm Furniture Fair. Contributions have been made by Form Us With Love, Polestar, Doconomy and NREP.