Each of the concepts in the Ultramarine collection explored the form of a chair and its functionality, using only lightweight plywood and 15-millimetre steel tubes.
The collection was named after the shade of blue that has been used to paint the plywood – a facsimile of a rare pigment favoured by Cennino Cennini, the 15th century painter and author of Il Libro dell' Arte, a handbook for early Renaissance art.
"The 1.5-millimetre plywood used for the chairs was manufactured in Finland from Finnish birch trees," said university lecturer Martin Relander.
"There is probably no better material in existence for making light armchair prototypes," Relander said.
The designs ranged from Ines Wartianen's Auvo design that looks like a huge pair of lips, to Joel Klemetti's Taipuva in which the back and seat are made from one sweeping curve of plywood doubling back on itself.
Fanni Suvila's Canneloni is a cube-shaped steel-tubing frame with plywood tubes across opposing corners.
Other students, including Elina Ulvio and Mirella Peltonen, used the blue wood as simple intersecting planks or planes resting against each other for the seat.
The material's flexibility was exploited by Veera Luostarinen, who curved the thin sheets to create a cupping shape, and Anni Pitkäjärvi, whose design works like a paper cone.
"It is an extremely durable yet also mouldable material, which was first made use of in aircraft construction during World War II," said Relander.
All the prototypes were created by Relander's first year master's students, with help from the carpentry and metallurgy workshop supervisors and professor Jouko Järvisalo, and assistant Noora Liesimaa.
"Their work put emphasis on the cornerstones of furniture design: structure, design, purpose of use, and, most important of all, the designer's personal artistic expression," said a statement from the university.
"The well-functioning workshop and good technical appliances and resources enable the development of and experimentation with material-working skills, but at the same time students get to develop their thinking about design," added Professor Järvisalo.