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Connected virtual exhibition sees nine designers craft carbon-negative furniture from hardwoods

Dezeen promotion: a range of carbon-negative furniture items created by designers including Ini Archibong and Thomas Heatherwick for London's Design Museum can now be viewed as part of a permanent virtual exhibition.

Jointly commissioned by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Benchmark Furniture and the Design Museum, the Connected exhibition tasked nine designers with creating a table and seating object for their own home offices.

The Connected exhibition at London's Design Museum saw nine designers create furniture from hardwood
The Connected exhibition was on show at London's Design Museum

Designed for their personal use, each designer's creation was made to suit their new ways of living and working from home as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The exhibition aimed to explore how designers and craftspeople have adapted their working methods during lockdown.

Designers were also invited to record video diaries documenting the process of creating their pieces, which have been compiled and made into a documentary featured at the top of this page.

Ini Archibong was among the nine designers that took part in the Connected exhibition
Ini Archibong's design was informed by the rock formations of The Giant's Causeway

Participants included Archibong, who is based in Switzerland, London-based Heatherwick Studio, Jaime Hayon from Spain and Netherlands-based Sabine Marcelis.

Other designers involved were Maria Bruun, Sebastian Herkner, Maria Jeglinska-Adamczewska, Studiopepe and Studio Swine.

While Archibong took cues from the undulating rock formations of Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland for his Kadamba Gate table and seating design, Heatherwick Studio created a modular desk with wooden planters for legs.

The nine furniture pieces were displayed at London's Design Museum from 11 September to 11 October. The show, which was digitally scanned by V21 Artspace, is now permanently available to view online as a virtual exhibition.

Thomas Heatherwick was among the nine designers that took part in the Connected exhibition
Thomas Heatherwick designed a table with planters as legs for the Connected project

Each design was made from a choice of three sustainable American hardwoods: red oak, maple or cherry. According to AHEC, the resulting collection of objects removed more carbon from the atmosphere than they generated.

"When considered as a group, the Connected designs are better than carbon neutral," said AHEC. "The total global warming potential (GWP) – often referred to as the 'carbon footprint' – of the nine Connected designs is minus 342 kilograms of CO2 equivalent."

"It takes a little over 10 seconds for the hardwood logs harvested to manufacture all the Connected designs to be replaced by new growth in the US forest," it continued.

"The full environmental Life Cycle Assessments on each of the nine projects prove that these pieces are environmentally sound, going beyond carbon neutrality and leaving a negative carbon footprint."

Sabine Marcelis was among the nine designers that took part in the Connected exhibition
Sabine Marcelis designed a work-from-home cubicle with a bright yellow interior for the show

Details on the exhibition can be found via the Design Museum website, while more information on the work AHEC does can be found on its webpage.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for the Design Museum as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.