IMIAD x FORBO | 3rd Semester | Winter Semester 2022/23

In the winter semester 2022/23, the third IMIAD semester worked on a material-based furniture design with a focus on linoleum. The project took place in cooperation with forbo flooring, a linoleum producer. As a prelude, we visited the production in Assendelft during a field trip to Amsterdam.

Linoleum is a material made from natural raw materials, which is primarily known as a floor covering, or as a flat coating for table surfaces. But due to its flexible and haptic properties, it offers further diverse design features and functional potential. Students in the 3rd semester of the International Master of Interior-Architectural Design (IMIAD) developed different application scenarios beyond its current use.

They then explored the functional properties and potential of floor, furniture and pinboard linoleum through practical experiments and a methodical approach in a seminar with materials researcher Dr. Kerstin Mayer. The task in the subsequent material-based semester design was to develop new functional areas of application and to design a small piece of furniture or product of choice with linoleum. The linoleum could be combined and complemented with newly designed elements and an additional ecologically sound material. The project was generously supported by Forbo. The design models on a scale of 1:1 were created with the active support of the HFT workshop team, in particular Romano Bianchi, Willi Mauch and Holger Bitterberg, and accompanied by Jürgen Aldinger. Subsequently, the furniture was documented by the students in a photo workshop with Dipl.-Designer/ Photographer Philip Kottlorz and exhibited at the BLICKFANG Design Fair from March 10-12, 2023, as well as from May 9-12, 2023, on INTERZUM Cologne.

The semester design was supervised by Prof. Karsten Weigel, Dipl.-Des. Alexander Klein and Dipl.-Des. Melissa Acker.

System C by Lara Ronsiek-Niederbröker

Linoleum in its original form serves as a floor covering for walking on with shoes. The design takes up this aspect and creates a shoe rack. A frame made of beech roundwood rods forms the constructive basis. Doubled linoleum sheets are bent into a C-shape and inserted into gaps. Recesses in each linoleum sheet ensure that the shelves do not slip. A beech wood cover plate completes the furniture. The shoe rack is the starting point for a whole shelving system that works up to a height of 2m and a length of 29.7m. The aesthetic back makes the shelf especially attractive as a room-dividing furniture.

Jean by Claire Hermann

Based on initial experiments with Furniture Linoleum, the lounge chair "Jean" was created. The frame consists of two differently scaled multiplex sheets, while the linoleum flows over the frame like a wave and forms the seat. By gluing two linoleum sheets to the base material, a very stable and robust surface is created. This is attached to the frame with brass wood screws and associated rosettes. Due to the extra width of 70 cm, there is also the possibility to take a seat on the lounge chair for two if necessary or simply to put his bags next to him.

Linolume by Annika Gottwald

The back of the pinboard linoleum, freed from jute, shows an interesting checkered pattern of grooves and bumps. Directional lighting highlights the bumps and creates a new, aesthetic way of using the pinboard linoleum. The luminaire "Linolume" is planned as a product family with two versions: the table and reading lamp is complemented by a "big sister" as a floor lamp. The small 2-in-1 luminaire can be easily transformed from a standing table lamp to a lying reading lamp by a simple rotation of 90 degrees. This changes the direction of the light and, for example, a book can be ideally illuminated.

Dot Stool by Marco Krammer

The "Dot Stool" is a solid linoleum stool for interiors, designed in two versions from pinboard linoleum, the so-called bulletin board. At 6mm, bulletin board linoleum is Forbo's thickest linoleum product. So far, however, it has been used mainly in two dimensions. The "Dot Stool" explores the possibility of three-dimensional use and shows design possibilities for creating a homogeneous volume. The "Dot Stool" consists of 76 glued layers of pinboard linoleum, terminated by a centered wooden rod, which secures the individual layers against horizontal displacement.

Våg by Hanna Leiber

"Våg" is a modular shelving system with flexibly movable shelves that can be adapted to the room and can also be used as a room divider. Not only the wooden shelves made of veneered three-layer boards provide storage space, but also the linoleum loops between the shelves provide a storage option for magazines. The linoleum, along with aluminum T-sections embedded in the wooden cross braces, allows for horizontal flexibility of the shelves. The structural solid wood brackets are made of local ash wood from the Lake Constance region. The precise system can be applied to different shelf sizes.

The Dress by Muyang Wang

Linoleum is both flexible and stable. The furniture collection of bench and stool is made exclusively of linoleum to show its properties as much as possible. The seat is a composite of 5 layers of linoleum glued together. Vertically, the board is even more resilient, so even a thinner linoleum composite was used for the construction. The furniture consists of two basic forms each: the seat and legs. These consist of 3-4 curved multilayer linoleum surfaces, connected at the corners. The shape of the legs and the sloping edge of the seat provide a light and elegant look - and thus resemble a dress.

Boog by Julia Walter

"boog" is a sturdy stool with an "all-over lino look" that can also be used as a side table thanks to its flat, planar top. The concept is based on linoleum as a stock item: the linoleum roll is a compact form of the flat material and can be bent particularly well in one direction. This was conceptually transferred to three two-layer linoleum arches, which are freely suspended and clamped in a wooden substructure. The arches are the defining element of the design and at the same time provide a pleasant seating comfort. Furniture glides made of bulletin board protect the floor and create a shadow gap that makes the solid stool float.

Alba by Sophie Heyer

Inspired by organic shapes, computer-generated design and modern manufacturing methods, "Alba" was born. The versatile table lamp invites intuitive use and consists of two parts: the lamp itself and the organically shaped base, which allows playful, free positioning of the lamp. Dimmability allows you to create both atmospheric and functional light. Made of layered pinboard linoleum, "Alba" encourages you to try it out and touch it. The bulb is battery operated, the base acts as an inductive charging station and the switch responds to touch.
The design was awarded by the competition one & twenty 2023 (shortlist).

More designs

Rocking horse rs by Sonja Matt, Bender by Peter Schäffer

Madarica Table by Lea Proß, Roll'n'Go by Anna Hertel

Exhibitions and publications

Exhibition on the Forbo Booth at Interzum Furniture Fair

Exhibition at Blickfang design fair