The Norwegian Minus Chair

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The Norwegian Minus Chair

The Minus Chair has one of the lowest carbon emissions for a serial produced dining chair in all of Scandinavia and is produced in Norway in Norwegian pine. Oslo-based Brit Thomas Jenkins together with his business partner Sverre Uhnger launched the Norwegian Minus Chair in collaboration with Norwegian furniture company Minus.

The chair, now a part of the Minus Furniture Collection, was launched in Milan in 2022 under Norwegian Presence and was an important participant during the Designers’ Saturday in Oslo last summer. The collection consists of single seater stools to long benches, tables small enough for anyone’s kitchen or large enough for dinner parties with friends.

The Norwegian Minus Chair
Raw pine Minus chair

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Minus Furniture is a Norwegian furniture manufacturer with a vision to create a new standard of consumption with goals of radically carbon negative furniture.

The Norwegian Minus Chair
Thomas Jenkins and Sverre Uhnger. Photo: Objekt

“We wanted to create something that could be kept at its highest value for as long as possible,” says Jenkins. “This means that it must be easy to repair – and durable, both physically and emotionally, between furniture and the consumer.”

Minus Furniture is designing for beyond zero, or more accurately put, towards net carbon negative. The Minus Collection is designed with a 100-year perspective and a circular design approach. “Our relationship with Minus started with an email asking if it was possible to make furniture that stores more carbon than it emits, that creates more energy than used and at the same time sustain biodiversity,” says Jenkins.

The Norwegian Minus Chair
Minus chair sketch

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Minus Furniture is a research-driven furniture manufacturer collaborating with: SINTEF, SIVA, NMBU, NIBIO, and NTNU research. Trees absorb carbon as they grow, until they reach their capacity and begin to naturally deteriorate, releasing any captured carbon back into the atmosphere. When timber is felled at the optimum point of a tree’s growth cycle, the wood will then store the carbon for the rest of its life – providing that the furniture doesn’t end up on the waste heap.

The Norwegian Minus Chair
Jenkins/Uhnger in studio.

Minus is based on a super compact value chain using only local materials. That means the chair will mainly be made from softwood like pine and the manufacturing needs to utilize the log in an effective way. The components must be well dimensioned and rational to manufacture. Many of the parts are therefore straight/linear and the solid build has all wooden joints. The elements in contact with your body are prioritized creating both a visual identity for a chair like this.

The Norwegian Minus Chair
Blue Minus chair

Jenkins is hopeful that the Minus Chair will pioneer a new environmental method by harvesting wood in its carbon-capture prime.

The Norwegian Minus Chair, written by Tor Kjolberg

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