Designing for a Greener Future: Tapio Anttila’s Sustainability Journey

Tapio Anttila is designing for the future

Tapio Anttila, a Finnish designer and interior architect, discusses his design philosophy and the importance of sustainability in the designing process. He emphasizes the importance of original manuscripts, durability, and using wood as a carbon sink. The Green Good Design Award for his Renki line is a significant achievement for his sustainability efforts. Anttila’s staff gifted him 660 tree seedlings to cover his lifetime’s carbon emissions.

The Tapio Anttila Collection, Tapio Anttila’s own furniture line, offers timeless, practical, and considerate designs. The seasoned designer and interior architect talks about his design philosophies and the need of taking sustainability into account throughout the whole design process in an interview with The Return of Design.

Dear Tapio, How are you doing?Although I could say that pretty much at any moment, I have a lot going on. I have to have numerous projects going at once; it’s how I live. I continuously create new items, which I then have to manage and promote. It helps me advance.

The recent event that gives me the most hope is the Green Good Design Award that I earned for my Renki line. This honor is very rewarding for us because sustainability has been a major priority.

My staff gave me 660 tree seedlings as a present for helping to promote sustainability on a more personal level on my recent 60th birthday. They cover my entire lifetime’s worth of carbon emissions. The phrase “Finland’s most carbon-neutral designer” often used in jest.

You have made a significant contribution to the sustainability of Tapio Anttila Collection. How are these factors included into the design process?The original manuscripts are already important. One of the most crucial elements is durability, and I make an effort to include it in my designs in a variety of ways. I typically make things out of wood since it functions as a carbon sink, storing carbon over time as it is utilized.

Along with an unchangeable design language and material choices, I take into account the endurance of the visual and structural elements, maintainability, and repairability. Additionally, a sizeable percentage of it is focused on transportability, ideal packaging, and producibility. I’m going to assess the whole product lifetime.

One of a sustainable product’s most crucial features is durability, and I make an effort to achieve it through a number of techniques.

You also account for and calculate your items’ carbon footprints. Please provide more details about that.

“We track every step of the manufacturing process, from material selection through manufacture, shipping, and disposal, using our own carbon footprint calculator. It gives information that is crucial for task planning. We are able to keep an eye on our emissions and take prompt corrective action as necessary.

We also offset the carbon footprints of our products, making all Tapio Anttila items carbon neutral. We achieve this by planting trees in our neighborhood woods, so we are aware of exactly where and how this is done.

Tapio Anttila's designing for the future

Could you provide a basic description of your design process? Do you sit down to come up with ideas or do they just come to you?

“Neither is my approach simple, nor does it follow a pattern. Each item is distinctive and has a special design. The most of it happens in my head, therefore neither a particular place nor time is associated with it. I could get an idea or a solution to an issue when I wake up at five in the morning.

Ideas might come to you suddenly, naturally, during a discussion, or you may have to look deep inside yourself to locate them. My “antennae” are actually always turned up. When faced with a typical issue, I start thinking of a solution right away. When I have a basic topic, concept, and shape in mind, I move to the computer and start the tedious and sometimes time-consuming process of productization. My days are really difficult since I typically juggle several initiatives at different stages.

Do you have a particular room, house, or person in mind while you’re designing?

I create furniture for those that respect logical Finnish design and share my ideals. My goods are portable and usually versatile, making them ideal for homes and other small spaces, which is a pretty typical problem.

“When I run into a common issue, I start looking for a solution right away.”

As a qualified interior architect and furniture designer, I always think about how my pieces would work in actual environments. I try to make furniture that has a purpose. Additionally, hardwood furniture may be stained in a number of colors to match the overall style, and upholstered furniture can be personalized with different materials. I create furniture for real-world homes, not for museum exhibits.”

We are constantly curious to learn about the daily lives of designers. What does your own house look like?I’ve been in the business for so long that my family’s home is crammed with prototypes, stuff for fairs and photo shoots, and other projects. Everyone has access to enough. My family is used to furniture moving around. I frequently move at a very quick pace and occasionally forget to give them early notice. I haven’t bought any furniture for our house.

What is the best piece of furniture you own? If you had to pick only one.

My designs are everywhere in our house, as I’ve already mentioned. A rare exception, I own two of Harry Bertoia’s Diamond chairs. Years ago, I found them in a dump, and I’ve carried them with me as I decorated several homes.

The chairs, which were developed in the 1950s but still look fantastic in modern homes, are a superb illustration of sturdiness and timeless design. Despite being so exceedingly light, the seats are really comfy.

3 of Tapio Anttila’s favourite songs:

1. Films starring Hercule Poirot. I like the 1930s backdrop and art deco decorations in addition to the clever story twists.

2. Smell: “I love classic cars, and the smell of their interiors takes me back to a bygone era.”

any tiny Northern Italian lakeside village. I like the food, the lifestyle, the landscape, and the lack of time.

For further information

You can check my website

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