Vestre and designer Lars Tornøe received the Award for Design Excellence for the Stripes bench at this year’s Design and Architecture Day. It is the twelfth time that Vestre has been honoured with this leading award for innovative design.
The Norwegian Centre for Design and Architecture (DOGA) is behind the coveted award.
Vestre was nominated for Stripes, an outdoor divan that makes people feel at home in the heart of the city and is on the way to becoming an export success.
“The pieces in the Stripes range are helping to redefine urban furniture in a more social direction, a matter of great importance to society, as our cities are growing rapidly. Vestre has a life-cycle philosophy when it comes to sustainability and has incorporated this mentality throughout the product’s lifetime. They are a good example of a company where sustainability is integrated in the core of the business and engagement permeates the organisation,” says Kia Luise Klavenes, the jury’s sustainability expert.
Clean and uncompromising
With a combination of clean, elegant design and uncompromising quality, Vestre has developed an urban meeting place in the form of a modular bench.
“Design is in our DNA, which goes some way to explaining Vestre’s success in recent years. We are fortunate in being able to work with world-class Norwegian furniture and industrial designers. Lars Tornøe is one of them. We were persuaded the moment he suggested developing urban divans that would make people ‘feel at home’ out in the city,” says Vestre’s CEO Jan Christian Vestre.
The company has received the Award for Design Excellence on eleven previous occasions, which takes nothing away from its delight at winning the award in 2016.
“We are just as jubilant every time. It gives us new inspiration and bucketfuls of energy to develop more innovative solutions for the green cities of the future,” he says.
The company’s green image means that sustainability is a crucial factor.
“We think sustainability in everything we do, and one of the challenges in this case was to produce steel slats with as few resources as possible. That requires us to make maximum use of raw materials and energy,” he says, going on:
“Another challenge was to ensure that the modularity of the product range was not achieved at the expense of durability and lifespan. Our life-cycle mentality means that we supply spare parts throughout the product’s lifetime. Stripes can, for example, be dismantled and relacquered if the customer wants to use the furniture in another project after a few years. We can also supply new wooden slats if the furniture is vandalised,” he says.
Stripes has been a success. In just a short time the range has become one of Vestre’s most popular products, and it has been supplied for use both indoors and out in several countries.
Description: Vestre has a number of products in its urban furniture collection, but was lacking a range of benches that can function as ‘islands’ or ‘rafts’ in the landscape and work in a social setting. In recent years urban furniture has moved in a more social direction, a shift that Stripes reflects. Stripes is a range that specialises in ‘islands’. Few of the company’s competitors offer a similar range, so Stripes stands out as something new in the category.
Citation: This range of benches creates good meeting places in the public space. The designers have focused on the user and developed a product that clearly answers a need. This is in keeping with Vestre’s strategy and and testifies to a holistic design mentality. The idiom is elegant, friendly and robust. Aesthetically, the look is quite clean. The benches have been made with good technical solutions and maintain a high quality. This also reflects Vestre’s distinctly eco-friendly approach, which the jury terms exemplary. Sustainability permeates the product, and makes Vestre a good role model for other companies. The standard is high in every respect.
Lars Tornøe, designer, Lars Tornøe Design AS
Allan Hagerup, Product Manager, Vestre AS
Thomas Sund, Marketing Manager, Vestre AS
Marianne Preus Jacobsen, Environment Manager, Vestre AS
Jan Christian Vestre, CEO, Vestre AS