Encouraged by the tragic but overly inspiring story of Olympian Lasse Virén, the eponymous Virén Chair is designed by Fortum to stand back up on its own every time it falls. It is made from the company’s proprietary Circo recycled plastic material – produced from post-consumer plastic waste – to substantiate the growing trend of using recycled plastic as chief construction material.
A chair is the simplest piece of furniture that’s generally taken for granted. Its essence beyond appearance is often overlooked. However, if you were to go back all the way to the drawing board, you’ll find every chair has a story. Whether it’s a chair recycled from ocean plastic or made to fold and stand upright without support, it has a story.
To that accord, a moving tale forms basis of why the Virén Chair actually exists. The chair, right from design up, honors the legendary long-distance runner Lasse Virén who fell during the finals of 10,000 meter race in the 1972 Munich Olympics. When all the odds were against him, Virén got up not only to win the race but also to set a new world record.
The story of Virén Chair is more than its inspiration of comeback, resilience, and bouncing back after a fall. Shaped as a runner poised at the starting line, the chair is made from post-consumer plastic waste, which is significant of “what can be achieved with recycled plastics today.”
As you’d expect, Virén Chair is not an ordinary furniture unit, it is a chair that will always stand up if it falls without any use of mechanics or robotics. To achieve this, it has been developed in a close consortium of top-notch Fortum designers, physicists, engineers, and researchers to reflect the legacy of Lasse Virén and to create awareness regarding recycling of plastic waste.
Fortum is yet to release pricing and availability details. From the press images, we can figure out that the chair will be made in at least four colors when it’s finally available.