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Wood is an ideal material from the design point of view

Before Lappset’s playground and exercise equipment reaches users, it undergoes a multi-stage design process, which is always based on the needs of the end-users. Lappset’s products are made from preserved wood because it is a high-quality, environmentally friendly, durable and appealing material.

At Lappset, product design is a multi-dimensional process that involves a number of important elements. Aside from the ease of use, designers need to think of safety, quality and suitability for production. The person responsible for these things at Lappset is Design Manager Kirsi Svärd.

“One should also approach design in terms of sustainability”, says Kirsi. “When a product is designed, it’s important to consider how to make it environmentally friendly. The less virgin material a product contains, the more sustainable it is to produce. However, no compromise is made on quality and safety at any point.”

“Another reason why I love wood as a designer is that it’s easy to work with.”

“Wood looks beautiful, and as a living material it blends in with its surroundings. The more natural wood looks and the more clearly its grains are visible, the more pleasing it is to the eye. When unpainted, the temperature of the wood also remains comfortable to users,” Kirsi adds.

“Moreover, wood possesses one excellent property that is lacking in all other materials,” she says.

– Its acoustic properties are unrivalled. A metal structure, for example, transmits sound but wood muffles it. The sound made by a wooden product when used is pleasant.

Design Manager Kirsi Svärd

One should also approach design in terms of sustainability.

No point in defying the laws of physics when selecting materials

The Lappset playground and sports equipment as well as park and street furniture are very much in use, and constantly exposed to a wide range of weather conditions. Hence, designers need to ponder how to make the products last for as long as possible, from generation to generation. 

According to Kirsi, a designer can influence the durability of a product by selecting the right material for the right application, and by paying close attention to structural details. For one thing, all joints must be designed not to retain water.

“Wood is unmatched in that it is stronger than any other material relative to its weight.” Lappset uses preserved wood in order to maximise service life. Treating wood with environmentally friendly agents is in compliance with the principle of sustainable development, because the preservatives extend the product lifecycle.

Kirsi goes on to say that if unprotected, wood may start rotting relatively quickly, which would make it unsafe to use. Environmentally speaking, it makes more sense to protect the wood than to replace products with new ones at short intervals. “Wood procurement and production are taxing on the environment, and so treating wood with protective agents is ecological,” Kirsi says.

Wood is unmatched in that it is stronger than any other material relative to its weight.

All Lappset products are recyclable

When designing products, designers also need to think of the end of the lifecycle.

“We make every effort to ensure that all the components used in Lappset products are reusable or recyclable. Another important aspect is to see to it that the materials are easy to detach from one another. When products reach the end of their lifecycle, disassembly and recycling should be carried out as close as possible to the site in order avoid further emissions from transportation.”

Kirsi takes the opportunity to underline the responsibility of the owners of playgrounds and exercise sites. Proper maintenance always extends service life. Regular servicing and cleaning saves money and is sparing on the environment. 

Although environmental considerations play an important role in product design, it is equally responsible to think about the significance that the products represent to users.

“With Lappset’s products, it is ultimately a question of the needs and wellbeing of the users. We wish to motivate people to engage in physical exercise, and that’s what we’re trying to do with our products,” Kirsi concludes.

 

Text: Kati Marjamaa / Ground Communications

We make every effort to ensure that all the components used in Lappset products are reusable or recyclable.

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