The Award winning Cloud – a result of a successful student collaboration

A contributing factor to TreCe’s constant development of innovative design solutions is our recurring collaboration with design students. Cloud recycling is a well-praised example, developed together with the Chalmers students Ebba Hellberg and Sigrid Ljungström. Read a short interview with Ebba and Sigrid where they give their picture of our cooperation.

At TreCe, we attach great importance to seeking new influences in our product development. We see it as a must for being at the forefront. The collaboration with Ebba Hellberg and Sigrid Ljungström, students at the design and product development program at Chalmers University of Technology, gave us not only great inspiration but also a fantastic product. Cloud has quickly developed into a product family and recently won first prize in the German Design Award 2019, Excellent Product Design in the category office furniture / environmental sorting.

Here Ebba and Sigrid give their views on the cooperation and development of Cloud.

How did you start to work with TreCe?

We contacted TreCe for our degree project with the hope of designing a piece of furniture together with a partner who had as much passion and drive as us, and we found just that in TreCe. We liked the style of TreCe’s products, and already from the first meeting we felt they were very enthusiastic and believed in the project and had as us the goal that it would become a real product. We simply got a good feeling.

Tell us about the process leading up to Cloud being introduced in the range spring 2018.

The need for a flexible recycling furniture came up early in the process. It is an interesting product that is right in time, with today’s focus on sustainability and activity-based office environments. After extensive background work on research and a user study, we presented four design proposals. Of these, Cloud was selected as a favorite.

We developed dimensions, materials and technical details for a prototype that fits in with TreCe’s product range. Focus has always been on problem solving and we have had free hands to, with our expert knowledge from the education, choose the design process that works best for us and the product, during this time TreCe has been present and involved in everything from brainstorming to technical issues and interviews. It has been a winning concept and led to a successful prototype that TreCe chose to exhibit at the Furniture Fair 2018 – where it was greatly appreciated.

Thanks to the success of the prototype, Cloud was introduced to the market in April 2018. Our project ended with the prototype but we were involved and supported TreCe in various decisions even in the production phase, which we greatly appreciate.

What do you think established furniture companies gain from collaborating with students?

Students have the latest and freshest knowledge of design, see things with new eyes, have a perspective and curiosity to put their knowledge to the test. The collaboration can be what defines the student’s future career, which means a willingness to deliver a good job.

What opportunities do you see for students working with an established furniture company?

It gives an insight into how it is to produce a product that is actually going to be sold, it must be both producible and profit-driven, but also in how a company works. Especially when you, in our case, collaborate with a smaller company and have contact with all roles – from CEO to product manager. We have seen all the different sides of what is required for a product to work.

How do you view the collaboration with TreCe?

In addition to the possibility of gathering knowledge from all different employees at TreCe, we have appreciated the commitment we have met. They saw potential in both the product and in us as designers. It has been super cool to get an insight into the entire development process from idea to an actual product. The fact that we also won a prize for the first real product that we have designed feels absolutely fantastic! The prize is a confirmation of what unexpected collaborations can lead to and we are so grateful that TreCe dared to invest in us.

What has the cooperation meant to you?

The project has given us valuable lessons that are rewarding no matter what we work with in the future. We both know that it will include design in some way. We have also realized that we two complement each other in many ways, it has worked very well and we hope that we can work together again in the future.

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