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Student Challenges

We challenge students from design academies world wide to work with our furniture and pinboard linoleum products and create whatever they feel can be made with it. Working with young designers allows us to look at our products in a different way, exploring the possibilities from a different angle, whilst allowing students to express their creativity and gain work experience. Find more information about furniture linoleum on the Furniture Linoleum page. Especially interested in pinboard linoleum? Check the Bulletin Board page.

Furniture Linoleum is natural surfacing material for furniture designs such as desks, chairs and cabinets. Bulletin Board is a natural pinboard linoleum that can be applied in framed or mounted pin boards or directly to the wall.


  • Student challenge Aalto university
  • HVA Guido Lok - Reversable
  • Student challenge KABK
  • Stefano Sabatè NABA
  • HDK student challenge
  • WdKA Kim van Nispen - photography Linsey Kuijpers
  • Student challenge KABK

KABK The Hague, NL

Royal Academy of Art

Cultural Design research

For the collaboration with the Royal Academy of Art in The Hague (KABK) our linoleum archive served as source of inspiration. For field research we invited third year students from the bachelor department of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design (IA & FD) to explore this archive; a small treasure room of approx. 50m2 packed with information about our rich linoleum history.

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Period rooms, an interpretation of history

The winter semester studio dedicated to the Forbo x KABK collaboration was divided into two consecutive assignments, the first one reflecting and interpreting history and the second one looking towards the future. Students researched the social aspects and the specific characteristics of the material, the design properties of linoleum as a building material, and speculated its future potential. Seven 1: 1 scale linoleum 'Period Rooms' were realized during the first studio part.

Materialized experiments
These rooms served as an inspiration for the development of individual projects in the second part. The variety of experiments that were materialized through products and artworks was presented in the school during the Open Day of the KABK in The Hague in January 2019.

The participants

The course was lead by designer Maarten Kolk and architects Samira Boon and Lada Hršak and artist Ronald van Tienhoven for Docking Station (Theory program)

Jinzi Liu, Mila Baumann, Julia Holmgren, Jihoon Baek, Joyce Bakker, Laura Bosch, Esme Kim, Vlada Naletkina, Clémentine Boucher, Daria Kozhina, Maximillian von Igel, Naira Nigrelli, Cristina Palicari, Agathe de Klerk, Kalina Lambreva, Marie Komatsu, Menthe de Kloe, Youri Thibault, Miriam Asghdom, Lilla Eordogh, Mindy Li, Yen Le, Thijs de Weerd, Violet Luu, Shun Yoon, Ngoc Le, Lisa Hens

Vladimir Vidanovski and Forbo Flooring Design

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Jinzi Liu, Mila Baumann, Julia Holmgren and Jihoon Baek

Opulence | 1900 - 1920

The students based their design on the observation of a binary spatial division of the upper class mansions in the 1920s. Hidden behind the opulent and richly decorated spaces there was a ‘backstage labyrinth’ for the servants. This concept of division and contrast served as inspiration for the creation of a theatrical performing space in which one can move from an expressive red front area into the more refined calm backstage of the installation.

For this spatial installation linoleum was cut into small strips to make the material more flexible and to create a layered room divider with multiple identities. By mimicking at the same time a fixed flooring and a flexible fabric the installation emphasizes the chameleonic appearance linoleum can have.

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Joyce Bakker, Laura Bosch, Esme Kim and Vlada Naletkina

The Echo of Architects | 1920 – 1930

Titanium white was introduced in 1921 and brought a new vividness to the color of linoleum. Joyce Bakker, Laura Bosch, Esme Kim and Vlada Naletkina looked at modernist architects (and painters) like Le Corbusier, Gerrit Rietveld and Bruno Taut to whom color was an essential aspect in their design. Color was not anymore considered as an accessory to finished architecture, but to fulfill formal and moral functions.

The period room is an echo of these architects, where their most famous architectural elements and philosophies about colors are merged together into different proportions. The shape of the objects is a result of an extensive material research keeping in mind connections and detailing used in 1920s design.

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Clémentine Boucher, Daria Kozhina, Maximillian von Igel and Naira Nigrelli

Emerging Period Room | 1930 – 1940

Clémentine Boucher, Daria Kozhina, Maximillian von Igel and Naira Nigrelli were inspired by the curvatures of the cinema interior of the 1930ties and used these as starting point for their concept. They designed a room with modular elements and pockets that make objects appear and disappear according to the needs of the user. Thus within the physical limitations of a space a choice of organization is offered. An approach that connects seamlessly well with an increasing urban density and an emerging scarcity of living space.

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Menthe de Kloe, Youri Thibault, Miriam Asghdom

The Module | 1960 – 1980

Menthe de Kloe, Youri Thibault, Miriam Asghdom defined the 1960s and 1970s as a time of transition, of big change in society’s attitude of protest and breaking free from the given, from the ‘grid’.

Their project ‘The Module’ represents this changing mindset with an abstract unit that stems from the given grid. The unit introduces a variable organic shape that literally seems to break through the grid. An installation that provides restricted freedom allowing you to be within the ‘given grid’ on your own.

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Violet Luu, Shun Yoon, Ngoc Le, Lisa Hens

Image of Reality | 2000 - Present

Social media is a prominent characteristic of today. Even though there is only one reality, people interpret their own ‘image of reality’ through social media.
Similarly people choose a specific linoleum pattern to decorate their space to create their own reality.

This period room plays with our perception of reality and the relationship between object, space and context.

Violet Luu, Shun Yoon, Ngoc Le, Lisa Hens replicated a series of existing standard interior objects using only linoleum. In their research they wanted to see how they could transform a linoleum sheet material into a solid block that can be shaped into any object. By stacking and gluing the sheets and by using a sanding machine they managed to construct 3D replicas, a series of objects almost as stable as the original.

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge
KABK furniture linoleum

Primitive Linoleum | Laura Bosch

In her material research Laura Bosch combined one of the main ingredients of linoleum, linseed oil, with a variety of other natural raw materials. These material experiments were than used to create a series of objects. Arranged in a still life she demonstrates in a poetic way the main characteristics of these new materials.

Furniture Linoleum color 4183 Pistachio
Other materials; linseed oil, linen, linseed oil paint, jute, jute fibers, paper, powder, clay, porcelain plaster, plaster, calcium carbonate.

Inlaid Furniture | Mila Baumann

With the help of her research into folding techniques Mila was able to create a two-dimensional floor, which could emerge into a three-dimensional shape. To give linoleum constructive qualities she applied an extra layer of wood for support.

Furniture linoleum colors 4164 Salsa, 4181 Midnight Blue, and 4186 Orange Blast
Other materials; Wood

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Dire Desire | Violet Luu

For this project linoleum material was cut into strips of 2 mm. These almost yarn like strips of linoleum were used by Violet to make a continuous tapestry. The characteristic two layers of the Furniture linoleum, its colored top and its black paper backing, are adding by its contrast a visual effect to the object.

Decontextualizing linoleum | Daria Kozhina

In specific spatial contexts linoleum can be experienced as being artificial imitating something it is not. To reconsider the reputation of linoleum Daria deconstructed the main features of the objects present in the described interiors. She translated her findings into a new style that preserves the old elements but in the same time elevates them, making linoleum sexy again.

KABK student challenge
KABK student challenge

Independent attitude | Lisa Hens

‘Independent attitude’ is a set of Linoleum sculptures that introduces a research into the behaviour of linoleum material over time. Two layers of Furniture linoleum are glued together and folded into a waved shape, which is then held together by straps

The size of the mould determines to amount of time needed to dry before the shape can be released from its straps and act independently. The experiments are presented as sculptures with no predefined function. Playing around with the shapes will make the user discover its potentiality.

Aalto University, Finland

Gotta Serve Somebody

Artek x Forbo Linoleum challenge a new generation of design talent

For over 80 years Artek and Forbo Flooring Systems have worked together to produce many of Artek's best-loved designs. To celebrate a relationship typified by a shared commitment to the highest standards of quality, the brands invited young design students to experiment with the two materials with which Artek and Forbo are most intimately associated: wood and linoleum.

Gotta Serve Somebody
Student Challenge Helsinki

The challenge

The students, all participants of the Aalto University Master's programme in Furniture Design, were challenged to create furniture that expresses the essence of hosting: trust, generosity and goodwill. The brief was titled "Gotta Serve Somebody" inspired by the Bob Dylan song, and asked the students to design products made of wood and linoleum that remain in keeping with Artek values. The work has been showcased during the Helsinki Design week in 2018 in the Artek Helsinki Store.

Investigate and re-examining

This page shows the results of material investigation driven design course by 14 MA students from Aalto University School of Art, Design and Architecture in Finland.

The project aimed at re-examining the culture of hospitality, how do we serve, entertain, host, amuse and enjoy the company of others. Students studied the functional properties of linoleum through hands-on experimentation and by building 1:1 scale furniture prototypes.

Student challenge Helsinki
Student challenge Finland Monika Faidi

Monika Faidi


Parasite is a side table. The table tray is handy when carrying food or drinks and then it could be attached to any table using the wooden clamp for extra space as needed.

Pedro García Alcázar


"Leize" means cavern in Basque, this tubular coffee table is the result of a material-structural form-finding process using plywood and linoleum. The flat and rigid surface of the table is created by folding materials in perpendicular directions. The gentle wave keeps the light and warm feeling of the wood inside while the colourful linoleum is used on the outside giving the durable and characteristic finishing.

Student challenge Pedro García Alcázar
Student Challenge Kristoffer Heikkinen

Kristoffer Heikkinen


Bump works as a sidetable and stool. My aim in this project was to explore the possibilities of linoleum not only as surface material but also as part of the structure. Linoleum as a flexible shell has been set to hold its soft three-dimensional shape by using urethane spray foam and that has made it to be the structure itself.

Hemmo Honkonen


Notko is a side table for lounge and lobby spaces. The idea behind the table was to demonstrate the flexible properties of linoleum with a loosely hanging linoleum loop. The hanging loop, which acts as a magazine pocket, provides an interesting contrast between a free formed organic shape and the strict geometrical frame construction. The two different table top shapes are the outcome of an investigation of numerous different shapes and constructions to find a form that supports and demonstrates the linoleum loop in the most favorable way.

Student Challenge Hemmo Honkonen
Student challenge Joshua Krute

Josua Krute


Keela is a table for the public and private home and office. Designed with the "serve and hospitality" concept, this end table features cantilever platforms with smokey blue linoleum surface qualities; the upper platform functions as a removable serving tray supported by a tapered rod structure. Keela reflects modern focal aesthetics while being lightweight, simplistic and held together by gravity-having convenient assemblage and flat-packaging design.

Jie Luo


The name of the low shelf phi comes from the symbol ɸ, which is resemble to the section of the design. And its rigid wooden frame features with flexible linoleum surface makes it friendly and invites people to use.

Student challenge Jie Luo
Student challenge Miia Palmu

Miia Palmu


Frame is a multifunctional foldable table and a shelf for small living spaces. It consists of a birchwood frame and four different sized shelves, which can be set on three different levels to suit varying purposes. While not in use, it functions as a composition on a wall, and playing with different colours of linoleum surfaces, it can be arranged in several ways, and so it offers various visual options.

Mili-Mona Salokannel


Viisto is designed for a smaller living space. This foldable table is perfect for entertaining when there otherwise would not be enough table space. The table top doubles as a serving tray for added convenience. The linoleum makes the table durable and ensures that the table retains its form throughout its use.

Student challenge Mili-Mona Salokannel
Student Challenge: Dayoung Song

Dayoung Song


Rako stool features gaps between each element for highlighting the minimal structure with lightness. The rounded 9mm legs give a sense of lightness to its sophisticated design. All the outer surfaces are covered by linoleum, designed to bring aesthetic impression as well as functionality.

Reetta Vartiala


A side table for lighter joyful moments: material and soft shapes of the side table rehearse the theme of the nostalgic time that the new generation is living for their first time so far only.

Student Challenge: Reetta Vartiala
Student Challenge: Roosa Väyliö

Roosa Väyliö


Vakka means a container and it is traditionally made out of wood. The Vakka table utilizes the flexibility of linoleum by making the round container under the table itself and that way making more storage space. Designer Roosa Väyliö was inspired by Mad men and the drinking culture from that TV-series.

Sini West


Plum side table has a spacious container component that works as a storage unit for tableware and its lid functions as a protective cover as well as a table top. By removing the container, Plum transforms into an agile small table for serving and intimate moments. Sandblast treatment of the linoleum offers a surface quality with increased friction preventing sliding and a smooth and soft feel inviting for interaction by touching.

Student Challenge: Sini West
Student challenge: Yesul Woo

Yesul Woo


Tea-rolley is a mobile tea table for the tea time. The ritual of preparing and serving tea has even held a casual place in the hearts and minds of the common people. Every step taken during the ceremony is meant to be a sensory exploration and appreciation. In this tea ceremony, washing bowls are needed and pour the hot tea that has been brewing for five minutes and fill the washing bowl with hot tea. Throughout this process, I have come to see the benefit of linoleum for the waterproof ability. The water used in the tea table is as important as the tea culture itself. The ideal compact modernized tea table should be this tea-rolley.

Jinghua Zeng


It is interesting to explore how to combine linoleum and veneer in different ways and to find the tube structure light but strong. Inspired by the Japanese Torii, I designed and made a coat stand and matched coat hangers with this fantastic material structure and texture contrast.

Student challenge Jinghua Zeng

HVA Amsterdam, NL

Hogeschool van Amsterdam

ON-OFFice - A collaboration of students of the HVA Design Lab, Royal Ahrend and Forbo Flooring

The 5th Forbo Flooring Student Challenge has been in collaboration with the office furniture brand Royal Ahrend. The project ‘On-OFFice’ refers to the contemporary office environment and the easy acces to information that enables people to work 24/7 from anywhere.

During one semester a group of 4th year students of the HVA Designlab in Amsterdam researched ‘alternative’ working environments. New requirements were defined and translated into proposals for innovative product designs.

HVA student challenge

Experiments and presentation

HVA workshop experiments
HVA workshop presentation

Tim Brouwer

Contra Digital

As response to the increasing time spend in the digital environment Tim designed a series of ultra tangible desk accessories. The pentagonal containers of different sizes are made out of Bulletin Board. Removing the jute backing of the Bulletin Board left the imprint of a ‘natural’ grid. The stone like colors create a perfect match with these ‘raw’ objects and offer a nice contrast with the high tech materials these boxes contain.

HVA Tim Brouwer

Guido Lok

Reversible & adjustable

This concept for an easy to disassemble lounge chair seems to fit seamlessly well in the emerging attention for ‘circular product design’.
For the seating Guido developed an ingenious concept. Two disk shaped layers of Furniture linoleum were stitched together creating a flexible durable surface. The sitting position of the user can be influenced by the way the Furniture Linoleum disk is folded, the tighter the straighter the sitting posture will be. The result is a simple adjustable chair without having to use complex mechanisms. Combining two different Furniture Linoleum colors creates reversible seating.

HVA Guido Lok
HVA Guido Lok
HVA Guido Lok

Wink Houtzager


De ‘Wiebel’ (wiggling-rocking) stool promotes the concept of ‘active’ sitting. With UPM multiplex a basic bended shape was created. For the upholstering different linoleum products were used. Bulletin Board has been applied on the seating area for its resilience and its soft touch. Marmoleum was selected for the parts of the tumbler which touch the floor thus making use of the extreme durability of this linoleum product. For the integrated handles Furniture Linoleum offered the possibility to work more in detail.

HVA Wink Houtzager
HVA Wink Houtzager
HVA Wink Houtzager

Nathalie de Boer


Nathalie de Boer created a pouf made out of folded Bulletin Board. The top of the pouf is flexible due to the folding technique. The inflatable and flexible core creates resistance when pressure has been applied. The instability of the pouf forces the user to actively find the right balance while seating. In her concept Nathalie refers to the theory that a slight body movement while sitting helps the brain to defocus and to prepare for the next level of concentration.

HVA Nathalie de Boer
HVA Nathalie de Boer
HVA Nathalie de Boer

Tom Klijnstra


Tom designed a 3 dimensional rotatable pin-board. By milling a pattern into the Bulletin Board he made the material more flexible and easy to bend.

A multi functional product, as well for pinning ideas as to be used as a seperation wall to create more privacy. An additional part of the concept is the rotatable surface. When wanting to share the pinned ideas/ sketches one can decide to rotate the surface of the board (conveyor belt principle) in order to make the notes visble to colleagues.

HVA Tom Klijnstra
HVA Tom Klijnstra
HVA Tom Klijnstra

NABA Academy, Italy

Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

NABA, Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, is an internationally renowned art and design academy located at the center of Milan’s world-famous design scene. Founded in 1980, NABA is the largest private art academy in Italy. It offers bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in Italian and in English

Student challenge NABA
Student Challenge Naba

More than a surface

It's about colours, finishes and shapes. Cutting, sanding and glueing. Drawing, experimenting and prototyping. It's about four months working hands on with Forbo Furniture linoleum. Developing innovative solutions for the contemporary working environment. Exploring a 150 years old sustainable material while designing beautiful objects.

25x MA students product and interior design of NABA, Nuova Accademia di belle Arti, in Milano, have been working on the project for 14 weeks ‘More than a surface’ coached by the young Italian designer Francesca Sciarmella.

Product study linoleum

Product study student challenge NABA
Product study student challenge NABA
Furniture and Bulletin Board linoleum
NABA Student challenge

Ksenia Lukyanonva

A collection of small useful/useless tabletop accessories. It includes an A4 size box with a cover, which can be used as mouse-pad.

Cap pad mats for a big coffee break, a pencil box and small cases which also can function as a business card holder.

The collection was created to showcase the potential of linoleum with its endless possibilities of colours combinations.

Ksenia Lukyanova - student challenge NABA
Ksenia Lukyanova NABA student challenge
Ksenia Lukyanova NABA student challenge

Claudia Renate Mantik, Medhavi Tyagi, Zeynep Gökcek

An interactive table lamp designed for a playful and adjustable work environment. Linoleum being eco-friendly, heat resistant and having multiple colours makes it an ideal material to be used for the surface of this lamp concept.

For this design the Linoleum was applied, two sided, on plywood panels. Then a CNC machine was used to cut the circular shapes. The 15 elements can be personalized in any combination according to the preference of the user.

Claudia Renate Mantik, Medhavi Tyagi, Zeynep Gökcek NABA student challenge
Claudia Renate Mantik, Medhavi Tyagi, Zeynep Gökcek NABA Student challenge
Claudia Renate Mantik, Medhavi Tyagi, Zeynep Gökcek NABA Student challenge

Stefano Sabatè

Designed by Stefano Sabatè
A magazine rack minimally designed to take advantage of Furniture linoleum’s potential: fair, flexibility and thin sheets available in a wide range of colours that look elegant and sophisticated. The design consists of two elements, a thin metal clip that acts as a load-bearing structure that blocks the disk (two linoleum sheets previously glued together).

Dorico Moderno
A set of vases, which changes depending on how they are flipped over or stacked. The smallest of the series can be used as a paperweight, the 2nd as a penholder, the third as a vase for flowers. The two-dimensional material is transformed into three-dimensional objects: first by gluing and then by lathing solid blocks of bulletin linoleum. Compositions are endless...

Stefano Sabatè
Stefano Sabatè NABA Inspiration
Stefano Sabatè NABA Student Challenge

Valeria Foti, Francesca Cardano and Alessia Bernardo

The design for Leubra is based on the flexibility and malleability of the linoleum. By weaving the Furniture linoleum in a semi open pattern the partition panel provides the user a glimpse of the work environment that surround him.

The front façade is made out of pin-board linoleum and can be used as an interactive board to pin memos or other personal documents on. A versatile foldable object that easily can be moved around.

NABA Student Challenge
Valeria Foti, Francesca Cardano and Alessia Bernardo NABA Student Challenge
Valeria Foti, Francesca Cardano and Alessia Bernardo NABA Student challenge

Yu-xiu Zhang

Flessi Fiori
A decorative flower design to be used stationary containers for on an office desk.

Each container is made out of one flat piece of linoleum and transformed into a 3D shape by using the flexibility of the material.

Student Challenge NABA
Yu-xiu Zhang Naba student challenge
Yu-xiu Zhang NABA Student challenge

Vanya & Aaneri

The concept of ROLL.ETTE is to create a product, which is modular and flexible.
Roll.ette is a storage box for tabletop stationary used in an office environment.

The box is designed with a flexible opening and closing mechanism based on the bending properties of linoleum. The concept can be used for various office storage items.

Vanya & Aaneri student challenge NABA
Vanya & Aaneri Student Challenge NABA
Vanya & Aaneri Student Challenge NABA

Huang Yi Nuo and Cheng Shi Yu

By gluing, cutting and sculpturing linoleum hand-made stationery was created. Designed for the office use ‘Moonlight’ creates an environment especially for meditation and relaxation.

Though each object looks like one solid piece it can be opened and used as storage box for your secrets or bad mood.

Huang Yi Nuo and Cheng Shi Yu - student challenge NABA
Huang Yi Nuo and Cheng Shi Yu - student challenge NABA
Huang Yi Nuo and Cheng Shi Yu - student challenge NABA

Alessandra Spiccia

For this modern translation of the Japanese Tatami Alessandra sealed two sheets of Furniture linoleum together with a foam layer in between. Thus creating a resilent soft surface. The project focuses on the creation of soft modules that could cover different volumes, floors and walls to create more comfortable environments.

With a system of panels of different thicknesses the designs offers the possibility to create a landscape where people will be able to relax. To take off their shoes and experience the softness of the linoleum. ' Soft-linoleum' aims to improve relaxing areas in the working environment.

Alessandra Spiccia - NABA Student challenge
Alessandra Spiccia - NABA Student challenge
Alessandra Spiccia - NABA Student challenge

Evangelos Stylianos Theofilas

Linoleum rucksack
Evangelos Stylianos Theofilas created a fashionable laptop rucksack by elegantly combining two natural materials: linoleum and felt. In this project he approached the Furniture linoleum as a sustainable alternative for leather.

A beautiful detail is the perforated pattern that he added in the linoleum. An elastic rope was used to ‘stitch’ it all together thus creating an entirely new perspective on the identity of linoleum.

Evangelos Stylianos Theofilas Student challenge NABA
Evangelos Stylianos Theofilas  Student challenge NABA
Evangelos Stylianos Student challenge NABA

Giacomo Conti and Aniello Greco

Space divider-desk
With their concept for a modular, foldable, lightweight space divider-desk Giacomo Conti and Aniello Greco responded in a smart way to the current need for flexible office environments.

By incorporating a ‘pop-up’ desk in the divider and by designing these panels as expandable modules it offers interesting new solutions. As core honeycomb cardboard material was used which was upholstered on both sides with linoleum.

Giacomo Conti and Aniello Greco Student challenge NABA
Giacomo Conti and Aniello Greco Student challenge NABA
Giacomo Conti and Aniello Greco Student challenge NABA

Namık Yiğit Ildaş

Playful speaker
Namık Yiğit Ildaş designed and built a speaker for in a meeting room. To be placed centrally on the table when having a telephone conference. A circular wooden frame was upholstered with bulletin board on the sides.

For the top he designed a removable lit made out of furniture linoleum and engraved with a pattern. A nice playful detail is of this design is that the top can be easily replaced by another color and pattern.

Namık Yiğit Ildaş NABA Student challenge
Namık Yiğit Ildaş NABA Student challenge
Namık Yiğit Ildaş NABA Student challenge

Tommaso Lago, Silvia Fiorini and Barbara Li Rosi

Magnetic coasters
In this concept linoleum was used to make magnetic coasters for the servings in the office of drinks or food. By adding magnetic paper on the back of the linoleum the coasters can be used on a metal tray. The top of the Furniture linoleum is decorated with an embossing in various patterns.

Tommaso Lago, Silvia Fiorini and Barbara Li Rosi
Tommaso Lago, Silvia Fiorini and Barbara Li Rosi Naba student challenge

Rawan Nour Chamoun

Rawan Nour Chamoun used the Furniture linoleum in its most common application: as table top.

In her concept she combined pattern with functionality. She designed an integrated loose lay pattern of tools used in the creative process.

Her lay-out of her table top shows the different scenarios of using a furniture table top, referring to the properties of linoleum and to the various working scenarios (as sketchpad, as meeting place, as coffee table…)

Rawan Nour Chamoun NABA Student challenge
Rawan Nour Chamoun Student Challenge NABA
Rawan Nour Chamoun Student Challenge NABA

HDK Academy Steneby, Sweden

HDK Academy of Design and Crafts

After the successful collaboration with de Willem de Kooning Academy in 2015 Forbo Flooring decided to initiate a follow up project.

For the 2nd edition of our Student Challenge we approached the Wood Oriented Furniture Design HDK – Academy of Design and Crafts at Steneby located in Dals Långed in Sweden, see their website

HDK student challenge
HDK Design Academy

Introducing the students

Eleven international students were challenged to explore the material properties of our Furniture linoleum and Bulletin board materials and to come up with exciting concepts and well executed prototypes for new applications.

From left to right: Mariska Lamiaud | Joe Clark | Johan Andersson | Robert Curran | Lisha Li |Tung-yun Wang | Sofia Nilsson |Alice Huldtin |Anke Dold | Yong-Kang Yang.
Not in the picture:
Joong-Han Bae | Rasmus Malbert (teacher) and Karl-Johan Ekeroth (teacher)


In this project students worked with the concept of "Gathering". A multi-faceted concept exploring two meanings of the term: "Gathering" as a union of people and "Gathering" as collecting materials, joints and materials meetings. This has come together also in a website

In the center of the project stood the table as a meeting place and venue for different activities taking place around it. Each student was given the task to identify, select and explore an activity that occurs around a table and to design one or many objects that dealt with this activity in any way.

HDK Gathering


Alice Huldtin designed a beautiful range of products around the famous Russian Kombucha elixer. This “Immortal Health Elixir” has been around for more than 2,000 years and has a rich anecdotal history of health benefits. Made from sweetened tea that’s been fermented by a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast.

In her design Alice uses the desktop colours 4183 Pistachio and 4185 Powder which she combines in a very elegant way with other refined natural materials. The setting of these skillfully crafted products associates with the traditional Japanese tea ceremonies.

HDK Kombucha
Kombucha HDK


The earliest known Crokinole board was made end of the 19th century in Canada. This ‘family’ game is like a shuffleboard in round where players take turn flicking disks on a board.

Anke Dold designed a multi functional board. When not playing the game the backside of the board can be used as an announcement board, the black desktop, 4023 nero, functions as a blackboard. Together with the board a lamp was designed to create a cozy intimate atmosphere.

HDK Crokinole
Crokinole board HDK
Crokinole HDK

Fire (escape) - reconnect with craft

Joe Clark had a hands-on approach and experimented extensively with both Furniture Linoleum and Bulletin board. Very skillfully he crafted a range of beautiful objects in which the versatility of the material can be experienced.

For his project Fire (Escape) he laminated Furniture linoleum onto veneer to provide a curvaceous yet strong surface. The starting point for a series of wonderfully made organic shaped containers.

In his skillfully crafted prototypes he underlines the importance to reconnect with practical skills in order to counterbalance human dependence on modern technology.

Fire escape reconnect with craft
Reconnect with craft HDK
Reconnect with craft HDK

'Kuvert' - table artifacts

Johan Andersson created table artifacts; abstract shapes inspired on and referring to cutlery.
He researched how the table setting and cutlery affect the social meeting around the dinner table.

As a result he created a set of abstract cutlery that opens up for new experiences around the dinner table. Beautiful and intriguing objects to be used as conversation pieces. To feed the dialogue during meals and to challenge existing table conventions.

Also see his video Student video Andersson

Kuvert HDK
Kuvert HDK
Kuvert - HDK

'Interface' - a giant postcard

Inspired by the need for a physical interface in a café like setting Lisha Li designed a tray, which can be used to carry a refreshment but also to write a message on or to make notes. After use the tray can be hung on the wall presenting a personal text. With her design Lisha Invites people to step out of their digital environment into the real world and make contact.

The furniture linoleum surface has a spray-brushed area to separate the writing zone from the food and beverages. A laser cut holder for the oil crayon is incorporated into the surface.

A giant postcard HDK
A giant postcard HDK
A giant postcard HDK

'Kuttingen' - a flexible vessel

To make life easier Sofia Nilsson thought up a transport vessel to be used to carry young plants from one owner to the other. The container consists out of two layers of furniture linoleum; by making incisions in the furniture linoleum it becomes a flexible and foldable material. To be used for either transport or as a display or even as a mobile pop-up separation wall for in the office to create your own atmosphere.

See her video Student video Sofia Nilsson

Kuttingen HDK
Kuttingen - HDK
Kuttingen HDK

'Illumination' - the poetry about properties

Robert Curran made some beautiful poetic and refined objects. By treating the materials in a special way he was able to push the boundaries of the material properties of the furniture linoleum. Objects seeming to belong in a Wunderkammer.

Illumination HDK
Illumination HDK
Illumination HDK

'Mokita'- the elephant in the room

How to make a group discussion more enjoyable, how to deal with the lingering 'elephant in the room', to talk about difficult subjects and overcome our fears of conflict.

Mariska Lamiaud created a ‘talking stick’ in the shape of an abstracted elephant head which can be held when wanting to tackle the elephant in the room. With her concept she makes the problem tangible, something we can grasp, talk about and pass on. An object that creates space for everyone to speak their opinion.

Mokita HDK
Mokita HDK
Mokita HDK

Mister Potato head

Tung-yun Wang created a postmodern mister potato head like cupboard for children with magnetic elements which can be repositioned. Thus changing the expression of the face.

Mister potato head HDK
Mister Potato Head
Mister Potato head HDK

'Steam Modules' - Fika x Tachinomi x Bulletin Board

How to improve the efficiency of a meeting was the question student Yang Yong Kang tried to tackle. What is needed to create the ultimate environment for information exchange. His conclusion is that providing space for a dynamic break with a constant flow was the key. Yang Yong Kang designed a modular station by mixing the concept of the Swedish Fika, coffee-break ritual with the Japanese Tachinomi, standing bar, and the Dutch Bulletin (pin) board. The result is a layered modular station with a organic fluid shape.

See his video Student video Yang Yong Kang

Steam modules HDK
Steam modules HDK
Steam modules HDK

Presentation at Stockholm Furniture fair February 2017

Furniture Fair Stockholm 02-2017
Award winning

WdKA Rotterdam, NL

Willem de Kooning Academy

The Willem de Kooning Academy is based in the Netherlands and has international students from all over the world. The academy offers contemporary and cutting edge art courses that complement changing, international practice.

Forbo Flooring got in contact with the Willem de Kooning Academy to discuss whether a student challenge with our Pinboard linoleum and Furniture linoleum was feasible.

The first student challenge 2015 took place in Rotterdam at the Willem de Kooning Academy.

WdKA intro

Kim van Nispen

Plynoleum | a free-standing linoleum

Furniture Linoleum is presented as a semi finished product and in general used by the Furniture industry as a coloured finish on furniture. This inspired Kim to look whether it also could be used as a free-standing material without needing a carrier. With various layers of Furniture Linoleum she created ‘Plynoleum’. The next step was to research the bounderies of bending radius of the ‘plynoleum’ by applying various bendding techniques such as vacuum molding. By using different linoleum colours the separate layers stay visible adding an extra element of beauty to the material. Her Plynoleum stool has been very well received and has been presented at various Design fairs.

WdKA Kim van Nispen
WdKA Lisanne Meester

Lisanne Meester

Detail in Desktop | a series of material studies

After the big rolls of Furniture Linoleum arrived at school Lisanne felt challenged to take this material to a smaller and more detailed scale. Inspired by the feel and touch of the material she created a series of form and material studies as starting point for new applications or as inspiration for a new product.
In her series of objects she combined the linoleum with other natural materials such as wood, cotton, leather and felt.

Joost Dingemans

Looped | 3 dimensional Bulletin Board

Joost Dingemans explored ways in which Forbo’s semi-finished Bulletin Board material could be utilized 3 dimensionally. With his concept he created a statement towards the strength of the material and demonstrated that there are applications possible that go beyond the flat and vertical.
With the two layers of Bulletin Board he created a modular structure made out of loops thus emphasizing the flexibility of the material. The net structure aims to encourage an active lifestyle in an office like environment.

WdKA Joost Dingemans
WdkA Levi Baeten

Levi Baeten

Beautiful Creatures | first encounter with linoleum

The natural raw ingredients, the bacteriostatic qualities and the self healing abilities, all these unique properties of Bulletin Board inspired Levi Baeten to create his toys. ‘Why not connect these beautiful materials to beautiful creatures?’ With this consideration in mind Levi Baeten created a series of toys that in shape, colour and material expression stimulate children’s imagination. Inviting to be touch and to play with experiencing probably there first encounter with linoleum.

Kätlin Mikker

Rocking Chair | slip resistant and upside down

The non slippery and allergy free properties of Bulletin Board lead Kätlin to find a target group that could benefit the most from these values.
Her idea was to create a rocking chair for children on which they can swing alone or together, store their toys, turn it upside down to use it as a bridge. While being a specific furniture piece it still lets children use their creativity and imagination. The rocking chair was created with the intention to inspire new ideas for the usage of Forbo’s materials.

WdKA Kätlin Mikker
WdKA Simonas Palovis

Simonas Palovis

Phoni | a natural alternative for leather

For its flexible and sustainable properties Simonas Palovis perceived Furniture Linoleum as interesting alternative for leather. With his concept he wanted to challenge the traditional furniture industry to re-consider the application of leather and to incorporate the use of non traditional more sustainable materials. With his prototype of a hammock-style seat Simonas illustrates this principle in a convincing way.

Jan Wagenaar


Tessa watches over your personal stuff . The two sleeves offer space to store your smartphone, or a good book. The flexible slots fit easily around your belongings and make sure it is within reach. A small tab remains present to pull the sleeves open. The unique flexibility of Forbo’s Bulletin Board makes sure the slots spring back after fitting something in it. Tessa is made out of Ash wood and Bulletin Board, both natural and durable materials

WdKA Jan Wagenaar
WdKA Marten Middelkoop

Marten Middelkoop

Soled | compostable material designed to walk on

In his project Marten Middelkoop was triggered by the fact that every year 300 million shoes end up in landfills in North America alone. Most shoe soles nowadays are non-recyclable and contain a material that last over a thousand years in the ground. Garbage is piling up because of synthetic soiling, while Forbo owns a recipe for natural and compostable material that is designed to walk on. That is why Marten Middelkoop designed a shoe with an interchangeable linoleum sole. The material chosen is Furniture Linoleum for its leather like appearance and variety in colours.

Presentation at Dutch Design Week

WdKA presentation DDW
WdKA presentation DDW