Finland’s Jenni Inciarte Villaverde was impossible to ignore when the Greenhouse jury was choosing the Best Performance for 2020. This is what they had to say:
“A study of seating transformed into a clear expression of art. A curiosity about comfort, a rigid construction involving a minimum of active treatment, and the choice of a sustainable, natural material combine to make this project a winner.”
We met the very pleased winner on her stand just hours after the award was announced.
Congratulations. How do you feel?
“A little surprised and hugely grateful. It feels like a great ending to this project, which has been quite hard going at times.”
Describe your product.
“It is essentially an archetypal armchair. I’ve conducted tests and studies to try and develop the perfect position, not so much in terms of ergonomics, but with more of a focus on stability, recovery and the healing effect. I’ve learned a considerable amount about what is physically important for your body and about the most comfortable position in which to spend an evening after a day of heavy physical work. This is an item of furniture that enables you to relax and recharge. The materials are solid aspen and plywood.”
What do you expect to get out of your Greenhouse experience?
“I don’t have any huge expectations. I just want people to test and try my armchairs and give their feedback. I’m going to continue with this in one way or another. But I see the armchair mainly as a work of art or sculpture, although I would like to see it in production at some point in the future.”
You have your studio in Helsinki?
“Yes. And I’ve been to this fair twice before. With Aalto University here in the Greenhouse. I still have a few months of studying left.”
What do you think about the fair?
“It’s the most important fair for us, and the Greenhouse is fantastic, because here you get to see designers who haven’t yet been forced in particular boxes and have the freedom to unleash their imagination.”
Sustainability is an important issue.
“Yes, for me as much as anybody. It’s a core value that you can’t ignore. I want to create something that is classic and timeless, not trendy. It’s not just about materials, but about wellness. These days we move around so much that we’re in danger of losing our roots. We need something to remind us of our origins.”