Sheridan College’s study for the “5 Studies for Nature” project by Nikari, Finland

The outdoor bench – the 3rd of “5 Studies for Nature” – was designed collaboratively by a group of furniture design students from the Bachelor of Craft and Design Program at Toronto’s Sheridan College. This design aims to reflect the traditions of Nikari’s furniture collection as well as compliment the visual language used by students from Aalto University in their development of the Helsinki Study lounge.

The bench honestly displays its structure and joinery by revealing the sliding dovetails and dowel pins which secure the leg frame to the seat. This detail speaks to fine craftsmanship seen throughout Nikari’s collection. The bench incorporates gentle curves on the underside of each slat as well as splayed dowel legs. These details echo the pillowed side panels in the Helsinki Study lounge and rounded leg structures seen in much of Nikari’s seating.

The bench demonstrates the values held close to the design perspective of Nikari. The attention to detail and rational form respond to these values and aims to represent a contemporary design approach to outdoor seating.


Nikari Oy, founded in 1967, is a manufacturer of sustainable wood design products of exquisite quality. The company produces wooden furniture and custom-made furnishings of the local certified wood to public premises as well as private homes. Its founder – master cabinet maker, designer Kari Virtanen – has worked with the greatest Finnish architects and designers, such as Alvar Aalto and Kaj Franck. Through decades his determination to concentrate on wood and its ecological benefits has gained teh company great knowledge about Finnish wood and surface treatment materials like oils, waxes and soaps.

The Nikari workshop is located in the beautiful, unique Fiskars village in southwest Finland, in the oldest machinery workshop of the country.