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Urban furniture T4EU

As part of the T4EU week, InnoRenew CoE, in collaboration with the University of Primorska, created wooden urban furniture in the shape of the letters T4EU. The furniture is designed as a combination of wooden benches and solid wood tables. It invites people to socialise outdoors and puts users in direct contact with wood. It was proven that wood reduces stress levels in the built environment, which certainly has a positive effect on the users well-being.

The furniture designed by Aarne Niemelä and Eva Prelovšek Niemelä, InnoRenew CoE architects and researchers, together with the Dr. Jakub Sandak, Head of research department Advanced Manufacturing. It was designed to be as large as possible in space, serving as a clearly visible spatial sign or artwork.  Yet the furniture’s individual slats are spread apart, both vertically and horizontally, to allow for maximum ventilation within the elements, allowing the wood to last longer outside.

The wood for the objects of this scientific-artistic-social intervention in urban space was obtained in the project DENDRO-SPEC: Spectroscopic methods for rapid phenotyping of trees reflecting their ecological resilience.

It comes from pine trees (Pinus sylvestris), which were felled in different sites around Slovenia (Ptuj, Kočevje, Naklo). The sites and the trees themselves were described in detail and imaged using 3D scanning.


The hereditary material (DNA) of each tree was extracted and sequenced. The wood of the trees was also measured for physical (mechanical) and chemical properties and imaged using several spectroscopic techniques (FTIR, NIR, Raman) to obtain information on its colour and other surface properties. This is to find out how site conditions (soil composition, microclimate, topography, etc.) influence the epigenetic, mechanical, chemical and other properties of the trees and the wood they produce. On a practical level, this means that for every piece of wood we can tell its story – where it comes from, how it grew in the tree, how it can be processed and treated, to what function it has in the object we make from it. Additionally, with this knowledge, we can give to the industry tools needed to get exactly the kind of raw material it needs for a particular purpose.