The AHEC initiative challenged students at the Royal College of Art in London to design a chair in an American species of their choice. The organisation also provided extensive information from the major LCA hardwood study it has been undertaking in recent years (the most far-reaching of its type to date worldwide).

The students then worked with furniture and joinery manufacturer Benchmark to bring their chair designs to reality, using the LCA data, via an ‘i-report’ system developed for AHEC by consultancy PE International, to help achieve the optimum blend of aesthetics and technical peformance, while minimising environmental impact.

Benchmark also added to the LCA picture and performance of each chair design by assessing the factory inputs they required.

The resulting furniture first went on show at the Victoria & Albert Museum as part of the 2012 London Design Festival.

"In producing detailed life cycle cradle-to-grave impact assessments for each chair, we begin to develop a genuine understanding of the real and very direct environmental impacts of design and material choice," said AHEC European director David Venables.

He added that the Stockholm fair marked AHEC’s first participation in a Scandinavian design event for some time.

"We welcome the opportunity to establish new relationships with Swedish designers and architects," he said.