The Kuutio project has been supported by Carnegie Fabrics, Coats Opti, Creation Baumann, Culminatum Ltd, Designium and TULI, Foundation for Finnish Inventions, Futon Ateljé, Osram, Salone Satellite and University of Art and Design Helsinki.

2006 Kuutio Design Concept received red dot award for high design quality

Kuutio is the Finnish word for a cube. It is also the name of this design project in which the designers Sirpa Fourastié and Susan Elo approach the familiar form in a new way. It was first presented at the Milan Furniture Fair in April 2005.

The Kuutio project is based on Sirpa Fourastié’s ongoing research in The University of Art and Design Helsinki. The project deals with the interaction between art and mathematics, especially the Euler path*. The installations she prepared in 2002 for her MA thesis show indicated that flat pieces of material could be assembled in eleven ways to form cube-shaped cases with just one closing line. The patent for the packing concept is pending and has been admitted together with the Finnish company, Berggren.

Developing of the concept into a series of products has been accomplished in collaboration with designer Susan Elo, also a graduate of the University of Art and Design Helsinki. Susan Elo has wide experience working with lights, furniture and interior design. She has had her design studio, Muotoilu Elo, in Helsinki since 1998.

The Kuutio Futon is a thick cotton mattress. It has the form of an opened cube with a zipper that runs round its rim. When folded in different ways and zipped up, it can be made into a bench, a stool, and an easy chair. In its cube form, it converts into a storage for the bedding. When not used, it can be packed away with ease. The designers hope that people will play with their futon and invent their own ways for its use. There is no need for a manual.

The cube project operates around an innovation on how to use space. On top of the futon, the designers have developed a container, a lamp, a table, a stool and six different sized bags. The same cube idea can be seen in all these Kuutio products. Each line of products can be folded and assembled in various ways, and thus stored inside one another. The common feature of the products is their starting point: a flat piece of fabric, which can be turned into a new three-dimensional object by using a traverse zip. The first products have been made of high quality materials in small workshops on the Finnish coast. The design is suitable for industrial mass manufacture, as well.

* An Euler path, also called an Eulerian trail, is a walk on the graph edges of a graph which uses each graph edge in the original graph exactly once. A connected graph has an Eulerian trail if and only if it has at most two graph vertices of odddegree.
(http://mathworld.wolfram.com/EulerPath.html )

Summary in Finnish