a creative love story begins
Running on the foundation that experimentation is the key to innovation, envisions reached out to Finsa, a wood manufacturer based in Santiago de Compostela, Spain. As corporate companies often stick to the road of proven practices and clearly defined objectives, envisions felt to be a valuable asset to the manufacturer. Sharing this feeling, Finsa swung open its factory doors inviting the twelve selected envisionaires – Aukje Fleur Janssen, Elvis Wesley, Iwan Pol, Jeroen van de Gruiter, Roel Deden, Roos Gomperts, Robin Pleun Maas, Ronald Smits, Thomas Trum, Sanne Schuurman, Simone Post and Vantot – to infiltrate Finsa’s production grounds and set free their individualised creativity. Thus > wood in process < –the first chapter in this creative love story – was born.

wood in process
Continuing its original mission as an industry-inspiring laboratory, envisions set out to uncover new applications and uses for Finsa’s complete range of materials, which includes chipboard, medium density fibreboard (MDF), veneer, melamine and even the raw product as printed paper, glues and inks. The designers crafted twelve distinctive processes – assorted in both character and end use – which showcase the pioneering potential of the unhindered imaginations of industry outsiders.

> envisionaires
envisions is proud to boast an array of multidisciplinary creatives. Our collaboration with Finsa showcases how these many distinctive talents can complement each other while also leaving space for personal qualities. For > wood in process < the twelve selected envisionaires developed samples independently within their own studios, which they would bring to meetings regularly for group reflection. Lody Aeckerlin filmed a short series of portraits of the designers preparing for the first exhibition. The portraits display an intriguing sneak peek into their studios and processes.

“envisions has taught me that my playful working method can be of big value in the ‘serious’ world” – Roos Gomperts

> wood in process < takes Milano
Salone del mobile 2017 was the first step in sharing our collaboration with Finsa to the world. The concept of the exhibition was to present the samples as a unity, adopting a city landscape layout, within which each sample interacted with one another. Built to stand at eye level, the exhibition invited visitors to see the work from many captivating angles, while also having the option to explore first hand Roel Deden’s virtual reality world inspired by the collaboration.

wood in process continued to inspire viewers worldwide, giving thought to the way in which the work of envisions has been received within different cultures. From Milan to New York, the results from our collaboration with Finsa opened a new dialogue between design and the industry.

> a paper museum
Dutch Design Week 2017 saw the launch of > wood in process < in paper form! The book captures the story from the eponymous collaboration, displaying detailed images of all the samples created with the wood-based materials. With a pre face from Hella Jongerius, it also features an in-depth interview with the founders of envisions, Finsa’s head of design, and gives insight into all of the participating envisionaires projects. This book serves as an inspiration to the industry, trend forecasters and material researchers.

“the best results are achieved when there is a click with the client, as evidenced by envisions’ collection developed for Finsa. The work sparkles, comprising a collection that surpasses every manufacturers wildest dreams. The items on show awaken the potential of the company” – Hella Jongerius

wood in progress
Ascending from the world wide success of the > wood in process < collection, envisions and Finsa entered the second chapter of their creative love story. Six designers from the previously created researches were given the green light to begin developing their work on an industrial level.

This new partnership displayed how designers can’t live without the industry and the industry can’t progress without visionary designers. That quality is not a destination, but a direction and – most importantly – a process.

“For us, it’s something completely different. At the beginning it’s a little bit of a shock, but it’s really original… and even funny!” – José Rodríguez, Finsa Padrón factory

“Often we leave the aesthetic part for the last step of development, until now we were not used to seeing design as a part of the full process from the beginning. In this project it is really interesting to see how design is a part of it from the get go” – Anna Castro Lopez, Finsa design department

> a revived return to Milano
Salone del Mobile 2018 hosted the exciting debut of the > wood in progress < collection. The product developments were presented upscaled, repeated and carefully composed together, the contextualised play of materials culminating in a spectacle of sensory finesse which is a direct result of envisions’ process-focused formula. For this exhibition it was important to show the real industrial dimensions of the different prototypes, enabling viewers to clearly envision how they could utilise and apply the unique designer boards.

The handmade samples of > wood in process < now became a 1:1 industrially made prototype.

envisions is keen to incorporate other members of the collective within projects where suitable, and the > wood in progress < exhibition provided the opportunity for a range of valuable contributions. Graphic design duo Team Thursday created the graphic identity and resulting campaign image for the collection, while Jeroen van de Gruiter designed the scenography of the exhibition spaces. Lody Aeckerlin recorded a documentary shown during the exhibition which gave a behind the scenes insight into the impact the production of the collection had on Finsa’s employees.

> worldwide wood
The > wood in progress < collection was exhibited at Salone del Mobile 2018, London Design Fair 2018, Dutch Design Week 2018 and envisions also visited Madrid Design Festival for the first time in 2019, with a combined exhibition showcasing both collections from our collaboration with Finsa. In addition to these independent showcases, the collection was also invited to be part of exhibitions with the New Material Award at DDW and Salone del Mobile, Hope at Kazerne Eindhoven, ACDN Awards and the Vitra Schaudepot.

> all is fair in wood and design
Following the positive reception of our exhibition spaces, Finsa also invited envisions to design and set up spaces for design and trade fairs attended by the wood manufacturer.

A new motion first introduced for OBJECT Rotterdam 2019, envisions showcased a range of our colourful and captivating > wood in progress < prototypes alongside the technically advanced MDF materials and solutions from Finsa’s own collection. This successful presentation style was also then applied for Finsa’s stands at Material District 2019, Design District 2019, and soon in Warsaw Home, Poland.

wood in production
We have received many enquiries and interest in our > wood in progress < prototypes, and we are looking into possibilities of how to continue the development of some of the pieces.

The opportunities given to envisions from our collaboration with Finsa have helped to establish our collective within the design industry, confirmed by the fact we won ‘Emerging Designer of the Year’ at the 2018 DeZeen Awards.

”The quality of this studio’s work is consistently high, using a playful mix of techniques and fun aesthetic qualities.” – Dezeen awards judges panel