the story of the first prototype
It's easy to get a chair. You go to Ikea, you get one of those little pencils and you fill out a little piece of paper with a product number. You get it, you pay for it and, after eating those one euro hot dogs, you drive home. Then you look at that stupid cartoon character in the manual who so effortlessly puts together the chair and wonder how a grown man can't figure out where this piece of wood goes and why there is fourteen extra screws left over.
So, getting a chair is easy.
Making a chair from scratch is much more difficult. Hannu Metsola, our guy with the idea, realized this when he tried to make his idea into reality. However, he saw potential in the chair. He needed to make it reality.
"I knew I had something here, but I didn't really know how to take the next step. I needed a guy with the right know-how and the right networks. I needed a designer I could trust" Hannu says.
Enter Jari Miranda. He's the guy who knows about the chairs. He knows where the screws go, how the wood is supposed to be cut and what you do with all that glue. When he assembles Ikea furniture, there's minimal amount of cursing and no extra screws. That's talent.
Jari built the first prototype from materials found from the rubbish bins outside the Finnish Design Museum. He worked the loose wood, found a few screws and tinkered with some metal and made it into the first prototype.
"It took about 8 months of sweat, blood and innovation to make the first chair." Jari says, modestly. "I hope that the next one is a bit easier."
So the first chair was built. Jari and Hannu thought it was a very well-made chair so they showcased it in Habitare No Trash. People were interested, they liked it, so our two founders thought that maybe they're on to something. Together they decided to take the next step and make this thing an actual product that people could buy.
By building the first working prototype Jari and Hannu also built their company. Had Hannu just gone to Ikea there would not be a company. There would be an Ikea chair and an extra table leg.