Relate - School Furniture in Maputo


Project by Julia Hagensby Nygaard, Fatima Fransson and Julie Lykke Nyholm, students at 'Furniture and Object', Institute of Architecture and Design. 

‘Relate’ is a height-adjustable desk developed for all age groups in a primary school in Maputo, Mozambique. Besides adjustability, the project addressed three other focal points:

  • Low-tech production: so our school furniture can be manufactured locally; 
  • Repetition: as we believe that using a repetitive shape enables us to optimise the use of space; 
  • Colours: so that we create a more playful style for our furniture and enhance a feeling of ownership among the schoolchildren.  
In the local schools 6 year old students use the same bench as the 15 year old students

We want our design to increase the quality of the primary school education in Maputo. Studies show that enhanced comfort improves learning. This is why it is important to adapt school furniture to the users. 

Along the way, our motto was “What small change can create great improvement?” and this piece of furniture is our response – making a simple improvement to the existing furniture which creates more comfort, local jobs and stimulates children’s creativity through aesthetic improvement.

Coloring workshop with the Mozambiqan children, to get an idea about their aesthetic sense
The colors blue and yellow were frequently used.
RELATE – a reinterpretation of the current school furniture, with significant aesthetic and functional improvements