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Morten Husum Nielsen - Oak Oak chair! 1

Morten Husum Nielsen - Oak Oak chair!

Danish Design student Morten Husum Nielsen from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Schools of Architecture, Design and Conservation has created the amazing children’s chair ‘Oak Oak’ using a Roland MDX-540 milling machine.

Morten has only just finished his bachelor’s degree in furniture and spaces, but has already designed a unique chair in oak and cork, that prominent Scandinavian furniture houses have shown interest in buying. Roland DG is excited, that we have provided the tools that enabled Morten to create his amazing piece.


The idea
Morten had a school assignment where the students were to explore new ways to use cork. The focal point of the assignment was exploring new functions and ways to process the material. 
Immediately Morten thought about the fact that cork is often used to shield and protect something. That trace of thoughts brought him to the idea of creating a piece of furniture for the hallway in which you could shield and store your gloves, scarfs and hats in. But as soon as he started sketching he noticed that the soft and somewhat clumsy round edges and plumb design fitted a design for children’s furniture perfectly ”It reminded me of a chubby puppy with plump legs” Morten says with great enthusiasm. 

Morten also discovered that the cork material was a perfect fit for a children’s chair: ”Cork is a great material for children- because it is warm and easy to process in such a way that the soft edges prevent the kids from harming themselves. Cork is also very easy to keep. I tested it out using marmalade, and it came right off without leaving a stain, which is ideal for children.”

The most genius thing about the chair is that you can open the seat and store children’s toys inside: ”There is room for a lot of Lego in the chair!” Morten laughs. Another bonus is that the cork is vibration absorbing and therefore reduces noise when children rattle with toys in the box.

Another great feature of the chair is that it can easily be taken apart and put back together, which not only makes it easy to store and move but also acts like a part of the experience, where the child can participate in putting the chair together. 

The fetching name Oak Oak stems from the fact that cork comes from the cork oak and the wood comes from the oak-tree. 

The process
Morten only spend two days on creating the chair using the two MDX-540 millers that are available at the Roland DG Academy at his school.  

He created the molds for the wooden parts of the chair on the MDX-540, which made them fit perfectly together with the cork parts that were also milled on the machine.

The MDX-540 was an ideal machine for creating the chair. Morten especially appreciated the fact that the machine allowed him to create a finished product in such a small amount of time: “The best thing about using the Roland MDX-540 is that you can easily create a finished product and not just a prototype. Then you are able to test out the product and easily create a new one. It’s a huge advantage that you can create a finished product in no time and on top of that the MDX-540 is also very user-friendly,” Morten adds.


Nominated for the Hay Talent award
The prominent Danish furniture brand Hay also noticed the Oak Oak chair and nominated Morten for the Hay and Formland talent award. He was chosen among 700 participants from all around the world. Only 33 students where selected to participate in an exhibition where they showed their furniture to a committee and to potential buyers.

Morten brought a Roland iModela engraving machine along with him to demonstrate how the chair was created. He actually made a miniature copy of the chair in a 1:5 size while the audience watched in amazement. Morten was also very satisfied with working on the Roland iModela: “ It’s great that you can create prototypes that are so accurate and with so much attention the even the smallest details. Of course, it takes a bit longer to create a finished product because of the size of the machine, but it is amazing what you are able to create and how it captures the details. The wood on the small prototype almost turned out to be better looking than on the big one.”

The future
When Morten finishes his masters, he dreams of being an independent furniture designer with his own brand. The part that we are excited to hear is that he plans to be using Roland in his own company as well: “I think the MDX-540 is a really good tool for creating furniture. As you can see, you can make something that is a finished product. At the exhibition a lot of the buyers actually thought that the chair was already in production” Morten concludes happily.

Read more about the chair here:  and