Biography

THE HEADS BEHIND

FurbishTM is located in Gothenburg, Sweden, established in 2017 by Ulrike Rahe and Holger Wallbaum, academic colleagues at Chalmers University of Technology.

Our multidisciplinary and international team of workplace specialists, designers, architects, and engineers is dedicated to commercial-use buildings for office work and education. We are true Europeans but proud of our cultural heritage based on Scandinavian humanism and German precision. We are creators, innovators, facilitators, and recognised academics. We conduct our services both domestically and abroad and are currently working on projects in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Germany.

Holger Wallbaum

"WHAT IS CORRECT IN THEORY IS ALSO SO IN PRACTICE, OTHERWISE THE THEORY IS FALSE."

Holger studied Safety engineering in Germany and Risk management in France and received his Ph.D. in Architecture from the University of Hanover in Germany in 2002. Holger has a long track record in innovation and entrepreneurship.

In 2002, he was the co-founder of the research consultancy triple innova GmbH in Wuppertal, Germany, mainly working in field sustainability strategies and reporting for corporations. In parallel, he developed his academic career further as Holcim Chair for Sustainable Construction at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. The origins of the SSO approach have been invented in Switzerland, developed further within the framework of the Climate-KIC—the EU’s leading climate innovation initiative—, and professionalised together with Ulrike to set up Furbish. In addition to running Furbish, Holger leads a larger research group on sustainable building at Chalmers. He is the Scientific Coordinator of the HSB LivingLab and Chalmers’ representative in the Climate-KIC and the Swedish Life Cycle Center. In Chalmers’ Areas of Advance “Energy” and “Building Futures”, Holger leads the profiles “Energy in Urban Developments” and “Responsible Use of Resources.” He is sustainability advisor to larger corporations and engaged in the Energy Efficiency and Buildings Program of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development. His views on sustainability in the built environment are published in several books and more than 100 scientific publications. Holger is an often-invited keynote speaker at international conferences and holds some Editorial Board positions of renowned scientific journals. In 2017, Holger became a new elected member of The Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences (IVA).

Ulrike Rahe

"IT IS POSSIBLE TO IMPROVE THE WORLD AND MAKE OUR ENVIRONMENT A BETTER, MORE STIMULATING, AND HEALTHIER PLACE TO BE."

Ulrike studied Industrial design in Germany and Product design and Industrial planning in Sweden. She was appointed her first professorship at the age of 29, the youngest professor in Germany at that time. At Chalmers since 2003, Ulrike is a Professor of Industrial design. Ulrike’s cross-disciplinary research and development work is set at the intersection of Design, Sustainability, and Wellbeing; she investigates and promotes opportunities for a more likable future, focusing on users’ behaviours, needs, and demands. Her research has been published in more than 50 scientific contributions. Parallel to her academic career, she started working for industry and public organisations in several leading and co-partner positions, including 10 years of service for Steinbeis Foundation, Germany. Since 1989, Ulrike has been the CEO and co-founder of rahe+rahe design, operating in both Germany and Sweden. Since 2010, she is even partner and co-founder of Boid. She is a creator and innovator and always takes the human as a starting point. Ulrike’s field of work is the measurable benefits for building our future, where she designs products, tools, and innovative solutions promoting better life and satisfaction for users. As a renowned designer, Ulrike has won over 40 international design awards, including the Best of the Best Red Dot Award, iF Design Awards, the Good Design Chicago Award, and the Core Design Award. She has also received several nominations and two awards of the Designpreis der Bundesrepublik Deutschland. Her design work has been presented nationally and internationally in more than 50 different design exhibitions.

We believe in a close dialogue with our clients and take pride in tailoring our projects to the people and places we partner with.