TönöSauna is a mobile dry/wet sauna built into the shell of a salvaged 1966 Avion travel trailer. It houses parametrically designed interior spaces that form multiple organic and body-friendly surfaces on which people can rest, warm themselves and relax. The design, and overall project, responds to cultural and environmental ideal of the sauna, Scandinavia, and the Upper Midwest. The former travel trailer contains both a sauna and dressing room, which is also used as an art and conversation space, a platform for an environmentally reactive light installation, sound installations and talks led by historians, artists, architects, and others.

Read and see more about TönöSauna here: tonosauna.workmakeswork.com

During the conceptual phase, this project was fondly titled Actually, I've Been Pioneering New Enthusiasms in response from the various passions from the collaborators that came together to embark on this project.

Tönösauna was commissioned by the Art Shanty Projects, held annually on the frozen Medicine Lake in Minnesota.

Collaboration with Emily Stover, Molly Reichert, John Kim, and John Moore.


The benches employ the former/stringer construction method, exactly how airplanes are constructed. Architectural designer Molly Reichert spearheaded the fluid design using Rhinocerous. The flat upright panels are CNC routed out of Newwood, a panelized material recycled from plastic and wood and bonded together with a natural resin used by barnacles. This material doesn't swell or warp and easily takes the red cedar 'stringers' that make up the seating platform - strong enough to sit, lay or stand on. The sauna stove is made by Finnleo, a finnish sauna maker and can raise the temperature inside in excess of 225 degrees.

A wall separates the sauna from the 'dressing room', a curtained area which allows privacy for changing and a bench accommodates coming and going and storage. It houses a battery for LED lighting throughout and an amplifier and sound system the pipes sound art into the sauna by invited artists.

Tönösauna was sponsored by the following companies and institutions, locally whenever available:
Helo / Finnsisu
Macalester College
Siwek Lumber & Millwork
Xceed Soda Blasting
University of Minnesota Art Dept

3 color promotional screenprint