Design – In 2004, Front debuted at Stockholm Furniture Fair. Nineteen years later, the acclaimed design studio led by Anna Lindgren and Sofia Lagerkvist returns as the fair’s first Swedish Guest of Honour ever, with the Design by Nature large installation combining high-tech with traditional techniques like weaving and embroidering.
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The installation showcases Front’s ongoing research and works responding to two challenging questions: how can design adapt to technological, environmental, and social change? What do objects tell us about the world around us?
“In this investigation, we record not only the dimensions and physical properties of nature but also its atmosphere.” Explain the studio co-founders Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren. “We 3D scanned entire areas in different outdoor environments and used these shapes to bring furniture elements to life.”
“We wanted the pieces to create the feeling that someone had lifted a whole glade from a forest with a gigantic shovel and moved it to a home.” Explains Sofia Lagerkvist. “We documented these places using different techniques, both high-tech and traditional.” Adds Anna Lindgren.
Visitors were invited to lift a curtain to enter a mesmerising dark world where fragments of wilderness take over. At the exhibition’s core are the Pebble Rubble seats resembling boulders covered in moss and snow. The collection was developed for Italian design brand Moroso. “We 3D scanned rocks we saw during our many walks in the woods, and we put these organic shapes together and turned them into furniture.”
For 20 years, Front has been a secret ambassador for Swedish design abroad. The Swedish studio’s industrial design is produced by global brands such as Moroso, Moooi, Vitra, and Kvadrat, as well as by world-class galleries, including Friedman Benda Gallery and Galerie Kreo. Its self-initiated research projects, meanwhile, are held in the permanent collections of museums such as MoMA, the V&A, M+, Vitra Design Museum, and Centre Pompidou.
All photos: courtesy of Stockholm Furniture Fair.