3rings is celebrating the new year with designer profiles, and since this year is already focused on women, I thought it only appropriate that our first profile be of a female-led design group—Front.
1. Anomaly Stool for Moroso: “Creatures which are slightly unsettling yet docile and harmless.”
Headed by Anna Lindgren and Sofia Lagerkvist, the Stockholm-based firm produces work in the avant-garde tradition. Ottomans come alive, chairs shelter us, lamps melt away—all in the service of transforming ideas into objects.
2. Hideout Lounge Chair for Gebrüder Thonet Vienna
When Russian literary theorist Viktor Shklovsky outlined his theory of defamiliarization (AKA estrangement) in 1925, he was thinking neither of design nor of the future. But Shklovsky’s idea that art should make things unfamiliar by removing the automatism of perception applies beautifully to the Front aesthetic.
3. Melt Lamp for Tom Dixon
Front itself explains that the objects they create “communicate a story to the observer about the design process, about the material it is made of or about conventions within the design field.” Front’s work makes us stop and re-see the quotidian objects we are used to seeing.
4. Animal Thing for Moooi, which includes Horse Lamp, Rabbit Lamp, and Pig Table:
“Furniture to fall in love with at first sight, or hate forever.”
In the case of Animal Thing for Moooi, scale generates our awakening. A life-sized horse with a lamp shade on its head forces us to question the preciousness of the lamp as a design object. Front also plays with what’s on view. In WaterDream 2013 for Axor, the pipes normally hidden behind walls become the shower itself.
5. WaterDream 2013 for Axor
Lindgren and Lagerkvist also make work that calls into question the very definition of an object. What makes a shade a shade? More importantly, how can that essence be disrupted? So we get the Surface Tension Lamp, which perpetually surrounds its LED light with water bubbles to produce “the most ephemeral of lampshades.”
6. Surface Tension Lamp in Collaboration with Loligo
Front’s work is represented at museums all over the world, including MoMA, Victoria & Albert Museum, M+, Nationalmuseum, Vitra Design Museum, and Centre Pompidou. Get more information at www.front.se.