At NYCxDESIGN: Friends & Founders
Friends & Founders is a name that tells a story. In brief, Rasmus and Ida L. Hildebrand met back in 2008 during Stockholm Design week. Their mutual love of furniture design morphed into romance and partnership and finally into the concept behind their brand.
The name embodies collegiality and collaboration, not only between the Hildebrand duo but also within all the relationships that typify the process of design, manufacture, and delivery to consumer; thus, between designer and artisan, company and consume, art and craft, raw material and manipulation of it, the natural world and all we extract, shape, form, and create.
The aesthetic of the Collection builds on this idea. Influenced by the Bauhaus and the primacy of simple geometric forms, designer Ida aspires towards minimalist pieces with visible structure from basic materials that endure.
Though the aesthetic underpinnings are Scandinavian, Friends & Founders embraces and expresses diverse influences. Miró Miró above is one such example. Apart from the clever wordplay that credits Spanish (Catalan) painter Joan Miró, the collection of mirrors evokes an essential quality of his art: the interplay of basic—even childlike—forms to suggest movement and play.
The SAW Collection also begins with an iconic shape. The humble picnic table is given figurative and literal gravitas by emphasizing the surface slab, two beautifully crafted lengths of FSC-certified wood perched atop a thin v-frame, thus calling attention to the top while provoking admiration for the innate engineering of the humble triangle.
To the contrary, the Novel Chair’s lynchpin is the enigmatic arc. Essentially a capital letter H with a half-circle fashioning the back, Novel evokes the world of fashion as well as the history of art and design. Its two-tone interplay makes me see shades of Mondrian and Gerritt Rietveld’s Red Blue chair.
Friends & Founders sculptural, collaborative approach to furniture and design is on display this year at ICFF. Look for them live at the fair or find them at Friends Founders.