Design is not a solitary process. Even for those who work alone, inspiration is key to innovation, and collaboration is at the heart creativity. One group of designers who have discovered that three heads are better than one is Front, the Swedish design group comprised of Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken and Anna Lindgren. What makes this artist collection different is that this group works as one — all three engaged in every project from start to finish.
Working through a process of discussion, exploration and experimentation, and driven by a fascination with magic, Front looks to design cutting-edge products that are both practical and theoretical, solving problems while pushing the boundaries of cohesion by pairing irregular objects, structural forms and ideas.
The Blow Away Vase designed for Moooi shows one way that Front has embraced the medium of technology in their practice. Using 3D software and a simulated gust of wind, the vase is frozen mid-motion, bending to the power of nature. The video of the transition of the vase on their site shows how their methodology informs their practice and the resulting aesthetic, which has both artistic and commercial value.
Front’s Reflection Cupboard, part of the FOUND collection, mirrors a room other than that in which it sits. As it reflects a previous moment and space in its surface lacquer, it is both part of the room it is in and something of its own identity, inviting the observer to explore the link between the past and the present — the object as it was compared to how it is.
While working in Japan, Front’s idea for Sketch Furniture was conceived. A process of turning sketches of furniture into physical objects using motion capture and 3D digital files. Utilizing technology to turn drawings into reality without losing their most organic form is an interesting way of showcasing how the most basic and original artist techniques still inform creative development.
Front’s Surface Tension Lamp in collaboration with Loligo is an ever changing bubble lampshade that rises around the LED and then bursts, disappearing to make room for the next bubble’s form. By the time the LED has run out, the lamp will have had 3 million different globe shades, redesigning itself every cycle.
Boasting a stream of varied clients and a diverse portfolio Front have been recognized with a range of awards including the German Design Award 2015, the Red Dot Award, and accolades from Elle Decor, Wallpaper and the Design Museum in London to name but a few. With such success in hand and much more to come, it is easy to see why we can look to Front to lead the way when it comes to innovation, creativity and the future of product design.
About the Author
Alice Lewis is an arts graduate working in print and digital production. Follow her on twitter @notes_on_design and read more of her articles at alicerlewis.squarespace.com.
Images © Front design