Swedish design duo Front realise their fantasies by creating design objects that are often surprising and somewhat irritating at first sight.

Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren of Front - Photo © Architonic

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren of Front - Photo © Architonic

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Architonic met Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren at the Stockholm Furniture and Light Fair 2016 to find out more about their passion for experimenting with different materials and discovering new technologies.

Which material would you choose if you had to restrict yourselves to working with just one for the next three years?

Anna Lindgren: I think it is interesting to find materials that are sort of outside the classic design world. But we also like to push the limits of a material that is already quite known – wood or ceramics for example. Most of our design projects are technology- and material-driven. We always look for new materials and we like to experiment and combine different techniques. When you put together knowledge of different professions, you can achieve greater things.

Sofia Lagerkvist: We try to come up with a rather surprising, unexpected solution. It does not necessarily have to be a new technology, but it could also be new characteristics within the material that we already know. A good example is the glass loudspeaker that is shaped like a crystal vase.

Glass Loudspeakers, 2013

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Glass Loudspeakers, 2013

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Anna: It is more than 10 years ago that we did the sketch furniture. We have developed a method to materialise free hand sketches. Pen strokes, drawn in air, were recorded with Motion capture. The 3D digital files became then real pieces of furniture through rapid prototyping. This method is still very interesting for us and is becoming more and more advanced. You can now print in metal, ceramics, plastic, etc.

Surface Tension Lamp for Booo (Limited Edition), 2012

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Surface Tension Lamp for Booo (Limited Edition), 2012

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With the Surface Tension Lamp for Dutch design company Booo, the aim was to create a constantly changing lamp that combines the most ephemeral of lampshades with an LED light source. In the time it takes the LED to burn out, the lamp will have had 3 million different globe shades.

Plane lamps for ZERO, 2016

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Plane lamps for ZERO, 2016

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Transparency and sharpness characterise the Plane lamps for Scandinavian lighting company Zero. Both the pendant and the floor version has a simple construction of thin metal wires in a structural grid crowned by a flat light source. Turned off it is completely transparent, that spreads a pleasant light half-up, half-down.

Table designed by pressure, using branches under high pressure (Limited Edition), 2011

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Table designed by pressure, using branches under high pressure (Limited Edition), 2011

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Is there any material that you could immediately reject?

Anna: I was going to say food, but we actually made an ice-cream. If the production technique is not environmental friendly or is unhealthy, then we won’t use the resulting material.

Green Pedestals for OFFECCT, 2011

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Green Pedestals for OFFECCT, 2011

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Sofia: One thing that crossed my mind that we are eager to look into more is creating new kinds of materials via biological processes, for example through bacteria or growing microbes – materials that come from somewhere completely different. Sometimes the process is more important than the actual material. Also textile is a very interesting field where a lot of research is happening. Today there are textiles made from bacteria.

Chain saw chair - made of a solid piece of wood (Limited Edition), 2009

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Chain saw chair - made of a solid piece of wood (Limited Edition), 2009

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Soft Wood Sofa for Moroso, 2010

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Soft Wood Sofa for Moroso, 2010

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Soft psychedelic illusions: Two primitive, rough pine planks confuse the senses and alter the perception. The wood is soft and merely the effect of a super realistic digital photo print. Beneath the cover is no-distortion, different density foam, while the frame is in real wood and the legs are in pine plywood.

Inlay Cupboard for Porro, 2011

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Inlay Cupboard for Porro, 2011

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Doodle Sofa for Moroso, 2012

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Doodle Sofa for Moroso, 2012

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Eco Wallpaper’s new Front collection consists of nine wallpapers with sketched patterns and shadows against a white surface to create an illusion of depth and structure. The depth-effect wallpaper design of overlapping squares (image below) originates from sheets of paper pinned together on a wall.

Squares for Eco Wallpaper, 2016

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Squares for Eco Wallpaper, 2016

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Scribble rugs for moooi, 2015

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Scribble rugs for moooi, 2015

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Making Process of Sketch furniture

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Making Process of Sketch furniture

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Sketch Furniture Collection (Rapid Prototyping) for Friedman Benda Gallery, 2006

Material Tendencies: Front | Nouveautés

Sketch Furniture Collection (Rapid Prototyping) for Friedman Benda Gallery, 2006

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