The work of Swedish design studio Front, a duo that includes Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren, is both fun and intriguing. The Stockholm-based designers work across furniture, products, interiors and installation design, and often communicate a story about the making process, or the material they have chosen. This gives us an intimate, inside view of the design process and that in part is what makes it so popular. On top of that they are just solidly good designers.
In the hands of Sofia and Anna, experimenting with the way a chair is made, for example, gains new expression. Over their career they have assigned part of the making process for projects to animals, computers and machines, creating objects with explosions, robotics and a range of furniture pieces inspired by their fascination with magic. Their work is keenly followed and can be found in collections at MoMA, the Victoria & Albert Museum, M+, Nationalmuseum, the Vitra Design Museum and the Centre Pompidou.
Recently collaborating with the traditions of timber and cane with Austrian furniture maker Gebrüder Thonet Vienna (GTV), Chair N.0 inspired Front to look back at the classic Chair N.14, one of the world’s most famous café chairs. Under the guidance of Front, No.14 is reimagined with a generous round back, a circle that supports the legs and one circular armrest. A further twist on the classic woven cane is the use of mesh, made possible by a new technology at GTV and presented for the first time by the group.
True to the design philosophy at Front, Chair N.O is process-driven and a new take on the simple forms, proportions and materiality of the bent beech wood design technology developed by GTV back in 1819 – with a lovely eccentricity in the final touch, the option of a single elegant armrest.