The four members of Front Design, Anna Lindgren, Katja Sävström, Sofia Lagerkvist, and Charlotte von der Lancken, design objects, furniture design and interiors that explore the process of making and question the conventional role of the designer. In this series, they truly embrace the sketches as a concept of creating real furniture.
The “Design by” series, exhibited in Milan in 2004, marked the beginning of this self-referential study. Rather than presiding over the formal process as ‘creator’, Front illustrates an impersonal approach to design, in which random factors intervene to determine formal results.
In 2004, Front designed the interior of the Tensta Kunsthall art gallery in Stockholm. Their design allows and encourages visitors to affect changes to the gallery’s environment. Feet wear away the painted floor in patterns, exposing a secondary color beneath the topcoat; plastic chairs are available for different seating groups and can be rearranged by guests at will; thousands of plastic hooks display visitor’s coats and hats as an ever-changing wall display. These changes are gradual, so that every time you visit, something looks different.
In their most recent work, Front Design transforms sketches of tables, lamps, and chairs into physical objects. Designs are recorded by motion-capture technology which digitally records the movements of an electronic “pen” onto a three-dimensional file.
These drawings are materialized through a process called laser sintering, whereby a laser beams ultraviolet light into a bath of liquid plastic, mimicking the artists’ motion and solidifying the plastic in the path of the beam. The resulting hard plastic forms are coated in white lacquer. Rapid prototyping technology was originally developed to make precise copies of human bones and has been co-opted by the film industry for three-dimensional animation, making recent computer-generated movies like Shrek possible. Front’s adaptation of this technology serves to eliminate the conventional design processes of “making.” Their “Materialized Sketches” transform ideas into objects in just one step.