Materialized Sketch of a Chandelier, 2005
Thermoplastic powder
33.9 x 31.1 x 27.68 inches
86.1 x 79 x 70.3 cm

Anna Lindgren, Katja Sävström, Sofia Lagerkvist, and Charlotte von der Lancken for Front Design. Established 2003

The four members of Front Design, Anna Lindgren, Katja Sävström, Sofia Lagerkvist, and Charlotte von der Lancken, design objects, furniture and interiors that explore the process of making and question the conventional role of the designer. 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. Their "Design by Rats" wallpaper, for example, is determined by the amorphic shapes and voids left on a roll of plain white paper that was gnawed by rats. When this new, white wallpaper is applied on top of old wallpaper or a colored wall, it is the series of voids that produces the pattern, revealing old motifs and colors through the holes.

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.

This conceptual approach to design is akin to recent Dutch design trends, particularly that of the Droog Design collaborative in Holland. This past September, Front presented a solo exhibition of their work at the Droog Gallery in Amsterdam.

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.



Download Artist's CV
May 4 - June 10, 2017
Friedman Benda, New York, NY
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Art News
December, 2008
The Soul in the New Machines
The New York Times
February 22, 2008
Animal Attraction
Men's Vogue,
July, 2007
Story Of: Sketch Furniture
March, 2007