Design by Nature

Lada 2
Smålands Konstarkiv
The picture shows the exhibition Design by Nature by Front.
In science, it is well known that staying in nature has positive effects on well-being, memory and creativity. Front explores how the experiences offered by nature can accompany us into the environments where we spend the most time: into our homes and workplaces.

The Bruno Mathsson Prize of 2023 is awarded to Front, one of Sweden’s most established design studios internationally. Front, run by Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren, has an approach steered by fascination and wonder. They engage in the design process by digging into other disciplines and areas without a fixed goal. Investigation and experiment is central to their practice, which the finished objects reveal in the stories they bear.

Design by Nature is a self-initiated project in which Front over several years, has documented places in nature and investigated the creativity of the natural world. The documentation has been carried out by 3D scanning of lakes, forests, rocks, animal foot prints, dens, moss and plants. The aim is to study and reproduce the impressions, patterns and shapes of nature.

An important aspect of Design by Nature has been to investigate nature’s therapeutic qualities in relation to humans. Within science, it is now recognised that spending time in nature has positive effects on wellbeing, memory and creativity. Front wishes to investigate how the experiences that nature provides can be taken in to the spaces where we spend the most time, for example our homes and work places. Another area within the project is how our movement patterns change when we are in natural surroundings. We allow ourselves to sit, jump, climb and run in a way we would not in an indoor environment.

These investigations take physical form in the exhibition via a series of innovative objects and furniture. These are produced through a combination of traditional craft such a weaving, tufting, embroidery and plant dying, combined with new techniques such as digitally woven tapestries. We encounter these investigations through textiles and furniture for sitting on, and through other experimental objects. At the far end of the exhibition hall, is an installation, which through sound and image brings the experience of nature into the room.

The design studio Front is run by Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren. They were both educated at the University of Arts, Crafts and Design, Stockholm and are today based in Stockholm. Front received the Bruno Mathsson Award 2023, which is the largest design award in the Nordic countries. Parts of the exhibition was produced in collaboration with the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2023 where Front was Guest of Honour.

Thanks to: Wärenstams foundation, Estrid Ericson foundation, Bruno Mathsson Foundation, Swedish Arts Grants Committee, Swedish Arts Council, Region Jönköping, Värnamo Municipality, Vandalorum Partners: Hamrin, Liljedahl, Svenstig

Photo: Patrik Lindell

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