Front will receive the award at Design Miami/ Basel in Switzerland next month, where they will also present prototypes of a new collection.
This year, the Design Miami/ Basel fair adopts the theme of Performance/Process, with designers including Front and others taking part in performances during the fair.
Last year's inaugural Designer of the Future Award was won by British furniture brand Established & Sons.
A full press release follows:
Design Miami/ Basel Announces Swedish Design Group FRONT as the Recipient of its 2007 Designer of the Future Award
FRONT to debut new collection commissioned for Design Miami/ Basel at Design Miami/ Basel - Basel, Switzerland, June 12 – 16, 2007
Miami, FL, and Basel, Switzerland May 7, 2007 - Design Miami/, the most prominent and substantive forum for international design, has named Swedish design collective FRONT its 2007 Designer of the Future. In recognition of the award, FRONT will present an on-site installation of their cutting-edge work that will feature prototypes of a new collection, Magical, commissioned exclusively for Design Miami/ Basel. As this year’s Designer of the Future, FRONT will be interviewed by Li Edelkoort for the Design Miami/ Basel Design Talk series on June 15th at 3 pm.
Each year in Basel, Design Miami/ recognizes an emerging designer who broadens our understanding of design by innovating new technologies, inventing new object-types, developing new approaches to the creative process or advancing new design philosophies. This year’s recipient, FRONT, is a remarkable design group of four women—Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren and Katja Sävström—whose highly original oeuvre has made a significant contribution in each of these areas.
From initial concept to final product FRONT challenges traditional conventions of design with idea-driven work that powerfully reinterprets everyday objects. The collaborative process of four unique personalities consistently yields extraordinarily imaginative results, at once playful and thought provoking, that actively engage the user at a high level.
For Design Miami/ Basel, FRONT has created three new pieces—a chest of drawers, a chair, and a lamp—that seem to disappear, defy gravity and light up without a bulb. Each piece in the Magical collection is designed to entice the visitor to explore, touch and experience the work in order to find out “how is it possible?"
“Inspired by nature and endowed by a rich fantasy, FRONT’s use of latest technologies contains a persuasive potential for the future. With their designs, they present a fresh and exciting outlook on our daily world," said Alexander von Vegesack, Director of Vitra Design Museum.
In a culture of cutting-edge creation where seemingly impossible forms take seamless shape, FRONT makes the design process come alive. For their now iconic Sketch Furniture series, FRONT used Motion Capture Technology to develop a digital means of materializing free hand sketches. Drawings in the air with light pens are turned into lamps, tables, and chairs.
In both the video of their performance and the lasting trace of their hand in the new furniture forms, their entire process is revealed. In an early series, Design by Animals, FRONT explores the role of the designer and the production process by using animals to give form to their ideas. The motion-captured trajectory of a fly buzzing around a lamp becomes the lampshade itself. Rats let loose on rolled up wallpaper gnaw repetitive patterns onto the final design. As with much of their work, simple sketches or random animal markings are transformed into an expressive design narrative.
150 major designers were asked to submit candidates for the second annual Designer of the Future Award. The Selection Committee, made up of influential members of the international design community, chose FRONT from the top 7 candidates. The Designer of the Future Award complements the Designer of the Year award given at Design Miami/ in December. The award gives the recipient the unique opportunity to exhibit alongside the most reputable designers and design galleries in the world – giving them high visibility and immediate access to the most influential members of the international design community.
The Designer of the Future Selection Committee includes: Marc Benda, Director of Friedman Benda; Barbara Bloemink, Curatorial Director, Museum of Arts & Design; Louise-Anne Comeau & Geoff Monge, Owners, Atelier Idee; Nasir & Nargis Kassamali, Owners, Luminaire; Didier & Clemence Krzentowski, Owners, Galerie Kreo; Pearl Lam, Owner, Contrasts Gallery; Murray Moss & Franklin Getchell, Owners, Moss; Terry Riley, Director, Miami Art Museum; and Alexander von Vegesack, Director, Vitra Design Museum.
Design Miami/ Basel will take place in the Markthalle, Viaduktstrasse 10, Basel, Switzerland. The Markthalle is the third largest dome in Europe and a local landmark with almost 6,000 m2 of floor space. Regular show hours will be from 10am to 4pm Tuesday, June 12 through Saturday, June 16. Invitation only events will occur during the evening hours.
Front is a design group of four—Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken, Anna Lindgren and Katja Sävström—who have collaborated since meeting as students at the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and design in Stockholm. They work together as a group where all members are involved in the design process from initial discussions and ideas to final product. Their works are based on common discussions, exploring and investigations about different topics.
The final products often communicate a story to the observer about the design process, about conventions within the product field or about the material itself. Since the group formed in 2003 they have done a collection of furniture in collaboration with different animals, a collection of products where a part of the design was determined by external factors, a constantly changing interior, an investigation about the other functions of products and products that only exist in a computer game.
About Design Miami/
Design Miami/ is the most prominent and substantive forum for international design, representing a convergence of commerce and culture. Its annual shows in Basel, Switzerland (June) and Miami, USA (December) bring together the most influential designers, collectors, dealers, curators and critics from around the world. HSBC Private Bank is the Principal Sponsor of both 2007 Design Miami/ shows (Basel and Miami). For more information please visit www.designmiami.com.