Petal-shaped mobiles balance above GamFratesi's
lounge at Stockholm Furniture Fair

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Stockholm 2014: as Guest of Honour at Stockholm Furniture Fair, design duo GamFratesi has installed petal-shaped mobiles above the lounge area at this year's exhibition.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Concept sketch of the installation

Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi decided on a theme of balance for their installation at the annual showcase of Nordic design.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile hanging in GamFratesi's studio

"We've been working on this idea of balance," Fratesi told Dezeen. "We've been researching it for a while and it is something that is really difficult to achieve."

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile hanging in GamFratesi's studio

They designed a collection of mobiles to hang above and among the lounge area in the entrance hall of the Stockholmsmässan exhibition centre.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile hanging in GamFratesi's studio

"These hanging elements were really interesting to us, something that was moving slowly," said Fratesi.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile hanging in GamFratesi's studio

The pair referenced the work of twentieth-century American sculptor Alexander Calder for this project.

Alexander Calder's Maripose mobile, 1960
Alexander Calder's Maripose mobile, 1960

"We wanted to bring the feeling behind the artist to furniture in a very industrial way," Fratesi explained. "We were analysing these mobiles and could see that they were very crafted, very thin and hand bent."

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile prototype

They spent a long time experimenting with the size and shape of the panels to get them to hang in equilibrium.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile prototype

"We found that they were so sensitive to any kind of changes," said Gam. "As soon as you change a milligram or a centimetre on one piece, the whole thing becomes completely unbalanced."

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile prototype

The petals were upholstered in a palette of red and blue shades, all with greyish tones. Fabric produced by Danish company Kvadrat was heat-pressed over recycled felt, which acts as a sound absorber.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Mobile prototype

Combinations of three, four and five of petal-shaped elements are hung from black metal rods, attached together with small flexible joints.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Fabric patterns and samples

The mobiles are suspended on thin wires above an open lounge area, arranged around a central white block. GamFratesi wanted to create an open space rather than a closed environment.

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Paper model of a mobile

"In the beginning, we thought we'd close everything to make an intimate space where people could relax," said Fratesi. "But then we thought this was dishonest. People are moving around, so why don't we emphasise this feeling in the space."

Balance installation by GamFratesi
Concept sketch of a mobile

The lounge area is furnished with sofas, dinning tables and chairs plus other designs the duo have created during their career, including the Rewrite desk with a cave-like shield on top.

Petal-shaped mobiles for GamFratesi Guest of Honour installation at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2014

A series of embossed paper displaying the same shapes as the petals are mounted on the central walls.

Petal-shaped mobiles for GamFratesi Guest of Honour installation at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2014

Originally from Denmark and Italy respectively, Gam and Fratesi set up their studio in Copenhagen in 2006. They presented some of their first work in the Greenhouse section of the fair for young designers in 2007.

Petal-shaped mobiles for GamFratesi Guest of Honour installation at Stockholm Furniture Fair 2014

Stockholm Furniture Fair is open until Saturday and the installation will remain in place for the duration of the exhibition.