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  • Exhibited

    ‘The European Design Show’, Design Museum, London, 2005; ‘Sketch Furniture by Front’, Tokyo Wonder Site, 31 October–5 November 2006; ‘Design and the Elastic Mind’, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 24 February–12 May 2008; ‘Rococo: The Continuing Curve,1730-2008’, Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, New York, 7 March–6 July 2008

  • Literature

    Johanna Lenander, 'Sketch Troop', Surface, Spring 2006, p. 116; Todd Jatras, 'Scribble Me This', Wired, May 2006, p. 78; Guy Trebay, 'In Search of a Sofa To Go Under the Schnabel', The New York Times, 8 December 2006; Marc Romanelli, 'Sketch Furniture', Abitare, February 2007, front cover and pp. 92-95; &Fork, New York, 2007, pp. 150-151; Yasaku, Imamura, Sketch Furniture by Front, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2008, p. 67; Paola Antonelli, et al, eds., Design and the Elastic Mind, exh. cat., The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2008, p. 67; Sarah D. Coffin, et al, eds., Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730-2008, exh. cat., Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, New York, 2008, p. 237

  • Catalogue Essay

    Front, a Swedish collective, has had a busy year. Their 'Sketch Chair' (2005) appeared this spring in two compelling museum exhibitions: the Museum of Modern Art’s 'Design and the Elastic Mind', a broad survey of experimental contemporary design, and the Cooper-Hewitt’s 'Rococo: The Continuing Curve, 1730-2008', a celebration of period rococo, its revivals, and its ongoing influence. 'Sketch Chair' is noteworthy for its inclusion in these disparate shows, one devoted to invention and the present, the other to derivation and the past. The chair’s proliferation of loops and curves recalls the convolutions of rococo, a style unapologetic in its appeal to surface decoration and exuberance. But its construction, a combination of motion-capture technology and stereolithography, is the result of rigorous innovation. “We’re constantly searching for knowledge,” says Sofia Lagerkvist, one of Front’s four members, all of whom met at Stockholm’s Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts, and Design. This unflagging impulse to question, to explore, and to realize advanced concepts places the group at the vanguard, in keeping with their name.
     
    First exhibited at Design Miami/2005, Front’s 'Sketch Furniture' is a limited edition series comprising a chair, table, sofa, and floor lamp. Using motion capture sensors, or ‘pens’, Front drew free-hand sketches of these pieces in air. They mapped the animation data of their strokes as 3D models, a technique commonly used in the film industry. A computer-controlled UV laser read the digital files and sintered the furniture, layer by layer, from a vat of UV-curable liquid thermoplastic. The process was a wholly original application of two pre-existing technologies. Lagerkvist says, “In a sense the pieces were made by hand, but no one has ever touched them.” The robust lines of 'Sketch Chair' might be defined as gesture without gesture. This surprising alliance between hand and computer demonstrates a keen understanding of connection versus disconnection, a fundamental contradiction of contemporary life.
     
    Front's 'Sketch Furniture' is held in the Permanent Collection of The Montreal Museum of Fine Art.  In 2007 Front Design was awarded the 'Designer of the Future' award at Art Basel/Design Miami.

107

Prototype ‘Sketch Chair’

2005
Expoxy resin.
76.8 cm. (30 1/4 in.) high
Produced for Friedman Benda, USA in conjunction with Front Design, Sweden, from the Sketch Furniture series.  Prototype from an edition of three; and two prototypes. 

Estimate
£20,000 - 30,000 ‡ ♠

Sold for £25,000

Design

25 Sept 2008, 2pm
London