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Surreal Furniture That Borders On Art, From Front

The Swedish trio show off their range and versatility with their latest for Design Week in Milan.

During 2012’s Design Week in Milan, the trio behind Swedish studio Front debuted one of the more ephemeral fixtures we’ve seen in a while–their Surface Tension Lamp was little more than an LED and a series of 3 million real-life bubble “shades,” blown and popped in satisfyingly slow succession.

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For this year’s festivities, the gals are showing a series of new work that’s as stylistically diverse as it is decidedly physical–starting with Anomaly, a series of ottoman-esque seats for Moroso. They represent an interesting departure for the Italian brand, with a collection that has, of late, been defined by bright colors, bold prints, and more angular geometries, whereas these–well, these rounded forms evoke a super strange visceral reaction. Discomfort? Intrigue? The leather-covered forms resemble something along the lines of headless, hairless cats, overstuffed and stuck in a living space like some kind of strange–and strangely functional–taxidermied trophy, equal parts gross and engaging.


It’s a testament to Front’s versatility that this is so different from the rest of their latest oeuvre. The Doodle Table, also for Moroso, appears as if a sketchpad grew legs and stood on the strength of its abstract illustrations; in reality, the birch pieces bring to life scribbles made by the Front ladies during meetings, which were then transferred and burned into the plywood. 3Table, for Porro, unites three distinct surfaces together to form a modular, rearrangeable unit; one of the pieces even detaches for use as a tray.

The pair of lighting fixtures evoke quite varied moods: Cheery, for the counterweighted Mobile Lamp (see the first image in the above slideshow), which can subtly shape-shift in response to a soft touch, and dreamy in the case of Fog for Zero (slide 8). The perfectly round, frosted glass bulb is meant to mirror illumination in the midst of a misty night, but also manages to take on the appearance of the dark side of the moon–extra eerie if you imagine it casting shine and shadows over a few of those Anomalies.

(h/t David Report)