It’s needles to explain the aesthetics of Form Us With Love, when sight and touch reveal all the answers you are looking for. In my personal opinion, they are the best representatives of contemporary Nordic design. Color and sense, functionality and esthetics, form and love; “Form Us With Love” is taking us on a journey into the past ten years with their I-X exhibition carried out at Stockholm Design Week, 2016. Here they are; FUWL.
Those that are familiar with design know who you are, and how you guys are rocking the contemporary design sector in Europe and around the world. But still, tell us how “Form Us With Love” came about with the most current definition?
We founded Form Us With Love in Kalmar; the three of us were classmates who were drawn to one another by a shared belief in design, yet we had different backgrounds and ways of working. I guess you could summarize us as a talented artist, quick-witted entrepreneur and silver-tongued tactician.
We were young and ambitious. Instead of waiting around for the brands to come to us, we were the ones initiating the conversations.
There are still people who mispronounce your name. I want to underline this; its called “Form Us With Love,” not “from.” I’m sure you’ve explained it many times. Could you tell us the story behind this little trick on words and it’s connection to your works?
“FORM US” is linked to our approach, where we encourage our clients to form us with their knowledge. WITH LOVE is linked to our promise, where we always work with people and projects we love.
Can you tell us about your design process? What is your method?
We have a dynamic practice that allows us to tackle projects differently depending on their scope and constraint. Though we have developed a process that acts as our guideline to move forward with each project but by no means constricts us. Sometimes good design happens when you dare to break the rules.
We can summarize our process as follows:
- Explore – people’s behaviors, existing things, what others think from many angles, and our gut feeling.
- Futurise – what kind of contribution do we want to make by introducing a new product to the market?
- Concept – this is where we first get an understanding of what our design might be like.
- Prototype – iteration of simple mock-ups both handmade and computer aided to see where to improve the design concept.
- Qualify – to see if the product is good in all aspects from manufacturing to aesthetics and utility.
Sometimes good design happens when you dare to break the rules.
Some would say, the Nordic design has a unique language; simplicity blended with functionality. How does being Swedish impact your work?
It has an impact on how we approach building a studio. We have a great culture of sharing ideas and creating a discourse around design at our studio. We are not simply executing the design of an auteur designer but working to a common vision, “design real change.”
It seems there are two camps of Scandinavian design right now. One is concerned more with the aesthetic qualities of the design by changing color, materials, and shape. The other is concerned with people’s behaviors and arriving at simple design solutions for everyday use. The ladder is what we do and it is this simplicity, this low-tech approach to design that we attribute to Swedish culture and Scandinavia. We are more interested in designs that people use. We aren’t striving to make expensive home decor.
FUWL hosted “I-X” exhibition as a celebration of its 10 years of work during Stockholm Design week. Can you tell us about it?
We celebrated I—X at The National Academy of Fine Arts in order to take a moment, look back, and reflect on our work and studio over the past ten years. If anything, it became a tool for us to see where we are headed. From now on, we are completely looking forward. We are also looking into starting new ventures like TID Watches and Baux, which have been a part of our story for over the past ten years.
I also want to introduce BAUX to our readers. Can you tell us about this “joint ventures” and projects for BAUX?
We co-founded BAUX back in 2014. What we did was quite simple but it had never been done before within the industry. We re-invent the aesthetics of a function-heavy, Swedish-made building material called Träulit. It has been around for a long time, made of wood fibers, cement, and water, boasting many beneficial properties like flame retardant, rot resistance with great acoustics. Its visual appeal however left something to be desired.
We strategically created a range of tiles that vary in size, shape and color that give builders and architects a creative opportunity to add acoustic paneling to a space that is also beautiful.
Its success has seen BAUX exporting to over 30 countries worldwide and the company has now tripled its revenue only ending its second year in business.
Tell us about your latest work “Nest Collection” for Danish brand +Halle.
+Halle is driven to create furniture for all the spaces in between work and home. Mostly, their product range is built up of stand-alone furniture pieces that exemplify their upholstery craftsmanship and are beacons in public spaces. Yet, like in architecture, the fabric of a city is not simply made up of its monuments but of all the buildings.
By designing the Nest Collection we introduced a new seating typology to public spaces. Our ideas of different height layers led, as they often do, into deeper research. We analyzed the activities and behaviors of public spaces, and the upholstered furniture vs. bar stool seating scenario, which led us to the question; what happens when you merge a life guard chair with the comfort and security of an SUV?
The collection comprises both high and low seating for single or double use. What you get in a cafe or lounge area is a cityscape of high and low, wide and narrow furniture that offers more to people. When you sit in a Low Nest club chair or a High Nest sofa it is relaxing with a view.
We would like to know more about your team. What kind of studio environment do you have?
We’re blessed with a vibrant office culture, with co-workers from around the globe. Hands-on individuals who share our common goal of not only producing relevant, beautiful designs, but helping our collaborators to work, produce, function and think more effectively. Our team is currently made up of eight strong individuals, all with a design background with different experiences.
FUWL collaborated with many companies such as IKEA, Cappellini, De Padova to name a few. What is next for Form Us With Love?
Expect to see us applying our approach to new ventures and exciting product areas.