Case Studies / Noor
RBM Noor is the result of a contemporary take on manufacturer and designer relations, rediscovering Scandinavian design in a quadruple venture between Norwegian chair producer Scandinavian Business Seating and Norwegian, Danish and Swedish design studios StokkeAustad, Grønlund Design and Form Us With Love. In the making of RBM Noor, the design teams were placed at a creative research centre located at an isolated fjord in the west of Norway. During a five day workshop they worked together with an engineer, a brand manager, a textile designer, a project manager and a Research and development manager, with no computers and only panoramic views of the sea at hand. Together, the group sketched, discussed and worked thoroughly to find the ultimate solution for a high volume contract seating solution.
“The trip to the fjord was very rewarding; we worked twelve hour days and went to bed tired but incredibly happy. It was the atmosphere that changed us, we all arrived as strangers and competitors and left as friends and co-workers”, says Form Us With Love.
Built on a molded seat with four different leg structures, RBM Noor creates more than fourteen different chair options all available to dismantle and recycle. The flexibility carefully brings the chair to a new level of usability.
The RBM Noor chair is changing manufacturing and designer relations forever, and for the better. RBM Noor is not based on the beauty notion of a single designer. What was created is a true design, emphasized by every aspect of the process. Combining multiple thoughts and ideas in every step, the design teams really want you to look at RBM Noor and think; this is really well thought out. Fascinated about the idea of community, Scandinavian Business Seating explored their own interpretation of Scandinavian identity through a creative relay race. One idea was passed on to someone else and finalized by a third member. Instead of going under the premises that all Scandinavian designers are the same, they wanted to use their experience of differences to really grasp the cultural innovations of Scandinavia today.
“If you work hard to reinvent creative structures you always reach something qualitative as long as your work is thorough. RBM Noor shows that design in business is changing. Today design can be a strategy, a process, as well as a way to explore cultural innovation”, says Kristin Ruth Amdal, design Manager at Scandinavian Business Seating. RBM Noor is an exercise exploring mobility, sustainability and Scandinavian identity, tossing the old royalty rules and investing in people, lots of them. Introducing no less than three Scandinavian design studios on one single chair, created in the realm of research, RBM Noor is the result of an impressive collection of skills.
“We see a shift in the way manufacturers work with designers. Traditionally, ideas were sent off to manufacturers and the designers got their royalties. Now we see that the manufacturer and several designers can work together during the whole process, paying everyone for their contributions. We want to be in the front-end of this shift, bringing the design much closer to the manufacturing community, learning from each other for the greater good”, says Kristin Ruth Amdal, Design Manager at Scandinavian Business Seating.
Process / Explore
Punāh is an initiative by one of India’s major manufacturing conglomerates,
Godrej and Boyce, focusing on re-thinking the use of industrial waste materials. This year, Form Us With Love was invited to Mumbai as curators, designing the first ever Punāh exhibition, shown at the London Design Festival Sept 2016.
Process / Futurise
Gottsunda is a civic concept created for a municipality of Uppsala, just to the north of Stockholm; and was part of Santa & Cole’s range.
At a glance the piece seems harsh and unfriendlRe: FUWL books 160113, mail 1 of 2.y, yet there’s a visual warmth and realism to using moulded concrete. It’s a material we’ve all seen so it gives off a familiarity and durability of course, which a piece for public areas requires.
Form Us With Love undertook a lengthy process of research, holding workshops with residents of this specific municipality—one that some might describe as an impoverish neighbourhood. And the interactions from the meetings of the inhabitants of Gottsunda became the fuel for making the bench a piece that wants people to sit, talk and discover that there’s more to folk than face value.
To make this happen, the studio set a series of heating loops within the bench, as they once did on the benches of Stockholm’s more exposed subway stations, using the warmth created as a byproduct of the cooling process of making electricity in nearby power plants.
To sit down alongside someone you don’t know and sharing a warmth instead of an uncertainty is something public architecture needs more of. Spaces that are inviting and generate a sense of shared pride and belonging should be encouraged on a wider level from those who plan such places.
Process / Concept
We went from big to small and big again. We held onto this idea of a high sofa and armchair collection. We sketched endlessly and forced through iterations, to move fast into CAD models and physical mock-ups. The idea was the design and shape be capable of creating an impact yet be comfortable and inviting. A rounded seat typically brings character. Using a straight line in this case changes everything for the worse; too hard as a silhouette.Read more
Process / Prototype
Building a box should be easy. Four sides, a top perhaps. Corners. However, as a studio, we do tend to sweat the small stuff. As a result, it took many CAD drawings to find the quality we were looking for when designing Greenhouse 2016 and its simple box-like stands for the exhibitors.Read more
Process / Qualify
IKEA – Odger
After a domestic chair for public use and a tech dining chair we dived headfirst into the realm of wood-polypropylene, initially started by product developer Åsa Hederberg back in 2014. Odger is an exciting, two-part chair—now at its very final but most important, qualifying stage.
Qualifying Odger, is the time when our hard work in collaboration with quality developers, Karin Engquist and Nikolay Pishiev, finally come to life and where no details are too small to revisit. But equally qualifying is the part of the process when we begin to enquire into the multifaceted production, in it’s actual materials with the correct surfaces and treatments. Under the qualify lens, the surface of Odger has proved both beautiful and challenging, meaning that we have to get the surface of the woodplastic as resistant as possible without jeopardising the unique appearance and tactility.
A key element of qualifying the Odger chair is also testing the intuitiveness in which legs and shell are mounted, using handles instead of screws. In order to get this assembly as close as possible to the consumer mind—new, yet well grounded—many handle prototypes have been made to reach that perfected self-explanatory goal. With rigorous quality control, seat and legs can now effortlessly be assembled with a new mechanism, a innovative Odger key/handle.
Thinking / Excursion
We asked Ben about his experience in Hong Kong and he replied, “It is what it is! In Hong Kong there is a culture of starting production and going from there. “In Europe you talk about projects that might not happen. In Hong Kong people are doing projects and hardly ever talking about them.” So, it is easier to make things here? “Yeah, everything’s just there close by. It is much easier to have a conversation with the right people and start production; talk to different manufacturers, ask around town.Read more
We were in Mitab’s factory in Tranås and were impressed by the welding robots. Marcus, who was in charge of the factory told us that they didn’t really do so much with them at that point in time. They’d been used in the past to weld shopping baskets, but there wasn’t so much demand of that anymore. Poor robots eh. No jobs anywhere. Humans coming in and taking their jobs…Read more
Thinking / Problems
You try to locate the sensors, looking for those dark coloured lenses usually placed in the stem of the faucets. But you can’t see anything! It’s ‘minimalism’. You place your hands a wide as you can, moving frantically to try to maximise the chance for a reflection to hit the sensor—it still doesn’t work.
You are patient and take a breather; since the sensor might need a few seconds. Still nothing. You realise you still have soap in your hands and begin to panic. Next, you move closer. Perhaps the sensor could not quite get the signal you were trying to prevail from a distance? Half your body is doubled under the faucet, like a large bird in a small box, which remains unresponsive. You see sense, and pull your hands away to try again rationally. Other people have washed and gone by now. Your frustration is apparent. And you’ve been staring at yourself in the mirror, soapy hands dripping, for a couple of minutes. You feel stupid. A master of nothing.
Automatic faucets have hidden lenses which are designed to look for different things, hence the confusion. Some sense how close you are, or by how much you move your hands, and others just require a really strong presence. Most of the time they are just not intuitive enough, bad design making your life difficult.
Thinking / Publications
TALLINN DESIGN FESTIVAL
Along with a fine panel of design peers, Form Us With Love was invited by Estonia Design Center to participate in the Tallinn Design Festival, with the aim to push the discourse of what design can really become—monitoring and discussing the changes in the design world.Read more
RÖHSSKA 100 YEAR
Gothenburg is renown for being one of the world’s most inventive cities and the proximity between industry, design and public is more present here than any other Swedish city. With a historic, rich and informed design collection, Röhsska Design Museum is an iconic Swedish design platform.Read more
Thinking / Mistakes
In 2009, Comforty Living invited a number of renowned European designers to compete for a contract — Andersen & Voll from Norway, Philippe Negro from France, to name a few. We were invited to Warsaw to each design a sofa. The best piece was then picked by a jury and put in production.
Comforty Living is a brand divided in two parts; Comfort Living and Com40. The later being a manufacturer of sofas for IKEA. The challenge however, was not to make an IKEA sofa but quite the opposite. Comforty Living wanted us to present ideas for a premium sofa—working to virtually no restrictions.
We took the brief very literally and began researching the boundaries of a sofa and how to go beyond it. Our solution became something closer to art than a piece of furniture. We did not win the pitch, but cherished the fact that we had enabled our creativity to run past what was commercially viable, something which designers rarely get the chance to do. That ‘behind every great product is a string of failed ones,’ is a cliché. However, in the case of the ‘sofa and beyond,’ we actually aimed to fall short, which put us much closer to the target.
Studio / About
SANKT ERIKSGATAN 106
113 31 STOCKHOLM
+46 8 218 002
Form Us With Love, is the international design studio founded in 2005. Since its conception, the studio has burned with a passion for design and its democratic potential. Its belief is that we all have a right to meaningful design.
At the studio’s core lies a process that blends traditional creative practices with a lean, strategic application. The central intention is to evolve with the needs of each project, its place in the market and the ever-changing needs of real people.
Today, the work of Form Us With Love falls into three areas: Consultancy—an engagement in products, ranges, collaborations and spaces for clients around the world, Ventures—disciplined and holistic approaches to launch and build brands, Civic—based on knowledge transfers and sharing of experiences, actively contributing to the broader spectra of design.
SANKT ERIKSGATAN 106
113 31 STOCKHOLM
+46 8 218 002
Studio / Join us
Join usDesign Assistant info
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 design but helping our collaborators to work, produce, function and think more effectively.
Periodically we open the studio to a batch of selected international applicants for an intensive period of workshops with the aim of finding one or two who’ll remain with us as interns for two times five months.
They’ll be immersed wholeheartedly into Form Us With Love, as part of our design team. It’s not uncommon that this internship develops into something more permanent, with our current team boasting many ex-interns as full-time colleagues.
We are growing, with a steady recruitment every year, the studio is now looking to further expand the team. With new projects, from both existing and new International clients—it’s time for the studio’s annual Summer Workshop.
Join the studio during a couple of days for insights into process, creative methods and client experiences, an exchange that could lead to landing a design role at the studio. Applicants must hold a BFA in Industrial Design, have a good spoken and written English and be entitled to work in Sweden. Last day to apply is October 25. For more details, Download the attached PDF.