Case Studies / Visit Sweden
VISIT SWEDEN 2014
VisitSweden is an organisation engaged in the proactive promotion of Sweden. And its work in Milan during the furniture festival has steadily become more pivotal. In 2014, together with two more of Sweden’s most active promotors (Svensk Form and Business Sweden), Visit Sweden arrived at Form Us With Love on the eve of its Milan show. The task was to fill its ‘blank canvas’ space on a limited budget and even tighter timeframe.
Designing for ‘Milan’ has its own specific set of constraints. There’s a limitation on availability of skilled workers for an installation’s ‘get-in’, locations are always restricted logistically and with regards to facilities. Plus the actual shipping of product and exhibition elements shows Sweden as still being a very isolated place in the physical landscape of Europe.
Form Us With Love recognises Milan as a place of discovery though—yet one where discovery should, in the right context, lead to business. A stipulation from all the exhibition’s stakeholders; wherever possible a business exchange could occur. The installation, Swedish Love Goes Milan—In Real Life, was a simplistic modular affair; inspired by the flooring in Milan’s Art Nouveau palace. Diagonal construction for easy assembly and flat-packable.
Aside from its coverage in conventional and less-traditional design press channels; Swedish Design Goes Milan—In Real Life fulfilled its primary directive. Business was brisk.
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.
In an era where technological farsightedness has become a new measurement for success, very few unexpected design attributes have entered the hardware scene in the last decade. This spring, Form Us With Love set out to explore the realm of technology and it did not take long before all tables in the studio where filled with objects on review, along with the designers most precious everyday staples.Read more
Process / Futurise
The future designer is one whose work is aimed at change. It’s not a choice, given the state of our planet and how we as people have instigated its spiralling decline. In part designers are to blame of course, as is anyone who’s contributed to the act of consume and discard.
As a result, today’s design has a civic duty to perform. A duty Form Us With Love acknowledges freely. And civic work is an act we know needs doing. Greenhouse became an investigation into how Form Us With Love can change a relatively traditional environment in the context of the design fair. How can the environment of a show become a place that draws a visitor for more reasons than design eye candy alone? The studio sat and went through a variety of solutions to bring a real value to both visitor and participant. Interventions that initiate rather than suppress dialogue.
The Greenhouse space should be a place where established meets new on a level playing field, where a conversation about design as an industry goes two ways. And is reciprocal from both sides. It’s necessary to introduce designers to the world of ‘design as a business’ early in their fledgling careers. The aim was for Greenhouse 2016 to be a place that plays an active part in participants’ future careers—meeting and learning, showing and telling but also listening and questioning.
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
Qualifying the success of Stockholm Furniture & Light Fair’s 2016 Greenhouse is ambiguous. As it’s not like anything else that’s been before it.
Yes, the participants have a place to show their work that doesn’t take away from the work itself. Yes, there is a sense that this is more of a unified concept from the perspective of the participating designers — they’re a part of a collective. And, yes, the cafe is present as is the capture UNG Svensk Form show.
But the statistical element? Does the Millennial respond to numbers, fractions and percentages if they cannot flick through them at their own pace? Will the established design glitterati feel that they can contribute within this new meeting place? And is there safety in numbers — does the participant prefer being overwhelmed by a comedic installation full of garish colour and wacky design typography?
The views of Form Us With Love, in this particular case, don’t matter. The installation is never predictable as an environment and critique is ever present in any design fair. But, this time, if that critique is constructive and geared towards progressing the ideas and, potentially, the careers of these young designers then that’s enough. Because Greenhouse should be that place.
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.