VESTRE LAUNCHES NEW DESIGN COLLABORATION WITH THE SWEDISH DESIGN STUDIO FRONT
During the Stockholm Design Week 2019, the outdoor furniture design company Vestre presented a new design collaboration with the Swedish design studio Front. With a vision to create a timeless, long lasting series of outdoor furniture for urban and close-to-nature environments, Folk was created – a wide-ranging and flexible series of outdoor furniture consisting of park benches in various designs, litter bins and bicycle parking racks.
In Nordic cities and towns, such amenities are found everywhere, often becoming a natural part of the park or sidewalk. The collaboration between Vestre and Front began with a discussion about the importance and benefits of public spaces, and above all the function of seating in urban environments. The park bench is a gathering spot for people who live in the city. It is where they get together to drink coffee in the sun, as well as a place to stop and rest when carrying heavy bags, or while on a long walk or run. The Folk series was created taking all this into consideration.
"We started looking at all the outdoor furniture we encountered on our travels and various other references – analysing all the different kinds was inspiring. Vestre’s furniture is high quality, with long lifecycles. So, we quite quickly came to the decision to create a classic and timeless series, perfect for today and tomorrow, and for urban and close-to-nature environments", says Sofia Lagerkvist, co-founder and designer at Front.
Vestre is often characterised by wood and steel furniture in bright colours. Front wanted to create a series that would complement Vestre’s otherwise modern and at times futuristic form.
Drawing inspiration from the iconic green park bench found all over Stockholm – a bench that doesn’t take over but rather blends in with, complements, and becomes a natural part of its surroundings, regardless if you are in an urban space or out in nature.
"The design concept sprouted from the idea that the wood should hang free in the metal form, keeping the load points down to two. Visually, the bench consists of two different materials and three simple elements" says Sofia Lagerkvist.
The new series Folk is, as a standard, produced in Swedish pine and aluminium. The pine is treated with linseed oil, growing more silver grey and beautiful over time. The light, sculptural design of the bench is characterised by a central arch in aluminium, on which the wooden seat rests, and by the soft forms of the curved arch and rounded wooden seat. The series is designed for all kinds of weather, which, among other elements, is reflected in the split seat through which rainwater can run off. The aluminium used in Folk is produced with 100% renewable energy from the Nordic energy company Vattenfall.
Aluminium is the eco-friendly metal. It’s light, robust, and beautiful and can be recycled an infinite number of times. Melting aluminium requires just 5% of the energy needed to produce new aluminium, says Jan Christian Vestre, CEO of Vestre.
The Folk series of outdoor furniture consists of a litter bin in two designs, a bench with and without a back rest, as well as a bicycle parking rack. Unlike older park benches, Folk is designed with two legs instead of four, facilitating assembly onsite, as it only has two casting points.
Its form is also an advantage when it comes to park maintenance, as ploughs and lawn mowers can pass close by without a problem. The park bench also has a high armrest, making it easy for users to grip, stand up and sit down. Over time, the series will be further developed and expanded.
Designing for Vestre, a company that produces long lasting products, is a fun and exciting commission. We are delighted that we came up with the Folk series, which we believe and hope will be enjoyed by several generations in our parks and urban spaces. It’s interesting for us to develop furniture for our shared urban environment. Furniture for everywhere and everyone. A piece of furniture that will become a part of everyone’s day-to-day life and create places in the city and nature where people can come together and just be,” concludes Anna Lindgren
Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren are the members of the Swedish design studio Front. Their works are based on common discussions, explorations and experiments and they collaborate in all projects from initial ideas to the final product.
Front’s design objects often communicate a story to the observer about the design process, about the material it is made of or about conventions within the design field. In their work they have assigned part of the making of design to animals, computers or machines. They have made a constantly changing interior, created objects with explosions, robotic furniture and a range of furniture inspired by their fascination with magic.