words Kieran Long
Rising Swedish design outfit Front has completed its first interior, for an art gallery in Stockholm.
Front’s product design work uses processes beyond the control of the designer, such as their wallpaper that has been gnawed at by rats. This project, for the respected Tensta Konsthall gallery in a suburb of the Swedish capital, takes the approach a stage further, with an interior that is slightly altered by every visitor.
Front painted the gallery floors gold and then repainted them with the same grey they had been before. Over time, as people move around the gallery, the grey layer rubs off, leaving golden paths on the floor. Other aspects of Front’s project encourage the visitor to intervene more directly. The cloakroom, for example, is a wall of plastic self-adhesive hooks. Visitors can choose to use an existing hook, or put up another one themselves, creating a field that becomes more like a material covering the wall than a collection of individual pieces.
The designers have created a tension between permanence and decay with their “3D wallpaper”: unlike the degrading surfaces elsewhere, the walls are hung with silk and plastic flowers. Similarly, the chandelier is made from shredded strips of the gallery’s exhibition posters.
Front also transformed the gallery’s car park, painting white stripes on the ground and adding hundreds of cheap plastic garden chairs. Front partner Katja Saüvstroüm said: “They are the most common chair in the world – they have no known designer and cost only €2. The chairs are free to take so they will spread out in the area as a reminder of the gallery.”