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Swedish Designer Focus: Monica Förster

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Monica Förster takes a hands-on approach to furniture design. In her Stockholm studio, she whips up a flurry of tiny paper models—”3-D sketches”—that rival their full-scale progeny for beauty and craftsmanship. “The computer is a tool; I can’t do without it. But the nice thing about making models is that in the process of doing, I’m more open to mistakes—maybe I put the tape in a way that I don’t intend, but it shows a new possibility. In a computer everything is perfect. When I make models, it’s intuitive and rough: I take a flat piece of paper, I cut it, I tape it. It’s very quick. I find it very refreshing,” says Förster.

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  Swedish designer Monica Monica Förster stands in her Stockholm studio.  Photo by: Felix Odell
    Swedish designer Monica Monica Förster stands in her Stockholm studio.

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  Förster’s studio is in a turn-of-the-century building that used to be a porn shop. Taking over the space, she says, was “a feminist action.”  Photo by: Felix Odell
    Förster’s studio is in a turn-of-the-century building that used to be a porn shop. Taking over the space, she says, was “a feminist action.”

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  Although Förster favors paper, she occasionally makes models out of fabric, including this foot-long, 2.9-inch-tall Grand sofa. “I wanted it to have an improvised feeling, very casual and sexy looking,” she says.  Photo by: Felix Odell
    Although Förster favors paper, she occasionally makes models out of fabric, including this foot-long, 2.9-inch-tall Grand sofa. “I wanted it to have an improvised feeling, very casual and sexy looking,” she says.

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  The Vika chair was inspired by the braided rivers of far northern Sweden, where Förster grew up.  Photo by: Felix Odell
    The Vika chair was inspired by the braided rivers of far northern Sweden, where Förster grew up.

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  The studio’s front room is a makeshift showroom, open to the public three days a week. Among the wares on view are Förster’s yellow Cirle lamp, made of bent sheet metal with a matte rubber finish; a mauve Spoon chair, inspired by the shape of Japanese spoons; the Umbrella pendant lamp; Mix bowls and vases, made of crystal and plastic; and three low pieces (from left to right), the Cake table, the Breeze coffee table, and the asymmetrical Drop stool.  Photo by: Felix Odell
    The studio’s front room is a makeshift showroom, open to the public three days a week. Among the wares on view are Förster’s yellow Cirle lamp, made of bent sheet metal with a matte rubber finish; a mauve Spoon chair, inspired by the shape of Japanese spoons; the Umbrella pendant lamp; Mix bowls and vases, made of crystal and plastic; and three low pieces (from left to right), the Cake table, the Breeze coffee table, and the asymmetrical Drop stool.

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  Förster recently collaborated with fellow Swede Björn Kusoffsky on an exhibition and film about Josef Frank fabrics.  Photo by: Felix Odell
    Förster recently collaborated with fellow Swede Björn Kusoffsky on an exhibition and film about Josef Frank fabrics.

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  “I get a lot of assignments from companies who want something based on ­Scandinavian tradition, but with a fresh kind of poetry.” says Monica Förster. She’s currently developing a series of floor lamps, one of which will be made from resin-molded fabric when final.  Photo by: Felix Odell
    “I get a lot of assignments from companies who want something based on ­Scandinavian tradition, but with a fresh kind of poetry.” says Monica Förster. She’s currently developing a series of floor lamps, one of which will be made from resin-molded fabric when final.

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  A full-scale cardboard mock-up of a chair reveals its intricate assembly. The designers stacked up magazines below the seat base so they could actually sit on it. "A lot of my designs have movement captured in their form, as if they’re in transition or they’ve stopped on the way to somewhere else.”  Photo by: Felix Odell
    A full-scale cardboard mock-up of a chair reveals its intricate assembly. The designers stacked up magazines below the seat base so they could actually sit on it. "A lot of my designs have movement captured in their form, as if they’re in transition or they’ve stopped on the way to somewhere else.”

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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  Förster named this chair the Antelope because “it looks almost like it’s going to jump or run.” Designed for Swedese in 2010, it’s made of ash wood with a fabric or leather seat. At one point while working on the model, she wanted to change the angle of the back. “I just taped it down—very simple.”Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our  FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!   Photo by: Felix Odell
    Förster named this chair the Antelope because “it looks almost like it’s going to jump or run.” Designed for Swedese in 2010, it’s made of ash wood with a fabric or leather seat. At one point while working on the model, she wanted to change the angle of the back. “I just taped it down—very simple.”

    Don't miss a word of Dwell! Download our FREE app from iTunes, friend us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter!

    Photo by: Felix Odell

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