For those of us who have pets or have spent time in the presence of a pet, you will understand the inner peace and calm that a pet companion brings. Whether they are relaxing at your feet or meandering around the home, simply being aware of their presence makes a difference in our mood.
Stockholm-based design studio Front, founded by Sofia Lagerkvist and Anna Lindgren in 2004, designed the ‘Resting Animals’ collection as the result of a recent research project by Front focusing on the close connection between humans and figurative objects. The design duo asked randomly selected people to identify the most emotionally enriching and meaningful objects in their lives. The majority of answers turned out to be animal figures that were perceived to have personalities, specific attributes or a shared history.
Previous works by Front have been devoted to the systematic observation of how various animals sleep or hibernate. This interest is now expressed in a group of slumbering creatures – Resting Animals – whose poses exude a serene tranquillity. The largest is a knit-covered bear that can be used as a stool, ottoman or backrest, for example. The smaller designs are decorative ceramic figures depicting a cat and two birds in different sizes. Resting Animals not only bring a touch of nature into the home; their peaceful presence goes beyond the visual to communicate a sense of contentment and companionship.
The designers shared that there have been previous studies where the simple act of looking at pets or cuddly toys makes people feel more positive, even referring to it as the ‘cuteness effect’. The duo thought this additional ‘function’ of cute, cuddly creature having a positive impact on a person’s mood to be very interesting, and so they built in this element of designing an object that creates a presence in the room of someone lying down in the room in a peaceful manner that always keeps you company.
In terms of how the design duo decided on the animals to include in the project, they mentioned how a sleeping cat is an iconic symbol within the home, and how birds are a strong character within the Vitra brand.
Sofia shared that another reason why they chose birds is because birds are ‘in one way, very Scandinavian and Swedish, something we heard as children through a very famous song that our parents sung to us and we sing to our children, so it’s something [engrained] in Swedish culture.’
Simply viewing the collection through photos will make you pause and smile, and we feel that this collection is a gift in a day and age where connections are often made through the digital world, and people are experiencing less physical companionship. Welcoming one of these ‘Resting Animals’ in your home will hopefully bring a smile to your lips and ignite a feeling of warmth in your heart.
ABOUT FRONT DESIGN STUDIO
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.
Photos courtesy of Front Design Studio.