Crispbreads seem an unlikely inspiration, but not for the freethinking French-Swedish partnership of Fredrik Färg and Emma Marga Blanche. The pair are the force behind ‘The Baker’s House’, the exhibition staged in a 19th-century residence and former crisp bread factory during this year’s Stockholm Design Week. The 12-strong collection of furniture and accessories it presented was the talk of the town, and rightly so.
Blanche grew up in France, but the show’s atmospheric location is deeply connected to her Swedish roots. During the 19th and early 20th centuries, her family ran a crispbread (knäckebröd) factory in the capital’s Södermalm district. The elegant residence above – built by her great-great-grandfather in the 1880s – was where she spent her holidays.‘We’re telling the story of my family,’ says Blanche. New pieces include the‘Julius’ armchair and sofa produced by Gärsnäs, tables inlaid with a star motif from the parquet floors, and the ‘Heart’ and ‘Knäckebröd’ lamps, both of which were inspired by the factory’s baked goods.
Although Färg & Blanche design together, they approach projects very differently. Blanche is more theoretical, deconstructing the design process before sketching, while Färg likes to dive into the hands-on work. ‘You’re less nervous when there’s two of you,’ says Blanche, who met Färg a decade ago, when they were both exhibiting independently in Berlin. ‘I’d made a stool that contained powerful magnets. I couldn’t take it on a plane, so I requested a list of other Swedish exhibitors and asked whether I could hitch a ride with anyone. Fredrik said yes.’
Cue a road trip that turned into a romance, which blossomed into a creative partnership. Their studio was established in 2011 and, that same year, the duo burst onto the design scene as co-creators and participants inStockholm Design Week’s ‘20 designers at Biologiska’ exhibition. Since then, they have created pieces for Johanson, Design House Stockholm and Northern, plus ceramics for Petite Friture. Their ‘A Stitch in Time’ textile collection for Bernhardt Design has just been released, too.
‘It’s in collaboration that innovation and ideas are born,’ says Blanche. What’s coming next? Nobody knows. ‘Our primary goal is to surprise one another,’ they conclude. fargblanche.com
This article first appeared in August 2019 issue of ELLE Decoration
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