Dear Admirer of Fine Furniture,
We met during the 2008 Stockholm Design Week. I came from Copenhagen where I had worked for years within the field of furniture design. Ida, the now designer behind Friends & Founders’ creations, had just graduated from the Stockholm art institute Konstfack. Ida and I first connected in the obvious way: We both loved architecture and great design. But we soon discovered another resonance. We both loved life. We cherished moments of laughter, cheer, good food, and adventure with friends and family. And that’s where it all began. We started a romance that would radically change both our personal and professional lives. Our relation gave birth to Friends & Founders.
DEVOTION HAS DRIVEN OUR WORK FROM THE START,
WORK FOUNDED IN ROMANCE.
Not long after meeting we began to dream about furniture design. As we discussed ideas we realized that with our combined abilities and experiences we could create something significant. And we had the courage to give it a try, to start on the adventurous path of building a furniture company from scratch. We opened a studio in the north of Copenhagen in 2013 and that year established our contemporary designer brand – Friends & Founders.
Actually, we feel the name Friends & Founders explains our philosophical perspective on this business quite well. We believe the best work in furniture, design and architecture is collaborative. And the relationships formed in that collaboration work best when grounded in honesty, trust, and a long-term view. When we work closely with customers, manufacturers, and other creators we find that new exciting ideas come to life. I like to think our name is an invitation to work together in creating brilliant and striking designs of the stages where our lives play out.
Friends & Founders is now an established and well-respected provider of high-end furniture, lighting, and accessories. Our award-winning creations have strong influences from the Scandinavian design heritage. But our aesthetic and structural concepts have diverse inspirations which make them truly distinct. And our brand has gained international recognition because of a determination to realize original concepts in the end results – pieces of high quality and uncompromising design.
Bringing a creative idea to life is a process that drives us, and we want those ideas to be inspirations for others. To protect that process Friends & Founders has a hand in each step of creation: from idea to design, from production to packaging and delivery. We know many designers don’t have that experience. At some point they have to hand over their creations, and those are frequently changed by the pressures of business and logistics. Early on we decided it was crucial to consider each part of the process in bringing our pieces to life. We hope that extra attention means our work can grace the rooms in which you host friends and families for just as long as classics from Jacobsen, Alto, or Wegner.
WE CREATE CONTEMPORARY DESIGN WITH STRONG FOCUSES ON
ARCHITECTURE, ART, AND CRAFT.
Friends & Founders’ contemporary collection shows off extravagant, crafted detailing which attests to the designer Ida’s careful eye. Our collections are manufactured in Scandinavia and Europe by skilled craftsmen who come from a long tradition of high-quality furniture-making. The collections have distinct aesthetic signatures with influences from 20th century artistic movements. Ida begins her process with ideas founded in the artistic paradigm of geometric abstraction. Her designs have roots in modernism and the Bauhaus movement’s functionalist ideologies, often associated with minimalism.
Our design process always considers the future of the piece. That means we carefully select materials and processes so as to be as conscientious about their impact as possible. A key to our sustainability philosophy is creating products that last. We carefully choose materials in order to extend the life of a product seen from the perspectives of aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability. We also believe in a production cycle of use, re-use, and material re-cycle after a product’s useful life is over. That holistic view informs our designs. Furniture shouldn’t be designed to go out of style with the seasons but to be durable and have a lasting beauty – to be objects you can live with.
Our creative inspiration comes from art, architecture, culture, and everyday life. But it also comes from meeting others, especially all the passionate and uncompromising people out there who are masters in their own right. They’re people like us, makers and doers who won’t take shortcuts. They can be creators or entrepreneurs or experts. And we take inspiration from them as much as we like to think we give it, especially if we can help set the stage for their life and work.
We hope you’ll find a spark of inspiration here in our classics, novelties, additions, and extensions – pieces with which to fall in love and grow old.
Rasmus Hildebrand, CEO and co-founder of Friends & Founders
IDA LINEA HILDEBRAND
Creative Director and Co-founder of Friends Founders
Architect and designer Ida Linea Hildebrand was born in Stockholm in 1978. The daughter of a cabinet maker, she continued the family tradition by choosing a path that led her to furniture design. In 2008 Ida Linea graduated from the distinguished Stockholm art academy Konstfack (the University of Arts, Crafts, and Design). She earned a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts within the field of Interior Architecture and Furniture Design.
After studying, Ida Linea moved to Copenhagen – a mecca for contemporary furniture design – and there her dream of becoming an independent designer took shape. She met future husband and co-founder of Friends & Founders, Rasmus Hildebrand, and the couple established a studio in 2013. At that creative space in the north of Copenhagen the universe of Friends & Founders’ design took shape.
Ida Linea took the role as the creative force and curator of the Friends & Founders portfolio. Her work takes inspiration from expressive architectural and spatial structures. A sculptural approach to furniture design, clean aesthetic profiles, and attention to detail have flavored her designs to date. She often begins with ideas from the artistic paradigm of geometric abstraction. Designs have roots in modernism and the Bauhaus movement’s functionalist ideologies, often associated with minimalism.
Her work has distinct expressive influences
from the 20th century avant-garde.
Friends & Founders’ contemporary collection shows off extravagant, crafted detailing which attests to the designer’s careful eye. To guide her work Ida Linea draws on technical expertise and her personal philosophies of life. That mix produces results with distinct character and confidence.
Her award-winning work with Friends & Founders has quickly gained international recognition, a result of the designer’s ability to focus her passion and creativity on the objects of our everyday.
PRODUCTION AND ENVIRONMENT
The entire Friends & Founders collection is manufactured in european countries and especially Scandinavia. We strive to keep production as local as possible and believe in supporting manufacturing that is closer to home, besides lessening environmental impact, producing more locally means we can better guarantee quality and safe working environments.
Our collection today is stronger than ever. An early decision to manufacture in Europe and especially in Scandinavia turned out to be a wise choice for several reasons. First, it has allowed us to closely manage the quality and crafting processes for our products. And that control allows us more flexibility in meeting a customer’s specific requirements. It also means shorter lead times.
Our products meet the high standards of the contract market. Even retail customers benefit from these strict guarantees on quality and durability. As a complement to our standard range, we also offer customizations and we invite customers and end-users to get in touch. A process where we work closely together always presents the best opportunities. And we hope our name Friends & Founders is a reminder of this invitation to work together.
Good collaboration sits at the heart of great ideas and accomplishments.
Thinking of sustainability from the start of the design process has been key to Friends & Founders’ business. We create designs for the future. That means creating products that will physically endure. It also means assessing environmental impact and striving always for improvement. Both of those considerations inform the selection of our raw materials and production steps.
We have worked specifically on transportation processes to improve efficiencies from factory to client. Recently Friends & Founders developed a new concept for transportation and packaging optimization, OPTS, aimed at decreasing environmental impact.
Friends & Founders strives to avoid producing overstock in order to optimize consumption of raw materials and reduce waste. With that in mind it’s natural that we maintain a make-to-order production cycle. It provides another way to promote a healthier consumer cycle and to work against a culture of rapid consumerism. We believe in the future. Together we can make a difference with our consumption choices.
We believe in the future. Together we can make a difference.