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Folkform and Roland Hjort launch Plissé table lamps informed by pleated fashion garments

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Blue and red pleated Plissé lamps

Swedish design studio Folkform has teamed up with fashion designer Roland Hjort on L’Art Plissé, a lighting design exhibition of table lamps based on traditional pleating techniques used in fashion.

The showcase, which is taking place as part of the wider Inside Swedish Design exhibition during Stockholm Design Week, was first shown at Bar Brillo in October and features a selection of the textural Plissé lights as well as prints by Hjort.

Blue and red pleated Plissé lamps
Top image: the print is even featured on the top of the lamp. Photo is by Kjell B Persson. Above: the lamp comes in red and blue as well as printed versions

Folkform used the folding techniques for the entire Plissé lamp – including its base – to create the signature pleated shape. The lights are made from textile with an interior structure made from wire, with many of them featuring allover collage-style prints by Hjort.

“In the design of the lamps, we were drawing upon the old traditions of folding lampshades for inspiration and trying to find a new expression by using the old pleating technique in new ways,” Folkform co-founder Chandra Ahlsell told Dezeen.

“The collaboration with Roland provided an opportunity to draw inspiration from each other’s artistry and materials and to experiment with traditional pleating techniques used in fashion garments,” she explained.

Black and white collage print on pleated lamp
Hjort’s prints are shown both on the lamps and on the walls of the exhibition

Folkform hadn’t previously worked with textiles in lighting design, and came up with the structures for the Plissé lamps after spending hours working on folding fabric and paper in its studio.

As well as the lamps, the L’Art Plissé exhibition also showcases Hjort’s textile prints that form the base for many of the pieces.

“Many of my artworks depict surrealist shapes morphing in different spaces, like variations of different parts,” Hjort explained.

“With this collaboration, it seems appropriate that they can become part of a domestic interior in the form of Folkform’s table lamps.”

Hjort founded fashion brand Whyred and now runs his own eponymous brand but primarily works as an artist.

Interior featuring the Plissé lamp
Black and white prints cover the entirety of the Plissé lamp

The exhibition also features Folkform’s Libreria lamp, which was originally designed in 2016 for an exhibition in a bookbinders’ workshop in Milan.

Folkform would go on to use the proportions from Libreria to create the Plissé lamps, which are on sale through Folkform as a studio-produced object.

The studio is currently in conversation with lighting manufacturers about putting the Plissé lights into production and hopes to have the collection made locally.

“The first series of the lamps were made by a skilled upholsterer in the Stockholm area,” Ahlsell said. “We aim to work with local manufacturers and to highlight the manufacturing process behind our products.”

“At the moment we are putting a book together about all the people and manufacturers with whom we have collaborated and to make people more aware about how things are made,” she added.

Red pleated lamp and black and white prints by Roland Hjort
The lights come in different heights and shapes

The lamps were nominated for the Swedish Design Award for furniture 2021.

Folkform was founded in 2005 by Chandra Ahlsell and Anna Holmquist. The studio’s previous work includes a swimming hall mural based on the Spånga town plan and bookcases designed to make books look more desirable.

This year’s Stockholm Design Week is running from 8-14 February but does not include Stockholm Furniture Fair, the design trade show around which the week usually revolves, as the coronavirus pandemic forced the closure of this headline event.

Photography is by Mike Karlsson Lundgren unless otherwise stated.

Inside Swedish Design at Stockholms Auktionsverk will run from 8 February – 13 February. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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