Based in Stockholm, Sweden, Fogia maintain a strong connection to their Nordic roots but aren’t afraid to push the needle and explore progressive approaches to furniture design.
As a long-established design company and furniture producer, Fogia has had its ups and downs but was given a new lease of life a decade ago when it was brought under new ownership.
We had the opportunity to meet the CEO Marcus Huber and Creative Director Elin Rahnberg during the recent 3DaysofDesign festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.
We wanted to find out more about their visions for the design company which dares to take risks.
Up until the new owners came on board, the product development had been at a standstill for several years and it was time for a change. A lot of the products looked like products that already existed.
From the beginning, the new owners made a deliberate decision to let the designers run free as they wanted them to lead the way instead of the other way around.
By working with a diverse range of designers from furniture, to the automotive industry, fashion designers, and even a piano designer, Fogia was then able to open up dialogs which allowed for greater creativity.
Even if products are part of a collection, it is essential for the company that they stand on their own. “It’s not about a specific style or context, but a feeling,” said Elin.
When launching a new product “It’s ok to have insecurities, some people will love it and
some people will hate it” Marcus said. It was a new way of thinking and as time passed, those who weren’t immediately thrilled began to turn into fans. When something is immediately loved, the emotions dissolve faster as “it probably reminds you of something that already exists.” Marcus adds. Fogia allows for the idea that something can grow on you.
Design freedom might bring bigger risks but for Fogia, this is an added value. “We wanted to create that feeling of not knowing what the next product will be.” “It’s important to dare to take risks, to succeed together and to fail together” said Marcus.
One example is the collaboration with Andreas Engesvik, one of Norway’s most prominent designers. The first meeting that Marcus had with him was supposed to be about designing a line of accessories.
Instead, Andreas designed a sofa, the hugely successful Tiki sofa. Andreas’ energy and drive had convinced Fogia to take the risk and, today, reinforces Marcus’ philosophy: designers should be given the chance to dream.
It’s impossible to confine Fogia into a specific style as for other Scandinavian companies. “When people describe Fogia, it’s a mixture of Scandinavian style with clean and honest lines, but with an international touch of elegance that you more often find in continental Europe” said Marcus.
Creativity is rooted in the DNA of Fogia and resonates throughout their products. “It’s not just something you can see with your eyes.”