The winner of the 2021 Bruno Mathsson Prize is Monica Förster

Swedish designer Monica Förster is known as an endlessly curious experimenter of new materials and production methods. This was also one of the reasons why the Karin and Bruno Mathsson Foundation awarded Förster the 2021 Bruno Mathsson Prize.

Monica Förster
The 2021 Bruno Mathsson Prize was awarded to Swedish Designer Monica Förster. Established in 1984, the prize is considered the largest Nordic design award.

MONICA FÖRSTER is the winner of the 2021 Bruno Mathsson Design Award. Born in 1966, the Swedish designer has had a long career collaborating with the likes of Georg Jensen, Alessi, and Rörstrand, among others. She also works as a creative advisor and has been involved in the launch of the Bosnian design brand Zanat, whose specialty is the Konjic hand-carving technique inscribed on UNESCO's Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.

Monica Förster Tunes centerpiece
During her career, Förster has collaborated with some of the most prestigious design brands. Pictured is the Tunes candelabra designed for Georg Jensen.
Monica Förster Unity Stool
One of Förster's most recent collaborators is the Bosnian brand Zanat, for whom Förster has created the sculptural Unity stool.
Monica Förster Hanging Flower Pot
Designed for Skultuna, the Hanging Flower Pot follows the form of classic terracotta pots but is produced with the traditional manufacturing method of metal spinning.

It was just that, Förster's enthusiasm for experimenting with new forms, techniques, and materials, that caught the jury's eye.

“Her cross-border and international design dialogues surprise and amaze, as does the mix of lightness and weight in the creative expressions. She is an ambitious and committed designer with strong integrity who challenges modern classics with unexpected resilience in its forms; she mixes elegance and objectivity with tickles of ugly,” the jury noted.

Monica Förster Dorotea Night cutlery
In the Dorotea Night cutlery, manufactured by Gense, Förster has skillfully combined the brand's handicraft traditions with a modern, distinctive design.
Monica Förster
Förster's works showcase both her deep understanding of pure form and never-ending interest in new materials and techniques.
Monica Förster Sky mirrors
The Sky mirrors by Zanat are hand-carved using a unique Bosnian carving technique.

“I am very honoured, touched and happy to receive the Bruno Mathsson prize 2021. It really means a lot to me,” Monica Förster told Design Stories. According to Förster, the award feels particularly special during these unusual times.

“I was in the studio working when I found out. I was very surprised and touched by the moment. I think we have all been very affected by the last year and the pandemic, and so has my studio. We have worked very hard and had to rework a lot of projects having to do digital releases, for example. This has demanded a lot from everyone in the studio and, of course, also from me. It means something extra to be acknowledged after such a year.”

The award ceremony will be held on November 20, 2021, at the Vandalorum Art Center, Värnamo. An award exhibition presenting Förster's production will also be opening at the center.

See also:

Products designed by Monica Förster >

Text: Emmi Ratilainen Photos: Alicia Knight, Per Ranung and manufacturers

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