Stephanie Forsythe (MArchFP’00) + Todd MacAllen (MArchFP’00) are founders and principle designers of molo, a collaborative design and production studio based in Vancouver. The molo studio is dedicated to the research of materials and the exploration of space making. As a design and manufacturing company, molo creates and distributes its unique and innovative products to clients around the world.

Forsythe + MacAllen met and began working together in 1994, when they travelled with a group of architecture students and professors Richard Kroeker and Essy Baniassad to the Pacific coast of Colombia. As a group they made records of coastal communities facing relocation. The experience of working and learning in a direct way with this project strongly influenced the way in which they subsequently pursued their own practice.

In and between their years at architecture school, Forsythe + MacAllen designed and built three houses, including Colorado House (winner of the first ar+d Emerging Architecture Award in 1999). Building these projects by hand developed Forsythe + MacAllen’s awareness of the symbiosis between design and construction; they drew plans on the land, cut and milled lumber from trees felled on the site and made design improvisations as new information, insight and material were revealed during the construction. This process grew into a fundamental part of their ongoing education: a need for ideas to pass from mind to hands and back again, ingraining a sense of materiality, space making, and experience.

In 2002, Forsythe + MacAllen won an international architecture competition for their design of a housing and community project in Aomori, Japan. The competition, sponsored by the city of Aomori, was judged by Tadao Ando and Jean Nouvel and attracted over 4000 competitors from 86 countries. Over the project’s course, spanning nearly a decade, the program evolved from housing and community facilities into a unique cultural building inspired by the craftsmanship and spirit of Aomori’s Nebuta Festival.  Completed in 2011, the museum was Highly Commended in the ar+d Emerging Architecture Awards.

 

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Nebuta House

While working on Aomori Nebuta House, the scale of Forsythe + MacAllen’s other work shifted from architecture to smaller objects. In 2004, the pair founded molo and debuted float tea lantern + tea cups, as well as a prototype of softwall, a flexible paper honeycomb partition, in New York. The following year, the innovative softwall design was selected winner at the INDEX Awards in Copenhagen. The concept for softwall has evolved into a collection of modular furniture and lighting based upon flexible honeycomb paper structures. Recognized for poetic beauty and pragmatic innovation, molo’s products are chosen by Apple, Louis Vuitton, Google, Nobu, The Four Seasons, and many others to bring unique and elegant solutions to a broad variety of interiors. From entire buildings to groundbreaking furniture and glassware, Forsythe + MacAllen’s designs for molo have received numerous international awards and have been acquired into the collections of museums and galleries worldwide, including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York.

 

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black softwall flexible partition by molo

molo can be contacted at info@molodesign.com.