Chandra Ahlsell studied at the Pratt Institute of Design in New York before doing her master´s in industrial design at Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm in 2000-2005. At Konstfack Ahlsell met Anna Lovisa Holmquist and the two of them founded the design studio Folkform in 2005.
Folkform works with the preconception of what we consider valuable, often combining fake and real materials. Their Unique Standard Marble Cabinet is a collage of doors combining exclusive Carrara marble with a laminate look-a-like more commonly used in kitchen worktops. In 2012 Folkform collaborated with the Masonite board factory in Rundvik, which just had moved its production to Thailand. The duo designed a cabinet combining Masonite boards from 1929, when the company was founded, and the last boards made in the Swedish factory. The result was shown in the exhibition Masonite: Memoriam at Svenskt Tenn interior shop in Stockholm.
Folkform has worked with several traditional Swedish producers, such as the leather tannery Tärnsjö, Skultuna brass foundry, Örsjö lighting company and the quarry in Gillberga. In 2013 the Swedish Parliament gifted Folkform’s Suburban Skyline floor lamp to H.M. Queen Silvia as a gift for her 70th birthday.
To the reopening of National Museum of Fine Arts in Stockholm in 2018 Folkform developed their Patchwork Benches, combining different leather upholstery methods. In 2022 Chandra Ahlsell and Anna Lovisa Holmquist got attention for their lamp series L´Art Plissé, developed together with Svenskt Tenn / Örsjö, and awarded the Magazine Form Award 2022.
In 2019 Folkform received the Bruno Mathsson Award for their urgent investigations of how materials and manufacturing methods are valued in contemporary furniture production. To honor the legendary designer Bruno Mathsson Folkform translated and re-designed his stool Anna, originally designed in 1945. Folkform´s version was produced in a limited edition in 2020 and is a part of the collection at The Museum of Furniture Studies.
Besides her design work Ahlsell is a lecturer in design at LiU Malmstens, Linköping University.
Folkform´s Patchwork Bench was a part of the Female Traces exhibition at the Museum of Furniture Studies in 2019/2020.