Creators – The visionaries of tomorrow’s design – Interview with FORMAFANTASMA

Creators – The visionaries of tomorrow’s design – Interview with FORMAFANTASMA

Claire Lescot · 6 years ago · Design

When we talk about the designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin we immediately think of a brain drain. After graduating from the Design Academy in Eindhoven, the consecrated European incubator for talent, they decided to open their Formafantasma studio in Amsterdam.

Their approach is conceptual and takes into account historical and socio-political implications and their works end up in circuits that have little to do with industrial production. The consumption of the product is not the main purpose for which they draw, in fact, sometimes there is not even a drawing. Many of their objects are able to obtain a shape only during processing. The form is, therefore, less than the search, hence the name: Formafantasma (In English: ghost–shape).

Many works are worthy of note but the most interesting for us are : the objects with an organic form produced with the molten lava of the Etna (that looks like glass), the stools of skin of fish wolf or salmon, the carafes and lamps of dried bovine bladder (all waste from the food industry), ecological plastic pots made of wood fibers and animal proteins (a type of natural plasticization deriving from a processing method from the end of the 18th century) and furniture components resulting from electronic waste .

Atypical about creative and visionary processes regarding reuse and innovation, the duo is ready to revive the concept of design in the world

A Venetian and a Sicilian, the deep north and the deep south that meet. Where did it happen and what is the common denominator that has kept you connected?

We met during our B.A. in Florence, then we started working together and we applied for the Master at Design Academy in Eindhoven as a team. It was the first time this was happening and the head of the IM Master Gijs Bakker has been so open minded to understand this could work. We graduated with a joint project. When we work everything is really organic and sometimes there are a lot of discussions. But that is also the nice part. We communicate in our own way and we understand and trust each other. Working in a couple give you the possibility to look at your work with more objectivity. Our projects are the result of a process of distillation of ideas. We, as designers, work almost like filters and know where we start but never where we will end

Where does the name Formfantasma come from?

We had this name in mind since we started working together really at the early beginning. If you translate it into English it means ghost shape. It is actually pointing out how our work is not driven by a formal research but more by a conceptual approach

Your work is 90% research and 10% form. What is your idea regarding the aesthetics?

In all honesty, we are not preoccupied with aesthetic. We are aware our objects share a common visual sensibility but this is not what we are busy within the studio. The formal aspect of our work is much more intuitive and it can evolve or change depending on the ideas we are channeling

What is your intention as designers?

As designers every time we start a new project or we investigate a material our first intention is to questions stereotypes and cliché. Often more than giving solutions we propose questions or possible alternatives. To give you an example, with Botanica we investigated pre-industrial polymers and translate them into a collection of handmade vessels. If plastics are used for their perfect surfaces we are crafting them by hand. Where industrial evolution have discarded this materials and researches in favor of petrol-based polymers, we are revisiting the potentials of underestimated materials. More, in general, we believe the role of a designer is to respond to social and cultural necessities of a society. A designer should be critical and with the ability to open up possibilities and new ways of intending design as a discipline

We’d like to hear your thought about sustainable design

Sustainability is a beautiful idea, nevertheless, it is the reassuring response of the economy to the ecological crisis. In all honesty, there is nothing sustainable about capitalism or production and consumption. We are more interested in the idea of ecology. As a word is much more complex and inclusive. In the next years of design education, we would love to see designers rethinking the discipline not anymore as a tool to improve only the life of humans but more looking at the planet earth as a whole with all its complexity and multi-species cohabitation. Recently we have studied the electronics recycling industry to understand if it was possible to recover components or materials in both developed and developing countries. Our work is evolving and taking on more responsibility. We will deepen this and other aspects at the next exhibition of Paola Antonelli Broken Nature.

Do you think it’s too early to ask you to spend a few words about your exhibition at the Serpentine Galleries scheduled for 2020?

Yes, It is too early to talk about it. In any case, it will be about ecology and it will deal with design beyond furniture design. Also, it will be a collaborative exhibition: we will feature works of other practitioners so as to create links between design and other disciplines

As a true Italian, I can not close the interview without asking you what is your favorite dish

Our favorite food is pasta aglio olio peperoncino. Almost everybody can afford it, its good, simple and with no useless ingredients. We love to top it with muddica (the Sicilian tradition of baking some bread crumbs)

 

I visionari del design di domani Intervista a FORMAFANTASMA

 

Creators – The visionaries of tomorrow’s design – Interview with FORMAFANTASMA
Design
Creators – The visionaries of tomorrow’s design – Interview with FORMAFANTASMA
Creators – The visionaries of tomorrow’s design – Interview with FORMAFANTASMA
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Michele Gabriele brings his aliens to miart

Michele Gabriele brings his aliens to miart

Giorgia Massari · 2 weeks ago · Art

After yesterday’s preview on April 11, today miart officially opens to the public until Sunday 14. With the title no time, no space, director Nicola Ricciardi declared that this edition, the 28th, will be the best in recent years. Impossible to state objectively, but the novelties and the quality of the installations lead us to confirm this thesis. The emergent corridor, the first one you encounter as soon as you cross the entrance, is always the most interesting in our opinion. So many galleries we already knew, like Milan’s ArtNoble with an installation by Luca Staccioli, others we discovered here like London’s Gathering with works by Soojin Kang. Moving to the established corridors, also from London we also liked the booth at Cooke Latham Gallery with Lisa-Marie Harris’ solo show. Then Ciaccia Levi with Zero Gallery and Francesco Gennari’s installation; Cassina Project with works by Louisa Clement, Alessandro Fogo, Cecilia Granara and Erin Jane Nelson. What surprised us, however, was the work of Michele Gabriele (1983, Fondi), presented by the New York gallery ASHES/ASHES, which, by the way, is also simultaneously present in the spaces of the aforementioned Cassina Project, in the group show To Romanticize with Indecision that he curated together with Monia Ben Hamouda. So let’s talk about his work, perhaps the most Instagrammed of the fair because of the particularity of the subject, an alien – actually two, three if you count the painting – wounded, plastered and with fins on his feet.

gabriele michele

Michele Gabriele‘s mediums are painting, sculpture and installation. At miart there are two alien sculptures presented by the Lazio artist, class of ’83. In the background of July 2nd, the work at the center of the ASHES/ASHES booth, is the painting A Life in Theory that offers a clearer idea of what his research is. On the one hand, the artist makes us reflect on what are the alienating effects of the era in which we live, on the other hand, he does not take himself too seriously strong in an aesthetic that is extremely linked to the most sophisticated pop culture possible. In the midst of the Anthropocene, it is not surprising that everyone is drawn like moths to this booth, intrigued by the novelty of something finally divisive on display at miart.

michele gabriele
ASHES/ASHES, Michele Gabriele, miart 2024, installation view

Courtesy Michele Gabriele

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All facets of Alessandro Mendini

All facets of Alessandro Mendini

Giorgia Massari · 1 week ago · Art

«I am not an architect, I am a dragon,» is how Alessandro Mendini described himself in a self-portrait drawing that is now the poster for his just-opened retrospective exhibition April 13 – atTriennale Milano in collaboration with Fondation Cartier pour l’art contemporain. Indeed, his eclectic personality is difficult to describe in a single word. Architect, designer, graphic designer, artist, poet, craftsman. Mendini was all this and more. From the emotional charge present on stage during the April 12 press conference, where daughters Elisa and Fulvia Mendini also spoke, one could sense not only the genius but also the incredible sensitivity that such a multifaceted figure guarded. This exhibition, open until Oct. 13, aims to connect all the threads that make up his complex, kaleidoscopic identity, to quote Stefano Boeri. «In the exhibition we have tried to give an identity to the various sections to show how Mendini’s identity is not univocal, but composed of many parts. Like so many red threads that lead to the various rooms of the dragon,» explained curator Fulvio Irace, who had a long-standing friendship with Mendini.

Drawings, installations, design objects, thoughts. In this exhibition there is everything. Or rather, there is the whole world of Alessandro Mendini, the whole reality filtered through his eyes, no doubt colorful and never boring. The playful aspect is evident as well as his cartoony gaze. Mendini in fact, as Irace explains, also wanted to be a cartoonist. Even more, his daughter Elisa Mendini-during a touching speech-describes him as a shaper of reality. His empathy for everyday objects and the mystery of poetry that transforms the ordinary into the extraordinary is clearly rendered in Pierre Charpin‘s installation, which divides the path into six thematic nuclei, while maintaining the coherence that has always distinguished Mendini’s personality. Through more than four hundred works, the exhibition I am a Dragon. The True Story of Alessandro Mendini offers viewers a broad look at the history and especially the creative force of a man who changed the history of design and architecture.

alessandro mendini
@delfino sl @dsl studio ©Triennale Milano
alessandro mendini
@delfino sl @dsl studio ©Triennale Milano
alessandro mendini
alessandro mendini
@delfino sl @dsl studio ©Triennale Milano

Courtesy Archivio Mendini, Triennale Milano, Fondation Cartier

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Cécile Dormeau illustrates what it means to be a woman

Cécile Dormeau illustrates what it means to be a woman

Giulia Guido · 1 week ago · Art

Every woman knows how difficult it is to be a woman: fighting with your hair in the morning, trying to hide pimples, dealing with comments about your weight, your appearance, your clothes. These are aspects that are part of everyday life and that sometimes take a heavy toll on morale. French illustrator Cécile Dormeau gives voice to all women by drawing scenes of normal everyday life and normalising certain aspects that are not always talked about. 

Cécile Dormeau graduated from the Estienne school of design in Paris, then lived first in Hamburg and then in Berlin where she worked as a designer and illustrator. She later worked as a junior art director at Ogilvy One in Frankfurt, finally deciding to pursue a career as an illustrator and return to Paris, where she now lives and works. 

Every day Cécile shares simple illustrations with her 265,000 followers on Instagram, with colourful backgrounds and featuring girls of all ages struggling with jeans that are too tight or hair growth.
What sets Cécile’s work apart from that of all other illustrators is that she started dealing with these topics in “unsuspected times”, beginning to make her illustrations as early as 2015, long before movements like NormalizeNormalBodis. 

The illustrator manages to summarise in a single image the state of mind of thousands of people, who share her work, finally feeling understood and no longer alone. 

We’ve selected just a few of her works, but if you want to find out more, follow her on Instagram

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The History Of Writing Told At MAMbo

The History Of Writing Told At MAMbo

Giorgia Massari · 1 week ago · Art

When the phenomenon of Writing was not yet fully known in Europe, researcher and scholar Francesca Alinovi (Parma, 1948 – Bologna, 1983) promoted an exhibition on frontier art, specifically looking at the New York scene. This was in 1984, the writers Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf, and Ronnie Cutrone were so young that their works were still accessible, yet Alinovi had already understood the magnitude of the phenomenon that would shortly thereafter explode internationally. Forty years have passed since the exhibition at the Galleria comunale d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, and to mark the anniversary, MAMbo in Bologna has decided to pay homage to Alinovi and writing with an exhibition that intends to retrace all the evolutionary stages of the phenomenon, to tell the story of the past but also the present. FRONTIERA 40 Italian Style Writing 1984-2024 – curated by Fabiola Naldi – collects the sketches of 181 authors, testimonies of the creative process of several generations of Italian writers, unique expressive devices, priority and generative of each author’s style. Let’s better understand what it is all about.

writing mambo

More than 40 years have passed since Francesca Alinovi began writing about graffiti, glimpsing in the concept of frontier the evanescence of boundaries and in aesthetic contamination a new Avant-Garde. In the years when the scholar was telling about this new frontier, painting was overcoming the space of the frame, was expanding into the environment, was dematerializing in futuristic visions in which a single platform would share and contaminate all styles and all languages, while knowing how to interact with a complex social, anthropological, and cultural place. This premonitory vision allowed the scholar to see beyond the surface, to go where one should not go, to meet, talk to, and thus understand all those kids who, armed only with their letters and their fast-changing style, were training a new generation of authors, disrupting the fortunes of all Western metropolises

Fabiola Naldi
writing mambo
Bozzetto CURSE Roma 2024

Writing today, city by city

Among the writers selected for the exhibition at MAMbo are some young Italians who bear geographical witness. In other words, the importance of the city in which they operate emerges from the writers’ works. «Operating in Milan certainly has a different meaning from doing so in Bologna or Rome, and furthermore, the thickening of the relationships woven with provincial places has reinforced in these authors the use of contaminated languages that have given rise to letters containing different styles and little comprehensible to a public unaware of the glossary of the discipline», reads the press release. But the phenomenon does not remain confined to the city of origin; in fact, the exhibition shows how the friendships and crews that were created were instrumental in forging a connection between different cities, giving rise to larger and even international groups that contributed to the spread of the phenomenon and, above all, to its affirmation.

The exhibition will be open at MAMbo until July 13th, 2024

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Bozzetto BREEZY G, Roma 1993
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Bozzetto ROSE, Rimini 1995
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Installation View, FRONTIERA 40 | MAMbo di Bologna
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Bozzetto DAFNE, Genova 1996

In cover: CRASH, Torino 1995

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