Next week sees the start of Design Miami/ Basel where material researchers Formafantasma will present their latest collaboration with fashion brand Fendi.
Since 2009, the Italian fashion house Fendi has presented a design project at Design Miami/. Each year a new designer is chosen, with a special focus on experimentation in his or her work. This year, the honour goes to Formafantasma.
Design.nl spoke with Andrea Trimarchi – one half of the duo he forms together with Simone Farresin – about the project named Craftica.
Craftica looks at both the visual as the tactile qualities of the material leather, presenting a furniture series of stools, tables and small objects.
“The design is driven by the symbolic connotations of the material that, more than any other, represents the complex relationship between humans and nature. Leather has the ability to evoke almost ancestral memories of when nature was hunted to produce food, tools and protection for the body.”
How were you approached by Fendi?
“The brand is very much interested in collaborating with designers who have an experimental attitude: we were asked to use their discarded leather as the foundation of the collection. That was the only restriction. In addition to the materials from Fendi, we selected a range of leathers obtained from fish skins, vegetal processed leather, cork leather and a series of animal bladders.”
So not just your standard cow, pig or calf skins then. Did you specially develop the materials for this specific project?
“Due to processing, the natural colours and original textures of skins are often lost and rare skins are often considered more precious and beautiful. With this project we wanted to eliminate some of these prejudices.”
The duo exclusively used skins and shells discarded from the food industry in the products.
“Our skins are tanned to maintain their original colours and obtained from common, ‘unsophisticated’ animals such as trout, salmon and pigs. The leathers are then paired with marble, oxidized metal, glass, wood and other unprocessed natural materials.”
How would you say this collaboration differs from other recent works such as Botanica (a research into natural plastics) and more recently Autarchy (a Vitra Design Museum commission in which the duo looked at the charcoal burning process together with Doris Wicki)?
“Fendi is a special partner to work with. These days the word ‘craft’ is often used as a marketing tool but in their case it is genuinely at the core of what they do. It was inspiring to visit the production companies in Florence and collaborate in certain phases of production. Also, the project was challenging on several levels. Leather is a fantastic material to work with but it needs to be treated with the right care and respect. On top of that, the scale of the presentation in Basel – Formafantasma and Fendi will occupy some 70 m2 – was quite challenging.”
What are your expectations from Design Miami/ Basel this year?
“It’s a very different fair to the Salone del Mobile in Milan for instance and we are happy to be presenting at both. Design Miami/ Basel is dedicated to collectable design and limited editions are still a niche, the discussion around it is still really at the beginning. We feel Design is perceived as photography before it was embraced by the art world. The fair Design Miami/Basel helps to raise awareness on these issues.”
Craftica will be on show during Design Miami/ Basel from 11 - 17 June 2012
Points of sale
( 1 Votes, average: 5 out of 5)
click to vote
- Amsterdam Fashion Week 2013
- Dutch Design Week 2012
- Milan 2012
- Amsterdam Fashion Week 2012
- Dutch Design Week 2011
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2010
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2011
- Dutch Design Week 2010
- Dutch Design Double 2010
- Milan 2010
- Design.nl 100th Issue Favourites
- Dutch Design Week 2009
- Dutch Design Double 2009
- Milan 2009
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2009
- Going Out - Restaurants, bars, cafes, clubs and hotels
- Graphic Design Festival 2008
- Dutch Design Week 2008
- Retail Therapy - Where to buy Dutch design
- FreeDesigndom 2008
- Milan 2008
- Amsterdam International Fashion Week 2008
- Design.nl Tokyo favourites