Democratic Design

They are inspired by local, traditional culture, their work is a blend of handicraft and design industry (they worked for instance with Fendi, Hermès and Lexus). They constantly search for new ways to use raw materials and they also explore the cultural meanings behind the materials. From Etna’s congealed volcanic lava, symbolising destruction, they made “cosmic” tables, stools, clocks and vessels. As part of the Vitra Design Museum project they were examining the methods of charcoal burning, a process on one hand associated with nature devastation (deforestation, carbon dioxide emission), and on the other with the beneficial influence of vegetal charcoal on health. As a result they created a series of water filtering objects, which were given to the visitors together with black “charcoal” bread baked according to an old recipe.

In 2012 Fendi fashion house invited Formafantasma to work on the Craftica project. The designers concentrated on matching leather with other natural fabrics. They used leather scraps from Fendi’s leather goods production, fish skin discarded in the food production process, animal bladders and bones, plant skins, marble, glass, wood and shells. Thus a whole collection of objects of every-day use was created – such as furniture, kitchen utensils and vessels.

Their projects were presented at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum or Vienna’s Mak Museum. In 2011 Paola Antonelli from New York’s MoMA and famous art critic Alice Rawsthorn proclaimed Andrea and Simone one of the most influential designers and  announced that they are the ones who will be shaping the future of the world design. The design duo has already had their retrospective! In 2014 the Dutch Stedelijk Museum ‘s-Hertogenbosch organised “Prima Materia” exhibition – a story about an alternative vision of designing, respect towards “discarded” materials and fascination with seemingly ugly objects.
Text: Olga Badowska, photos: Formafantasma

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