Andrea Trimarchi (1983, Bolzano) and Simone Farresin (1980, Malo) met as students at the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. Disenchanted with the atmosphere of education in design in Italy, they moved to the Netherlands to enroll in the master’s program at Design Academy Eindhoven. Since graduating in 2009, Trimarchi and Farresin have collaborated under the name of Formafantasma, literally “ghost form” or “absent form.” The name reveals much about the duo’s design philosophy that the most important thing is not the ultimate form of an object but rather the road that leads to it: the research and manufacturing process. And while materials and technology may dictate the look of Trimarchi’s and Farresin’s creations, the stylistic language they have developed in the process is contagious, decorative, and far from arbitrary.
With their almost forensic, patient methodology and their love of experimentation, Trimarchi and Farresin are often called modern alchemists. Their areas of study have included vegetal polymers (Botanica, 2011), leather, and other natural skins (Craftica, 2012).
For their latest project—in volcanic rock (De Natura Fossilium, 2014)—Trimarchi and Farresin collected solidified lava rock from Mount Etna, the volcano on Sicily, which they used in a variety of innovative ways. These included processing the rock into fibers for tapestries and melting it into a glassy liquid mass suitable for blowing vases. The gallery designed by Formafantasma beautifully documents the research associated with a project like De Natura Fossilium. The project ran for about two years and resulted in a rich universe of drawings, material tests, and photographs; a series of objects as well as a wealth of knowledge.
Formafantasma is one of the 26 designers and studios that are selected for the group show Dream Out Loud – Designing for Tomorrow’s Demands. The exhibition can be visited from 26 August 2016 in the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. Read more about the exhibition or order tickets.