Formafantasma is a research-based design studio investigating the ecological, historical, political and social forces shaping the discipline of design today.
Since founding the studio in 2009, Italians Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin have championed the need for value – laden advocacy merged with holistic design thinking. Their aim is to facilitate a deeper understanding of both our natural and built environments and to propose transformative interventions through design and its material, technical, social, and discursive possibilities.
Working from their studio in Milan (Italy) and Rotterdam (The Netherlands), the practice embraces a broad spectrum of typologies and methods, from product design through spatial design, strategic planning and design consultancy. Whether designing to a client’s brief or developing self – initiated projects, the studio applies the same rigorous attention to context, process and detail. As a result, Formafantasma’s entire portfolio is characterised by a coherent visual language and meticulously researched outcomes.
For Formafantasma, this crossflow of knowledge and experience taken from both their commercial contracts and their more autonomous projects has benefitted and informed the respective other. It has also given them a unique perspective of the design industry, allowing them to acknowledge the legacy of industrial production as the fundamental source for the designer’s expertise and agency in contemporary society while also addressing its historic contribution to environmental instability.
The studio’s prescient insight into the challenges facing design, culture, the environment and society has earned them the patronage of an array of international clients such as Lexus, Flos, Fendi, Max Mara, Hermes, Droog, J&L Lobmeyr, Cassina, Bitossi, Established and Sons, La Biennale di Venezia, Rijks Museum, Dzek, Ginori, Hem, Maison Matisse, Bulgari, Samsung, Rado, Roll and Hill, Galleria Giustini / Stagetti, La Rinascente, Gallery Libby Sellers, Prada, Fondation Cartier, Nasjonalmuseet Oslo, Galleria Massimo Minini, and Artek among others.
Alongside works for clients, their projects have been presented, published and acquired in the permanent collection of international museums including New York’s MoMA and Metropolitan Museum, Art Institute Chicago, London’s Victoria and Albert, Paris’ Musée National d’Art Moderne, Musée des Arts Décoratifs, CNAP, Fondation Cartier and Centre Pompidou, the Amsterdam’s Stedelijk Museum, the Vienna’s MAK Museum , Utrecht’s Centraal Museum, Mudac Lausanne, North Carolina’s Mint Museum of Craft and Design, Rome’s Museo Maxxi, Vitra Design Museum, Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria, Triennale di Milano, LACMA, Tilburg’s Textiel Museum and others.
In March 2020 Serpentine Galleries dedicated a solo exhibition to Formafantasma and their in – depth investigation into the governance of the timber industry.
From September 2020 Trimarchi and Farresin have overseen the GEO–Design department at Design Academy in Eindhoven to further explorations into the social, economic, territorial and geopolitical forces shaping design today.