Formafantasma Brings Transformative Design to Stockholm Furniture Fair

Formafantasma Brings Transformative Design to Stockholm Furniture Fair

Design with a purpose. That is the driving force behind Italian design studio Formafantasma, one of the most sought-after in the world. As Guest of Honour at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in February, Formafantasma will showcase their holistic approach to design and its potential to spur positive change. Beyond creating aesthetically pleasing objects, the studio takes a thoughtful look at the social and environmental impact of the design process. Their installation, Reading Room, promises to be a space for reflection on building a sustainable future.

The research-based design studio Formafantasma, one of the most sought-after in the design world today, comes to Stockholm Furniture Fair in February as its Guest of Honour. Using design as an agent for social and environmental change, the studio takes a holistic perspective on design to explore its transformative potential.

To work as a designer today goes way beyond thinking about the product. That is of course important, but it’s just as important to rethink the way we produce things, says Andrea Trimarchi who founded the studio in 2009 together with Simone Farresin.

As Guest of Honour, Formafantasma will create an installation in the Entrance Hall for visitors and exhibitors. And for once it’s not products that will take center stage, but transformative knowledge, ideas and visions for the future. The installation is called Reading Room, and inside visitors will find a calm space to sit for a moment and read, reflect and immerse themselves in the ideas that have shaped Formafantasma’s work.

A fair is a place where people gather to see new products. But it is also a platform for exchanging ideas and for cultures to meet. We wanted to do something that wasn’t just about displaying our own previous work, but rather offer something in line with our way of thinking and working that is also relevant for others, says Andrea Trimarchi.

We are very excited about Reading Room, says Hanna Nova Beatrice, Director of Stockholm Furniture Fair. I also want to draw attention to the spatial design by Formafantasma, which is a great example of how you can create a beautiful, temporary construction and experience, using a minimum of resources.

The installation is furnished with seating and tables from Artek, lighting from Flos and textiles from Maharam. On the tables, Reading Room will offer a curated selection of books about sustainability, ecology and ecosystems, especially forests. There will also be screens displaying video works by Formafantasma.

In a way it’s a bibliography on our way of thinking related to ecology. Our aim is to make people engage with ecology, not on the level of product but on a systemic level. When we talk about furniture design we implicitly talk about wood, and if we talk about wood we need to talk about forests. We want people to connect the product to the ecosystem from which it originates and talk about the possibilities in this, but also the problems, says Andrea Trimarchi.

Along with this line of thinking, the installation itself is designed with as much thought and care put into what will happen to it afterwards as to how it will fulfil its purpose during the Stockholm Furniture Fair. When the fair is over, the books will be donated to design schools. The seating and tables will be re-sold as signed pieces at Nordiska Galleriet.

The major challenge for the furniture industry today is to rethink how we produce products, and I think designers can help this process. In a way, the work that we will display in the installation is related to this. It’s a recent collaboration with Artek, an example of a way of working that is not only product oriented but also about establishing a conversation about sourcing and production. I think this is the future of design.

On the opening day of Stockholm Furniture Fair, February 6, Formafantasma will give a Guest of Honour talk, co-hosted by the Italian Cultural Institute in Stockholm.

Stockholm Furniture Fair will be held on February 6-10, 2024 at Stockholmsmässan, in parallel with Stockholm Design Week (February 5-11)

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