Of the thousands of designers, makers and brands participating in this year’s Salone del Mobile, few have played as significant a role as FormaFantasma, the incredibly tapped-in, intellectual and versatile studio based in Milan (and Rotterdam). In the coming week, projects by partners Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin will appear at no fewer than four exhibitions throughout the city – not to mention their own studio sits in the Assab One complex, a cultural destination of its own and host to the hotly anticipated Design For Communities show.
Launching on 17 April for three days is the Prada Frames series of lectures, curated by the duo at the art nouveau Teatro Filodrammatici. Called Materials in Flux, the symposium will explore material cycles, waste and renewal with guest contributions by anthropologist Tim Ingold, curator Justin McGuirk and academics from Design Academy Eindhoven, where Farresin and Trimarchi head up the Geo Design Programme.
FormaFantasma are stars of the sweeping Euroluce showcase, where they’ve designed an immersive plaza called Aurore at the marquee’s central core – a place for relaxing on serpentine seating, taking in synesthetic projections, contemplating the floating lights and watching the programme of talks. Beyond this arena, the duo have fashioned a dozen design “constellations”, curious cameo spaces that welcome visitors in to pause and enjoy light-enabled contemporary artworks.
Over at the main fairground, they’ve paired up with architect Beppe Finessi to fashioned a full-service bookshop for Italian publisher Corraini Edizioni that organisers hope will coax visitors to momentarily switch their focus from the hectic pace outside to absorbing graphic art on the page. More public library than village bookshop, the space will foster unexpected personal connections outside the work forum.
And finally, because their work appeals to so many disparate audiences, it will appear in exhibitions at Spazio Maiocchi, in a display curated by Capsule magazine, and at Studio Nerino, alongside pieces by Marta Bakowski, Cristina Celestino and Studio Guillaume Delvigne.