Giustini / Stagetti Roma , 2020

Conceived as display furniture for the exhibition Cambio at Serpentine Galleries1 in London, the collection of pieces '1858' is made from spruce sourced from the Val di Fiemme in Northern Italy. The timber was taken from a single tree among fourteen million that were felled by Storm Vaia over the course of a few days in October 2018. 1858 is the year in which the tree developed its first ring.
№ – 1858. Chair.
№ – 1858. Shelf.
№ – 1858. Chairs.
№ – 1858. Chair, detail.
The removal of the trunks from the forest is vital in order to avoid the release of CO2 that occurs naturally when the timber begins to decay. If left, the extraordinary number of fallen trees can cause phyto sanitary problems for the remaining forest.
№ – 1858. Sample table.
№ – 1858. Sample table, detail.
On a formal level, the furniture is designed to function as tables, bookshelves, chairs and benches rather than abstract exhibition displays. Resisting the traditional ephemerality of exhibition furniture, these pieces outlive the exhibition, and can be translated to other spaces, public or private, for years to come.
№ – 1858. Desk, stool.
№ – 1858. Stool, detail.
№ – 1858. Shelving system.
№ – 1858. Shelving system, detail.
Spruce is known to be a soft wood, rarely used in furniture. In order to make them more long lasting, the objects have been lacquered with a synthetic resin used in musical instruments. Its translucent finish allows the grain of the wood to remain visible while sealing the surface.
№ – 1858. Bench, detail.
№ – 1858. Bench.

Notes, References and External Links

1. Serpentine Galleries. Contemporary art gallery in London's Kensington gardens with a year – round programme taking place across two galleries, in the park and online. Artistic director Hans Ulrich Obrist.

– The website www.cambio.website collects all the research outcomes and compiles an archive of documents, videos, books and articles on the topic.

– Cambio / Serpentine Exhibition film. Formafantasma are designers who dissect the ecological and political responsibilities of their discipline. Their holistic approach reaches back into the history of a particular material used by humans, out towards the patterns of supply chains that have developed to support and expand its use, and forward to the future of that material’s survival in relation to human consumption.

FF x Serpentine Galleries. Commissioned by London’s Serpentine Galleries, Cambio is an ongoing investigation into the extraction, production and distribution of wood products. The multidisciplinary approach highlights the crucial role that design can play in our environment, and its responsibility to look beyond the edges of its borders.

– Giustini / Stagetti was founded in Rome in 2009 by Roberto Giustini and Stefano Stagetti. The gallery specializes in both twentieth century Italian design and in International contemporary design.


CONCEPT, DESIGN Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin.


Wallpaper*, Formafantasma named Designer of the Year: Wallpaper* Design Awards 2021
The Guardian
, Formafantasma: Cambio review – how good is wood?
WSJ Magazine, How Design Can Change the World
Volkskrant, De manneen van ontwerpduo Formafantasma
Dezeen Talk, Formafantasma discuss their Cambio exhibition in conversation with Dezeen
Wallpaper*, Formafantasma asks: what is the global impact of wood consumption?
C41, Formafantasma Cambio
Stir world, Formafantasma's 'Cambio' talks about wood at the Serpentine Galleries in London
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Elledecor, Alla Serpentine a Londra, la mostra Cambio di Formafantasma
Triennale, Cambio, Milano Animal City e foreste
Designboom, Formafantasma surveys the evolution of the timber industry
Azure Magazine, Formafantasma: Cambio
Design at large, Perché Cambio dei FormaFantasma alla Serpentine di Londra
Artribune, Formafantasma, Cambio, Serpentine Galleries, 2019
Domus, For Formafantasma, “sustainability is a utopia”
Surface, Formafantasma: Cambio
FLOS, Formafantasma about Cambio
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Mousse Magazine, Design, Reset: Studio Formafantasma
Cambridge Core, Formafantasma: 'Cambio', at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Fast Company, Timber is having a moment. Should it?
Metro, Seeing the Wood for the Trees – Formafantasma – Cambio – 30
Lampoon, Formafantasma – the biggest utopia of modernity
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E-flux, Serpentine Galleries and e flux present: Formafantasma
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Friedman Benda, Design in Dialogue #68: Formafantasma