Cambio

Cambio

Serpentine Galleries, 2020

Cambio, from the medieval Latin cambium, 'change, exchange', is an investigation conducted by Formafantasma and commissioned by Serpentine Galleries1 in London (March – November 2020) and Centro Pecci in Prato (May - October 2021) into the governance of the timber industry.

№ 2.6.3.51 – Cambio, 23:21”
The evolution of this form of commerce over time, and its tentacular expansion across the globe, has made it challenging to regulate. It grew out of the bioprospecting that took place throughout colonial territories during the nineteenth century, becoming one of the largest industries in the world both in terms of the revenue it generates and the impact it has on the planet's biosphere.
№ 2.6.3.14 – 1858, 2020, video still.
№ 2.6.3.10 – 1858, 2020, video still.
The earliest objects in the exhibition2 are samples of rare hardwoods first exhibited in the Great Exhibition of 1851, a few hundred metres from Serpentine's building, representing trees logged to the point of extinction. The newest are the exhibition display furniture and seating designed by Formafantasma, all of which were made from a single tree blown over in a storm in northern Italy in 2018. Contained in every piece of wood are an archive of climatic change and the movement of natural materials around the world.
№ 2.6.3.18 – South gallery. 1858.
№ 2.6.3.20 – East Gallery. Bekvam.
№ 2.6.3.23 – East Gallery. On the Anatomy of trade and 5 years.
№ 2.6.3.27 – East Gallery. On the origin of the species.
Cambio also references the cambial layer, a membrane that runs around the trunk of trees, producing wood on the inside, a record of the tree's past, and bark on the outside, enabling it to keep growing. Like the rings of a tree, the central spaces of the exhibition present data and research in the form of interviews, reference materials and two films made by Formafantasma in response to their research, while the perimeter spaces offer a series of case studies that provide insight into the way the wood is sourced and used. Each of these investigations represents a collaboration with experts from the fields of science, conservation, engineering, policymaking and philosophy. Together, they move from a microscopic analysis of wood and its ability to store carbon dioxide, to a metaphysical understanding of trees as living organisms.
№ 2.6.3.13 – 200/500 μm.
№ 2.6.3.30 – North Gallery. The archive of lost forests.
№ 2.6.3.29 – North Gallery. The archive of lost forests.
№ 2.6.3.12 – The archive of lost forest, 2020, video still.
This multidisciplinary exhibition highlights the crucial role that design can play in our environment, and its responsibility to look beyond the edges of its borders. The future of design can and must attempt to translate emerging environmental awareness into a renewed understanding of the philosophy and politics of trees that will encourage informed, collaborative responses. The catalogue3 is published by Walter Koning and designed by Joost Grootens with contribution by: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rebecca Lewin, Paola Antonelli, Paulo Tavares, Emanuele Coccia, Lesley Green, Jennifer Anderson and a selection of interviews conducted during the research period.

The website www.cambio.website4 collects all the research outcomes and compiles an archive of documents, videos, books and articles on the topic.
№ 2.6.3.31 – West Gallery. On the governance of forests.
№ 2.6.3.54 – Quercus, 13:06"

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.

2. 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.

3. The Cambio catalogue is published by Walter Koning and designed by Joost Grootens with contribution by: Hans Ulrich Obrist, Rebecca Lewin, Paola Antonelli, Paulo Tavares, Emanuele Coccia, Lesley Green, Jennifer Anderson and a selection of interviews conducted during the research period.


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

– FF x Serpentine GalleriesCommissioned 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.

Contributors

CONCEPT, DESIGN Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin.
FORMAFANTASMA TEAM Riccardo Badano, Simón Ballen Botero, Gregorio Gonella, Jeroen Van De Gruiter, Johanna Seeleman, Peter Sorg.
EXHIBITION CURATED BY Rebecca Lewin, Curator, Exhibitions and Design Natalia Grabowska, Assistant Curator
FURNITURE PRODUCTION Giacomo Moor
PHOTO CREDITS George Darrell, Gregorio Gonella

CAMBIO COLLABORATORS
Marco Carrer, University of Padua, Padua Emanuele Coccia, École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales, Paris Vanessa Richardson, Environmental Investigative Agency, London Gaia Amazonas, Bogotá Het Nieuwe Instituut, Rotterdam Magnifica Comunita di Fiemme, Cavalese Naturalis Biodiversity Centre, Leiden Philipp Pattberg Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, London Royal Museum of Central Africa, Tervuren Thünen Institute, Hamburg Sissel Tolaas, Smell Researcher and Artist Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

FORMAFANTASMA EXHIBITION SUPPORTED BY Nicoletta Fiorucci Russo – Fiorucci Art Trust
SUPPORTING PARTNERS Flos, Pictet, Rinascente
ADDITIONAL SUPPORT Sarah Arison, Jay Franke, Cockaine, Kingdom of The Netherlands.
VIDEO PRODUCTION BY C41
FURNITURE COURTESY Galleria Giustini Stagetti
IN KIND SUPPORT FROM IFF Ink and scent communication
DIGITAL COMMUNICATION SUPPORTED BY Bloomberg Philanthropies

Literature

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
TL Magazin, Formafantasma on ‘Cambio’ and Practicing Change Through Design
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 MagazineFormafantasma: Cambio
Design at large, Perché Cambio dei FormaFantasma alla Serpentine di Londra 
ArtribuneFormafantasma, Cambio, Serpentine Galleries, 2019
DomusFor Formafantasma, “sustainability is a utopia”
SurfaceFormafantasma: Cambio
FLOS, Formafantasma about Cambio
Disegno daily, Formafantasma’s Findings
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
Damn, Cambio by Formafantasma 
E-flux, Serpentine Galleries and e – flux present: Formafantasma
ICON, Formafantasma’s century – spanning exhibition Cambio
Flash art, L’indissolubile Interconnessione tra le Specie: Formafantasma
Ad Italia, Il senso del legno per i Formafantasma
Friedman Benda, Design in Dialogue #68: Formafantasma