In 2012 the fashion house Fendi1 invited Formafantasma to develop Craftica, a body of work exploring leathercraft in conversation with other hand-worked, natural materials. Craftica is a visual and tactile investigation into the leather.
The design is driven by the symbolic connotations of leather; a material that, more than any other, represents the complex relationship between humans and nature. Leather as a material has the ability to evoke ancestral memories of hunting nature to obtain food, tools and protection for the body. Searching underneath and above the sea, from the vegetal to the animal world, the installation offers a holistic view on leather as a material. For the project, Formafantasma utilized discarded leather left over from the Fendi manufacturing processes, as the foundation of the collection, and relied on the talent of Fendi’s craftsmen for certain phases of the production process.
In addition, the designers selected a range of leathers obtained from fish skins discarded by the food industry, vegetal processed leather using natural substances from tree bark, cork leather extracted from cork trees leaving them unharmed, and a series of animal bladders investigated for their capacity to hold liquids. Despite the pieces appearing exotic in texture and material combinations, the majority of the leather and materials used belongs to the everyday world.
The skins are tanned to maintain their original colours and textures, and in most cases were obtained from common, ‘unsophisticated’ animals like salmon, trout and pigs. The leathers have been paired with marble, oxidized metal, glass, wood and other unprocessed natural materials such as bones, shells and a sponge cultivated in a sea-farm as a substitute for industrial foam. The installation displays a large variety of objects ranging from tools to furniture: a collection of glass lights hung via belts and hooks; a table and room divider produced from vegetal tanned rawhide stretched over brass structures with marble weights; a series of four stools characterized by organic forms and fin-like legs upholstered in fish leather (salmon, perch, trout, wolffish); spoons and protective masks made with scallop shells; and jar-like containers made of glass and cow bladders.
As an homage to leather, 28 handmade drawings by designer Francesco Zorzi are displayed on parchment (a strong paper obtained by complex processing of hairless goat skin), portraying the many uses of leather throughout history.
Notes, References and External Links1. Fendi (Italian pronunciation: [ˈfɛndi]) is an Italian luxury fashion house producing fur, ready-to-wear, leather goods, shoes, fragrances, eyewear, timepieces and accessories.
– Design Miami is an international design fair held annually in December in Miami, Florida. Its sister show, "Design Miami / Basel", occurs every June, in Basel, Switzerland.
ContributorsCONCEPT, DESIGN Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin
DEVELOPMENT Francesco Zorzi
PRODUCTION: Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin, Francesco Zorzi, Brit Van Nerven, Fendi, Atelier F, Massimo Lunardon
PHOTO CREDITS: Luisa Zanzani
LiteratureDezeen, Craftica by Formafantasma
Yatzer, Craftica by Formafantasma & FENDI, DesignMiami / Basel 2012
Wallpaper*, Formafantasma reimagine leather in surprising ways for Fendi
Abitare, Craftica | Formafantasma
Frame, Craftica Exhibition by Formafantasma for Fendi
ICON, Craftica by FormaFantasma
TL Mag, Fendi & Formafantasma
Design Indaba, The experience of leather
Fast Company, Bedrock Chic: Fendi Creates Furniture From Humble Animal Waste
T Magazine, Design Miami/Basel Preview | Fendi’s Design Performance
Azur Magazine, Studio Formafantasma at Design Miami/Basel
Australian design review, In profile: Studio Formafantasma
Pamono, Peace of Mind, A Studio Visit with Formafantasma
WSJ, How Design Can Change the World, According to the Duo Behind Formafantasma
Volkskrank, De manner van ontwerpduo Formafantasma