FORMAFANTASMA, FROM NERVI’S CONCRETE TO ALCANTARA

by Secondome

It’s an especially productive time for Formafantasma. The duo made by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin comes from Ore Streams, the set up at Milan Triennale into Broken Nature, where they explore the creative options for reusing electronic waste, and are getting ready for Fuorisalone 2019, where they’ll be presenting, together with Dzek, ExCInere, a collection of surfaces for architecture, born from their study on the Etna.

In between there is Nervi in the making, the installation at the Maxxi museum in Rome, opening today, in cooperation with Alcantara, curated by Domitilla Dardi. A project that brings out the duo attitude to researching on materials and exploring new creative formulas, which then become input to a more critical and conceptual reflection on design.

After consulting the Maxxi’s Architectural archives, Trimarchi and Farresin decided to measure up to Pier Luigi Nervi’s work. The result is an installation that re-creates an environment, both physical and psychological, a nest of Chinese boxes to tell how important can a material be in the work of a designer.

The two designers approached the archive of the undisputed grandmaster of the iron and concrete design, to fully understand his work on the material, discovering unprecedented and unexpected analogies with an apparently very different material such as Alcantara.

Versatile, functional, suitable for many applications and interpretations, able to work together with other materials: those are all properties of concrete, that Nervi has been, in the After-war, a pioneer and unmatched experimenter of, but are properties linkable to Alcantara, a material that’s born to design a new future, which is now our contemporary present time. “Structure – explains Formafantasma – is the key word that more than any other links the two materials. Nervi proved, with an impressive research, made of evidences, tests and calculations, the achievements that the concrete could be bearer of. Thanks to his far-sighted work our Country was built in the last sixty years. We approached Alcantara with the same spirit and we studied its extensive potential of applications. But, most of all, we experimented on what makes it a material unique of its kind, ruled by some sort of artificial intelligence which makes it extremely ductile.”

“Working with Studio Formafantasma – says Domitilla Dardi – always means to follow a research work that proceeds mixing scientific knowledge and designing instinct. Never more than in this project on Nervi, these two souls of them have emerged so clearly: the passion of the researchers who read the work written a long time ago by a great scholar of the materials such as Nervi, and the designing ability to make these assessments enter their own work.”