formafantasma: botanica
formafantasma: botanica formafantasma: botanica
apr 07, 2011

formafantasma: botanica

‘botanica’ by formafantasma all images © luisa zanzani

the results of an investigation into polymers, plants, and the history of plastics, ‘botanica’ has been designed by the italian-born, netherlands-based studio formafantasma (andrea trimarchi and simone farresin) for plart, a foundation dedicated to the research, restoration, and conservation of works of art and design produced in plastic.

the entire ‘botanica’ collection, curated by marco petroni

at one time, plastics were heralded as the exciting ‘material of the future’, but have since come to be commonly regarded as representative of a mass consumerist, ecologically unsustainable period of industrial production. for the project, curated by marco petroni, formafantasma investigated natural, plant and animal-based polymers, including rosin, dammar (a varnish tapped from trees), copal (a sub-fossil state of amber), natural rubber, shellac (extracted from insect excrement), and the 19th-century plastic-like bois durci (composed of sawdust and egg or blood).

in the pieces they produce, the natural textures and colours of the resins create an effect not completely unlike 20th-century bakelite products, but the overall aesthetic of the works themselves instead attends simultaneously to the historical periods before and after the oil era, offering archaic-like forms and assemblages curated with a contemporary perspective.

in ‘botanica’, the designers note, modern plastics are indeed used amidst the natural polymers, but ‘as precious details‘ rather than the foundation of the pieces, ‘in an attempt to develop a new post-industrial aesthetic.’

detail view of the piece

‘botanica’ will be on display at spazio rossana orlandi during milan design week 2011. for an overview of all of formafantasma’s projects presented at this year’s event, please see this designboom article.

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