Formafantasma and Hem Launch First Collaboration

The “T-Shelves” are made from recycled aluminium.

Design
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Swedish brand Hem has revealed its first collection designed by Milan-based studio Formafantasma. Named T Shelves, the minimalist, modular shelving system has sustainability at its core, and makes use of an industrial manufacturing process, in which aluminium is extruded into a desired shape or form.

Formafantasma, headed up by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, opted to work with this particular process in a bid to keep waste to a minimum. In addition, they partnered with aluminium manufacturer Hydro and made use of its ‘Restore’ material – a combination of recycled pre-and-post consumer scrap, and primary aluminium.

By using extrusion, the designers were able to achieve a slim, simple-looking profile, with the surface edges being rounded and smooth. The hardware holding the shelves together isn’t visible – ensuring a barely-there look that fits easily into any interior.

“Working with aluminium was something we really wanted to do,” the duo said. “It’s important to us that our work is not wasteful.”

Formafantasma was founded after Farresin and Trimarchi met at the Design Academy Eindhoven in 2009. The pair quickly became known for their research-heavy approach and emphasis on the ecological, historical, political and social contexts that shape the work they do. Previous collaborations have seen them work alongside Italian lighting brand Flos to create lighting that resembles a belt made of rubber, and with London-based architectural material brand Dzek, on a collection of tiles glazed with volcanic ash. In 2021, the studio took part in an outdoor exhibition on billboards across the United Kingdom that aimed to bring attention to the world’s climate crisis.

“It was clear from the start that they had a certain sensibility and deep understanding and appreciation of both materials and culture,” says Hem founder, Petrus Palmér, who first discovered Formafantasma’s work in 2010 and approached them about a potential collaboration in 2017.

Hem works with with architects and designers to create furniture and homeware that reflects the individual identities of the collaborators themselves. Past collections have been created by the likes of Faye Toogood, Sabine Marcelis, and Luca Nichetto.

In other design news, Camella Ehlke has used scraps of fabric sent to her by Virgil Abloh to “dress up” a collection of found and donated chairs.

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