Questions On is the video interview format created by C41. Three are the ‘simple’ questions asked to our network friends, partners and creative minds. They tackle the current situation: How do they see their future, what kind of changes do they expect and how they are going to react to this unusual situation that we are living these days?

The fourth episode is with Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, Studio Formantasma, an Italian designers duo based in Amsterdam. Their body of work is characterised by experimental material investigations and explored issues such as the relationship between tradition and local culture, critical approaches to sustainability and the significance of objects as cultural conduits. In perceiving their role as a bridge between craft, industry, object and user, they are interested in forging links between their research-based practice and a wider design industry.

You can watch the interview on the C41 YouTube channel and also read it below.

1. Future — How do you feel about your future when everything will be back to normal?

To imagine the future after the current event is of course difficult but there will be. Our hope is to get back to work focusing on the projects we love, minimising all those jobs that no longer make sense to us, even considering what is happening these days. Focusing on those sided of work we really love has also to do with a different way of working; we will try to travel way less avoiding to go back to the previous nonsense when we used to move and fly a lot. We will try to put restraints on ourselves as much as possible learning from the situation we are living these days. We will restrict individual energy waste but also energy needed for travel. I think that it will be meaningful to focus even more on education, we’re going to start a course at the Design Academy in Eindhoven in September, called GEO-DESIGN, and that is probably one of the things we care about the most right now. Even because it’s a way of passing on an ethic and a different way of thinking about the discipline to the new generation of designers. I think that a crisis like the coronavirus one will make us change; it will change  the way how we teach but especially, how students are going to approach the design discipline.

2. Change — What kind of changes will affect society, work environment and world itself?

It’s hard to understand how the world will change, we all hope that the experience we’re living today will lead us for example to pay more attention to environmental issues, since the coronavirus is somehow linked to the major climate change and to how we interact as humans with the planet. That said, unfortunately, I think that this won’t be the case. I believe that the great economic crisis will endanger all those activities that act in support of a possible sustainable development. They will have to set aside in order to try in all the possible ways, even in those less sustainable ones, to make economy flourish again. I believe that this is actually going to be an issue even if it could be the right opportunity to beneficially implement this traumatic experience. Work will certainly change, digital tools will be involved way more into the communication, but I believe that society changes are still difficult to map; obviously interactions will be different, as different will be the management of the public space and the interaction manners when meeting but these are all things we’ll learn along the way. I think it’s an important moment not only in order to approve environmental issues, but somehow to learn from what happened now because this will be one of the first big crises; this will be the little crisis that will lead to a major’s one linked to the climate change. Therefore I think we should learn a lot from what just happened.

3. Reactions — What are your reactions to this essential process of adaptation?

We personally believe that our response to this inevitable process of adaptation will be made trying to be more thoughtful in the choices we make, and as Andrea also mentioned earlier, we will also focus on works and projects that are not necessarily those which economically are the most important ones but which on the other hand can help us to improve our level; as for example happened with the involvement with the education; projects that are more important and significant even in response to the condition we are living in.


Featuring: Andrea Trimarchi, Simone Farresin @formafantasma

Curated by Riccardo Fantoni Montana, Luca A. Caizzi, Barbara Guieu
Words: Riccardo Fantoni Montana, Stefania Zanetti
Editing: Vittoria Elena Simone
Line production: Alice De Santis
Thanks to: Alessandro De Agostini, Robin Stauder