DOMESTICA: THE CHAIR THAT SPEAKS ITALIAN
“Domestica” is a chair that tells the story of real Italian culture and tradition.
The Italian Design duo Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin make up Studio Formafantasma a design company based on Eindhoven.
The work of Studio Formafantasma touch relevant design issues such as the role of design in folk craft, the relationship between traditional and local culture and the significance of objects as a cultural vector.
We asked studio Formafantasma: “If you were a chair, what chair would you be?”
“A basic seat, of course” Simone answered after a little break, maybe surprised of the weird question, “because our way to work it’s just to look at the origin of things; it is in the genesis of thing that starts the process of creation and selection, in which you understand the real potential of the idea: discarding imperfections, errors and tests. Therefore we could easily think of a basic seat as the archetype of the chair.”
Studio Formafantasma supported its theory on the design of “Domestica”, a chair commissioned by the Dilmos Gallery and presentend on Salone del Mobile in 2011.
The central element of the chair is the Gerla, a wicker cone basket. The design of “Domestica” is an investigation by Studio Formafantasma of rural craft and its archetypes: farmers with their simplicity, women with their bravery and partisans with their fights.
The Gerla Basket is a container usually used by farmers to collect harvested cereals and transported as a bag-pack. In some region of north of Italy, the Gerla basket has in time assumed other connotations and it is often considered as a symbol of the Italian partisan resistance movement during World War II. The design of the three legs seat refers to a small stool used as a support to help take off the Gerla Basket once it is full: more then designed, “Domestica” appears as the result of a natural gesture.
The last element Formafantasma introduced on its chair is the little Italian flag, to underline the made in Italy and to celebrate the 150th Italian anniversary, this was sewed the night before the exhibition.
“The design of the objects and its undefined functionality invites the user to invent new gesture and rituals,” Andrea said. “Such rituals are stimulated by ancient memories evoked by the familiarity of an object rooted in tradition” Which is an arty way of saying that the chair does more than tell the story of Italy. It tells any story you want it to tell.