Debut In Milan: Formafantasma's Hidden Messages In Its 'Hidden Collection' Designs

Decorative boxes have always been crowd pleasers. They are precious treasures in themselves made to house other precious treasures. Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, the design partners of Italy's Formafantasma, lift the design form up a notch or two, in their Hidden Collection, debuting this week at the Droog Design exhibit at Milan Design Week '09. Their works are delicately crafted and delicated layered with hidden meanings....



Hidden Time

With grace and skill, Trimarchi and Farresin have created an ode to the clock, in this case a rather banal department store clock, the poetry of which is ever so much greater than that of its contents.  And like so many things packaged and shipped today, there are layers of boxes each enveloping the other to protect the box that's holding the box that's holding the clock.  Of course, very soon you have packaging that's more valuable, and even more desirable, than the object of desire itself.

The outside box, what the team calls the "pallet box," is a commanding tomb paying great homage to its contents!



Trimarchi and Farresin use chip board as a base for their decorative boxes and laser cut designs out of finer woods and inlay the designs on the boxes.  Then the exterior of the box is covered with a shiny coat of resin that makes the box look even more valuable.  But look at the hinges, the underside of the handles, the insides of the boxes; they show the true nature of the material. This, of course, is intentional, and meaningful.



As we open each layer of internment, we see that the closer we get to time, the less precious it is, the more ephemeral perhaps? See how there is less detail, less attraction, in each box?






Hidden Tools

In a similar manner, a work table is made and a tool box is inlayed with designs of tools used to create the table and the tool box. But the tool box is hidden in the middle of the table.  The outside surfaces are covered with a grey-shaded resin to give the chipboard a richer look, but  interestingly, the inside surfaces are never covered. 






In fact, the inside of the tool box is full of saw dust, revealing the box and table's true nature, and the only tools are the ones inlayed on the box., Droog Design via DesignBoom