The timber industry is easily one of the world’s largest in terms of revenue and impact on everyday life, giving rise to clothing, furniture, fuels, and fertilizers, among other products for everyday consumption. Few know, however, that trees are often felled in biodiverse and fragile ecosystems, which are increasingly at risk. Continuing Formafantasma’s investigations into design’s ecological and political responsibilities, this research-focused show re-evaluates our relationship with trees and asks how we can better understand the connections between objects and the conditions that produced them. The Italian duo also teams with Finnish furniture company Artek and seeks to establish how the extraction and use of timber in the Scandinavian country has evolved over time.
Though it focuses more on process and ecological matters than finished products, “Cambio” showcases custom furnishings made from a single tree felled during storms in Val di Fiemme, Italy, wood samples loaned from the Royal Museum of Central Africa, smells developed to evoke the wet earth of a forest, and maps of the Amazon rainforest made by indigenous communities. Founders Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin describe it as “an attempt to expand our understanding of what design can be, going beyond the finished object in order to include its disciplinary boundaries.”