by Jincy IypeFeb 25, 2021
New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif in dialogue with product designers Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin of Studio Formafantasma from Amsterdam appear in the fourth episode of Cross Border Conversations – a STIR-original video series.
The exchange, steered by STIR Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Amit Gupta, and Rahul Kumar (Editor - Arts, STIR), discusses several recurring themes between the two practices in the 50-minute episode.
Interestingly, experimentation around materiality, context and waste cycles from cities are deeply rooted in the works of Studio Formafantasma and Asim Waqif. They exchange ideas on forestry and the processes of timber extraction, relating it to a resource beyond a commodity to be obtained. The discussion is illustrated by their own works that address the issue at a larger scale: Andrea and Simone explain the premise of 'Cambio' - an exhibition from London's Serpentine Galleries, while Asim delves into his explorations with bamboo in 'Bamsera Bamsi' - a living sculpture from Bangladesh.
Designers need to trace patterns where fragmentation of knowledge is creating niches that do not communicate with one another. – Simone Farresin, Studio Formafantasma
The process is more important than the product for Andre, Simone, and Asim. Their research-oriented practices push the dominant narrative beyond the labels of what artists and designers are largely expected to do.
Studio Formafantasma believes it wears a different hat that continually straddles between design and art. Their philosophy regards objects as 'cultural conduits' that manifest as an ever-evolving form, as against to perceiving these as sculptures which are recognised solely for their aesthetic value.
The most important thing, which is also very tough to work against, is self-censorship. – Asim Waqif
Asim, whose artworks make a strong reference to architecture, design, and urban planning, doesn’t relate to compartmentalisation of disciplines and a stereotypical way of looking at things. A trained architect, he believes that his artistic practice is where he is currently finding most opportunities to express himself, yet these don’t motivate him to remain an artist forever.
Many refreshing anecdotes and insights come to the table. Partners in life and work, Andrea and Simone share that they had applied a combined portfolio for their Masters at the Design Academy in Eindhoven, which was eventually accepted, while Asim reminisces his learnings from his grandmother who introduced him to the understanding of extending the life of things that others consider 'waste'.
Other topics that triggered the dialogue include values of a human-centred versus a planet-centred approach in design, the reality of so-called sustainable urban cities, and experimentation with new materials as the shape of things to come.
This and a lot more in the video above!
Cross Border Conversations
Curated by Pramiti Madhavji and Amit Gupta, STIR X LOCO Design present candid video conversations among creative professionals across geographical borders and creative disciplines of architecture, design, art and beyond.
LOCO Design: Shape of things to come
Steered by values of leadership and integrity, LOCO Design strives to create aesthetic innovation with a creative essence enriched by design values, master artisans and technical expertise, contributing to a responsible future.
Know more at www.locodesign.in