Formafantasma creates collection based on Roman artefacts

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Formafantasma creates Delta collection based on Roman artefacts and architecture

Design Miami/Basel 2016: Amsterdam-based design studio Formafantasma has produced a range of objects that draw references from Rome's ancient ruins and museums.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
The porcelain Acquedotto pourers are based on ancient Roman vessels

The Delta collection features a ceiling lamp modelled on the skylight in the Pantheon – one of the best preserved ancient Roman buildings, thought to have been completed in 126 AD – a table lamp that recalls the shape of a centurion's helmet, and a vinegar dispenser that resembles vessels from the second century AD.

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Like classical Roman pottery, these designs come in red and black

These relics are reinterpreted as abstracted, minimal forms combining marble, metals, porcelain and wood.

The design duo behind Formafantasma, Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, returned to their native Italy for the project, which was created together with Roman design gallery Giustini/Stagetti Galleria O Roma.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
Formafantasma's vessels also come in contemporary off-white

It was commissioned as part of the gallery's Privato Romano Interno programme, which invites international designers to create furniture using Rome as a source of inspiration.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
The Helmet table lamp recalls the shape of a centurion's headgear

Taking its references from first century BC Roman military headwear, the Helmet ceiling lamp is made of two discs of polished gilded brass curved around an LED, and supported by a third disc serving as an electrified base.

Instead of a switch, the lamp is turned on through the gesture of turning the brass discs in different directions.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
Instead of a switch, the lamp is turned on by turning the brass discs in different directions

The porcelain Acquedotto pourer – a bulbous, double-ended vinegar dispenser with a wavy handle on its top and a geometric water pitcher on a doughnut-shaped base – bears an even closer resemblance to the ancient Roman vessels on which it is based.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
The Eclipse ceiling light references the skylight of the Pantheon

Like classical Roman pottery, the pourer comes in red and black, and Formafantasma has also created a version in a more contemporary off-white.

Other pieces are modelled after the rigid ring of a 46 BC Roman necklace. The Magnifier floor and ceiling lamp echo its shape in rings of polished gilded brass.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
The light features polished gilded brass and travertine stone discs and gilded guitar strings

The Delta collection also includes designs based on Roman architecture. The Eclipse ceiling light's arrangement of polished gilded brass and travertine stone discs and gilded guitar strings is meant to reference the Pantheon, where a circular hole in the domed roof casts a distinct beam of light.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
Adalberto Libera's Palazzo dei congressi is echoed in the lines of the Domus side table

The LED reflecting on the travertine stone disc is also described by the studio as recreating the "very peculiar feeling of the sun illuminating Roman buildings".

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
The table is made from marble and brass

Mid 20th-century Roman architecture also makes an appearance in Delta, as the studio saw a parallel between the utilitarian objects of the ancient past and Modern styles of architecture.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
The Magnifier floor lamp incorporates elements based on a 46 BC Roman necklace

Adalberto Libera's 1940s Palazzo dei congress  is captured in the lines of the marble and brass Domus side table, while Luigi Moretti's Casa dell armi from the same period influences the gridded maple wood containers of the Theca cabinet.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
The Reflector table lamp is made from polished gilded brass, bronze and travertine

The full collection was unveiled at last week's Design Miami/Basel fair in the Swiss city of Basel, although Studio Formafantasma debuted some of the pieces earlier this year at a solo exhibition at the Peep-Hole Contemporary Art Centre in Milan.

Delta collection by Formafantasma at Design Basel/Miami 2016
Architect Luigi Moretti's Casa delle armi building is an influence on the Theca cabinet

Other highlights from the collectors' fair in Basel included Kiki van Eijk's bronze furniture collection modelled on branches and Nucleo's 20th-century furniture cast in resin.