Dezeen Magazine

Watch our talk with Formafantasma for Rado Design Week

Dezeen spoke to Italian design studio Formafantasma about its new collaboration with Swiss watch brand Rado in a live panel discussion as part of Rado Design Week.

Dezeen editor-in-chief Marcus Fairs was joined by Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, the design duo behind Formafantasma, to talk about their special edition of Rado's True Square watch, which was exclusively revealed earlier today in a video filmed by Dezeen at their studio in Amsterdam.

For their design, Trimarchi and Farresin looked to the tradition of closed pocket watches in order to create a contemporary take on a historic watch design.

The True Square Formafantasma by Italian design studio Formafantasma
The True Square Formafantasma by Italian design studio Formafantasma

Called True Square Formafantasma, the watch has a minimal face with a small round window in its middle where the dials sit, harkening back to pocket watch lids, which would often feature a small window for the user to see the time.

Using injection moulding technology, Formafantasma worked with Rado to develop their watch design using the brand's signature high-tech ceramic.

"Working with Rado was engaging because the level of expertise in watchmaking is obviously excellent," Farresin said in the video that we published earlier today.

"For a designer, it is always exciting to work with a partner that can accomplish your ideas and be open to your perspective," he added.

Trimarchi and Farresin founded Formafantasma in 2009 after graduating from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2009.

Their work often investigates materials through their historical context and attempts to act as a bridge between their research-based practice and the wider design industry.

Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, founders of Formafantasma
Andrea Trimarchi and Simone Farresin, founders of Formafantasma

The pair have recently curated a research-focused exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler Gallery in London investigating the global impact of the forestry industry and in 2019 they designed a collection of tiles glazed with volcanic ash.

Fairs, Trimarchi and Farresin were also joined by Rado's CEO Adrian Bosshard and vice president of product development Hakim El Kadiri, who gave an insight into the Rado brand and why it chose to work with the Italian design duo.

Adrian Bosshard, CEO of Rado
Adrian Bosshard, CEO of Rado

Joining Rado as CEO in June 2020, Bosshard has previously been CEO to Rado's sister brand Certina for the past 17 years.

Rado Design Week is a week-long collaboration between the Swiss watch brand and Dezeen, which sees the reveal of four unique versions of its True Square timepiece created by a roster of international designers including Formafantasma, YOY, Tej Chauhan and Thukral&Tagra.

Every day throughout the week Dezeen will also broadcast a live conversation between Fairs, Bosshard, El Kadiri and one of the designers. The week concludes with a competition that gives Dezeen readers the chance to win one of the watches from the collection.

The event marks a pivotal moment for Rado, which started out in a workshop in Switzerland's Lengnau district back in 1917. Although the brand often hosts events to launch its new watches, this is its first virtual design week.

You can check out the schedule for the week here.

This talk took place on 1 December 2020 at 1:00pm London time as part of Rado Design Week. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.