In the studio: Formafantasma
Today marks the birth of a new Hem icon: T Shelf, designed by Italian super duo Formafantasma. The T Shelf is a love letter to highly skilled industrial production and a celebration of aluminum: It's cool with a perfectly anodized finish and is very, very strong. As versatile as they are resilient, the T Shelves are available in a range of different sizes and can be connected together to create endless configurations.
Photography: Marco Cappelletti
Tell us about your design process for creating a piece like T Shelf?
We don’t necessarily work in terms of inspiration, we rather reframe the briefs we are given. In this case for instance we wanted to use extruded aluminum. We wanted to develop something made of aluminum because it is easily recyclable. The process of the design itself was relatively short. The initial idea was and in part still is, to develop a system, not just a bookshelf. With two extrusions one can basically construct everything.
What was unique about designing this product?
This is the first time we use extrusion. But it Is a production method we love. Extrusions are offering many possibilities and it is a very efficient, not wasteful production process. That’s the main reason why we decided to work with this technique. A more challenging part has been the engineering of the extrusion. The reason why this is difficult is that you can effectively test an extrusion only when you actually produce it. Hem had to really make some wired prototype to get there. I took quite a long time to see the project evolving even if the product looks so simple.
What environment is the T Shelf made or?
In regards to the application of the shelving units, we of course thought the best environment could be the office or a home-office situation. The objects are very industrial in materials and production but the formal solutions and the refinement elevate these making them sophisticated and perfect also for the home.
What is unique about the T Shelf?
What sets this product apart from the rest is that it is at the same time very functional, and extremely industrial in its production process but equally sophisticated. The point of reference was the standard shelving system for workshops but we made these much more elegant. The opportunity these shelves offer is that we could any day evolve the series beyond the shelving and even implement other materials. Our general aim is to produce tools for the everyday. We want to do something timeless that uses materials responsibly. This product is fantastic in this sense.