Formafantasma’s Charcoal project for the Vitra Design Museum is just so gorgeous. Formafantasma collaborated with Doris Wicki, one of the “last individuals dedicated to the tradition of producing charcoal by the slow burning of wood”, and glass blower Massimo Lunardon (beware! links to a ca-raaazy site!) to create a series of glass jars paired with wooden filters. Formafantasma carved the initial wooden pieces, which they then turned over to Doris Wicki, who left the pieces burning over the course of a few days. The charred remains were then further sculpted into the elements that were paired with the glass vessels.
Working with the notions of tradition and nostalgia, Formafantasma’s latest project draws on the tension between the dystopian connotation of charcoal, causing pollution and destruction while also being employed in healthcare and water purification.