During the summer, London saw two equally exciting design events, from the celebrated Brazilian design duo, Fernando and Humberto Campana.
The first, an exhibition entitled "TransPlastic", held at London's Albion Gallery; showcasing their contemporary-come-traditional wicker and plastic furniture designs. Second, in partnership with the Albion Gallery collection, the Campana Brothers presented a specially commissioned bamboo installation in the Garden's of London's Victoria & Albert Museum.
The TransPlastic collection encapsulated many concepts explored throughout the campana’s trajectory; revisiting material clashes with a more mature approach. At the end of 2005, the preceding years of research evolved in an organic fashion by transforming into a collection of 31 prototypes that are to be displayed for the first time at albion gallery in london. regular chairs, multiple-seating chairs, lamps, illuminated meteors, clouds and islands have been created by taking advantage of the elasticity of natural fibre. taking as a starting point plastic chairs, water containers and rudimentary wood stools, natural fibre extensions were added, altering the original form. the pieces subsequently took on a geographic dimension through organic shapes, adding value and comfort to the original base material.
The transplastic series tells a fictional story: in a world made of plastic and synthetic matter, a fertile ground is laid for transgenic creations. natural fibres recover the plastic as in an immunological response: nature grows from the plastic and overpowers it.
All the pieces are handcrafted with a very typical brazilian fibre, ‘apuí’. The extraction of this fibre helps preserve and control the biodiversity of the forests as apuí suffocates and kills the trees from which they grow. These fibres are removed manually, without any tools or processes that may harm the trees. The fibre is an analogy for this series of work; the wicker begins to grow from the plastic, suffocating and drawing nourishment from it, reinforcing the original theses of the fictional story fernando and humberto campana have chosen to tell.
The Victoria and Albert Installation transformed the John Madejski Garden, with a unique installation exploring the use of bamboo. You can see a video about the installation here.