A talk with Frama
When did you realise it was time to launch your own brand and how did you came up with the idea of Frama?
It was in 2011, after some years of random activities within trading and agency work – which didn’t really feel complete, but it wasn’t so obvious to create your own collection and universe. In October, we were invited to participate at Qubique design fair and that opportunity was the starting point of creating what Frama is today. The previous years had been relevant in terms of understanding the business, but from a creative point of view a new chapter started. Since the name was already established, we discontinued the other activities and focused on our Permanent Collection (the name is a reference to permanent collection in museums). From here, Frama has been continuously on an exciting journey where the most important thing is to protect the values and culture we created, and not lose our consistency.
What are Frama staples? What kind of feelings does the company aim to convey through its aesthetic?
We aim for a pure and real design, without artificial feels around it. Actually, I believe that design have a certain pureness to it, most of the times, but once the idea goes through the many layers of production, it can loose the initial purpose. This happens often because the mass market doesn’t allow to use natural surfaces and fragile materials, which are the key. That’s where the spirit of design lies.
How do you usually approach new projects?
New projects arise very organically and they are part of the holistic journey we aim to work around at Frama. We have a language and culture that constitute our framework. Around 1/2 of our collection pieces are created by external creatives, which offers a dynamism to the company universe, but obviously it is more a curator work to ensure that these designers are aligned with our DNA. When we design internally, it is a team effort as we use all our different competences.
Projects are developed with a straight dialogue between Frama and architects, with a shared vision on providing sensorial, spatial experiences and a general appreciation for simple, pure forms.
In addiction to the various collections of furniture and furnishings, Frama collaborates closely with architects to develop site-specific design solutions. How do these projects develop?
We believe in curiosity and dialogue. Working with architects is just another very organic way to develop creative ideas with a specific focus on form, material and spatial solutions. Projects are developed with a straight dialogue between Frama and architects, with a shared vision on providing sensorial, spatial experiences and a general appreciation for simple, pure forms.
How would you describe the relationship between art and design nowadays? Do you think that there are defined boundaries between the two disciplines or they somehow communicate and nurture each other?
I think there will always be, hopefully, a natural difference between these two fields. Design has a function and art does not. I know it’s very tempting to challenge and try to merge these disciplines, but at the end of the day they are two different fields. Art has also changed from being a free expression of different considerations to now be dictated by the art industry. This is not recent, but it’s getting more and more significant and obvious over time.
What role does sustainability occupy in your practice?
Our core values are based on the respect and care for humans and for the environment. Sustainability is a whole experience, there is a needed balance between humans and nature. In Frama, our practices begin with this balance in mind. As we believe in long lasting materials and forms that are not playing on the trend forecast, we don’t motivate over-consumption by introducing seasonable collections only to get the maximum profit.
Do you know Mutina? What strikes you the most about the company?
Yes, I know the company, we’ve had the opportunity to visit the Headquarters. Mutina stands out from the general tile companies by approaching matter in a less conventional way – it seems to be oriented on a curator’s eyes, with a clear direction for where the company is going.
Do you have a favorite collection? Why?
I find the Rombini collection very interesting because of the perception of volumes it gives. I would use it in a tone-in-tone project, where tiles would present a surprising effect once you get closer.
How would you use it in one of Frama’s site-specific projects?
I would create a very calming spatial experience where tiles blend into the environment, with the architecture lines complementing the light of the given space.
Sustainability is a whole experience, there is a needed balance between humans and nature. In Frama, our practices begin with this balance in mind.