Amsterdam-based design studio, Faberhama, creates contemporary objects that merge a modern aesthetic with traditional craftsmanship.
Faberhama was founded by Italian duo, Paola Amabile and Alberto Fabbian. They both studied in Padua, Italy (Paola graduated with a Masters Degree in Creative Design from Scuola Italiana di Design in 2011 and Alberto graduated with a Masters degree in Creative Design from the University of Padua in 2006), and have been working together since 2011. Both designers grew up in a part of Italy that has a rich heritage in craftsmanship, with local ceramic, porcelain, and glass manufacturing industries still active today. Through their surroundings, they developed an awareness of and interest in the interplay between materials, craft, and cultural values.
Balancing tradition with innovation, the designers aim to create contemporary pieces through an exploration of material processes and knowledge by commencing both commissioned and self-initiated projects. A recent project they completed as part of the residency programme with EDIT Napoli involved an investigation of the 18th Century silk weaving tradition of San Leucio, a town in the Campania region. Taking inspiration from the Ferdinandopoli project conceived by King Ferdinando IV, Faberhama took his political vision under the Age of Enlightenment into account and interpreted the tight control he had over his subjects against a backdrop of contrasts of the region—artifice and nature, freedom and control, closure and openness. The resulting piece was a geometric tapestry that simultaneously tells an ancient and contemporary story, with the silkworm celebrated a symbol of nature, suspended between the potential of metamorphosis and human control.
Their work, which includes pieces of furniture and objects for the home such as vases and bowls, is often muted in tone but rich in texture, seemingly understated but beneath the apparent minimalism, there is always a story of artisanal traditions and cultural heritage that is allowed speak for itself through a gentle aesthetic.
Faberhama’s designs have been shown in different international museums such as Het Zuiderzeemuseum, Triennale Design Museum in Milan, and La Venaria Reale in Turin. They have also participated in various international design fairs and have been selected by a number of entrepreneurs and curators, such as Giulio Cappellini, Lidewij Edelkoort, Silvana Annichiarico and Elisabeth Leriche. They also frequently hold workshops and lectures in various Institutions and Universities, such as The University of Florence, Het Zuiderzeemuseum in Enkhuizen, and the Italian Institute of Culture in Amsterdam.