T Shelf from Hem and Formafantasma is Deceptively Minimalist

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Photo by Erik Lefvander


April 13, 2022

  • T Shelf is the first collaboration between Hem and Formafantasma.
  • The modular shelving system has six height and width modules to create custom solutions.
  • Five years of product development brought about the cutting-edge extruded aluminum system made from 90% recycled material.
  • The design is both responsible and timeless with its resourceful and minimal design.

Swedish design brand Hem teamed up with Milan-based designers Formafantasma to design the T Shelf, an extruded aluminum shelving system whose seemingly simple profile belies the complex engineering behind the design.

Six different height and width modules can be arranged and connected in various formations, allowing the T Shelf to extend and create custom shelving solutions. An anodized aluminum finish emphasizes the minimalism of the shelf’s thin profile, smooth surfaces, rounded edges, and invisible hardware. The extruded aluminum composition, which is typically used in industrial manufacturing, allows the long, unsupported spans of the shelf to hold heavy objects and still look remarkably clean.

Hem’s founder Petrus Palmer approached Formafantasma to collaborate in 2017, having followed their work for years. “Their unique sensibility and research-led approach results in work that is highly in tune with many of the most important questions of today—from scarcity in resources and circular manufacturing to how the design discipline relates to a wider context of culture and history,” Petrus said in a release.

Echoing these values from the start, the collaborators aimed to create something timeless and resourceful. Extrusion allows for minimal production waste, and aluminum is recyclable. The resulting T Shelf consists of pre- and post- consumer scrap and primary aluminum to be as responsible as possible.

Five years of product development, testing, and prototyping later, the T Shelf is available from Hem. “Hem’s patience with the long process of prototyping and testing resulted in a final product which looks minimal and elegant but is really a masterpiece of design and manufacturing,” Formafantasma said of the long development process.


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