The collection is inspired by French designer and studio founder Duchaufour-Lawrance’s arrival in Portugal in the summer of 2017 and his drive through the mountainous area of Pedrógão Grande, which had suffered devastating forest fires. “Cork has the ability to protect the ‘sobreiro’, the oak tree in case of fires. Once harvested, the burnt barrier is peeled from the tree, giving way for the next layers of cork to grow,” explains the studio, adding that “the burnt harvest is usually left behind by the modern-day cork industry”. The designer had the idea to transform the scrapped remnants into gradient blocks, carefully carving out the discarded burnt cork to make unique tactile and sculptural creations.
Playing with different granularities and using the cork block technique of a small family-owned production facility in Algarve, NF Cork, the custom-designed blocks reveal a gradient from raw burnt cork to a refined finish. “The blocks are specifically composed in a defined gradient of cork granules between coarse and fine; their structure gives birth to the design,” explains the studio. The collection includes a stool, three chairs with curved shapes, and three tables with a distinct visual interaction between the roughness of the support blocks and the soft fluidity of their surfaces. Both raw and elegant, the different creations invite one to experience the material transition at every angle, while celebrating fine craftsmanship, natural forms, and Portuguese heritage. “The collection is an ode to the resilience of material, of people, of process,” Made in Situ concludes, “each piece of furniture contains and exhibits the marks of Portuguese Cork’s history.”