Domaine de Boisbuchet has announced the winners of The future of cork applications competition, devised in collaboration with Portuguese company Corticeira Amorim. Portuguese designers Pedrita directed the final workshop of the competition, and comment on the results, which comprise a vast exploration of the (future) uses of cork.
Grégoire Basdevant: How did you happen to paticipate to this competition paired with a workshop?
Pedrita: The first phase of this project happened in Portugal as you were commissioned by Amorim to participate to a new collection.
Our first assignment from Amorim was to work on the Materia collection, a collection of cork objects that could somehow pop people's attention to the material and it's potential. By the time we worked on an extensive amount of possibilities regarding cork material proprieties. The focus was to enhance these proprieties and take the most of them on objects that could find their place around at home.
What were the first observations you made during your research for Amorim?
For us, as Portuguese, cork is a regular material used in many traditional objects. It was difficult to get away from the memories we had from traditional objects. But after getting the sample pack and visiting Amorim we were able to see the incredible amount of possibilities of transformation in the material... the wide variety of composites and variations of the raw material were very inspiring.
The competition and workshop at Boisbuchet provided you with a a second round of research. What came out of it?
There's still a lot to try on cork transformation and limits. At the workshops we had the chance to follow and suggest some experiments we did before or intend to do in the future... The competition workshop was very special. There was a lot of previous preparations done together with the selected participants. All were aware of the workshop limitations and focused to prepare well all the required materials for their prototypes. Everybody knew exactly how to get started once they were there! We were very happy with the 20 selected contestants! It was a great week with a lot of hard work. But beside all the hard work there was still room for fair play and good time enjoying Boisbuchet.
The winning project — Cork Beehive by Anna Loskiewicz — mixes various textures. Is it the most innovative project visually?
Visually it was the one that would stand from the other projects. There were a lot of functional details that Ana worked very well as visual elements. And they made sense when considering the target she pointed out for her project.
Did it also bring a real innovative input in the usage of cork?
It was one of the most important points discussed before deciding on the winner. It's a romantic product that calls attention to some important subjects that need to be considered more and more in nowadays. Specially if your working on putting products out in the market. But it shouldn't be something we have to make an effort to achieve... it should be something you always take in consideration no matter what in a project or even on daily life decisions.