DESIGN_ Last summer the idyllic country estate, Domaine de Boisbuchet in southwest France, was once again the destination for a renowned series of architecture and design workshops. Over seventeen years, internationally established artists, designers and architects, invited by design giants Vitra, have taught courses on current themes. Here below our selection of the most interesting courses of the last session.
"The essentials / slow design" by Pierre Favresse
Pierre’s creations are characterized by their simplicity and balance and marry craftsmanship with state of the art technology. Through design, Pierre plays with many of today’s everyday questions around the use of new materials and innovative functionality, while maintaining a strong focus on social and environmental concerns, be that through reduced manufacturing costs or eco friendly methods and materials.
The world is changing, and with it our concept of what design is, and should be. This workshop, set within the larger context of a cultural shift towards a global slow movement, brought all the participants to the essentials: a more efficient, sustainable, democratic, contemplative, and simply well made approach to design that focused on objects for living rather than living for objects. Pierre and participants have actively discussed, formulated, created, made and enjoyed a collection of wooden furniture around which everyone gathered for dinner at the end of the week.
Photo © Joana Lazarova, Naama Baor, Alexandra Gantseva
"Nomads" by Zuzunaga+ Teixidors
Nomads took the loom as its starting point and encouraged the participants to explore weaving in its most primal forms. Cristian, along with a team (and a wooden loom) from Teixidors, led the week’s exploration of how woven material can create and reflect personal or shared history.
Flowers, long grasses, hair – the natural environment immediately gave the inspiration to create textiles and woven patterns which integrated and reflected the unique time and space shared during the week at Boisbuchet.
Photo © Aneta Zeleznikova and Elif Akcay
"Local production line" by mischer‘traxler studio
"Manufacturing processes, machines and production lines are an important design factor which often becomes a source of inspiration opening manifold possibilities. But a designer can also question the way things are produced, twist the function of a particular machine or develop own processes with unique outcomes" say Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler.
This workshop investigated the possibility of a local serial production directly at Boisbuchet. In the beginning, small groups explored possibilities of using local materials and how they can be transformed within a few production steps. They focused on the potentials of the surrounding and experiment with various materials. Through practical research, trials and errors, the participants analysed, harvested and used the immediate surrounding. The restriction of producing a similar piece several times was the inspiration. They combined and mixed the starting points into one or two common "big“ production lines. The goal was to have one little object of the same kind for each participant as a tangible souvenir of the week.