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Estimated production time: 2 - 12 weeks
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In this chair collection, Laura Blasco, Juanmi Juárez, and Alex Estévez from Barcelona-based Mermelada Estudio and Emirati designer Ghaya Bin Mesmar envisioned a new use for Safeefah weaving – furniture.
During their research, the designers came across images of traditional “Areesh” houses in the desert, which are made from palm fronds. One of the images showed an Areesh blown down by the wind, making it look like a majestic cone. This fascinated the designers, who wondered if this unique narrative could be turned into a seat.
They designed this chair collection using palm fronds, combining both themes of privacy and protection from the image they drew inspiration from.
Bidwa artisans from the Bidwa Social Development Programme wove the upholstery of the chairs by combining old and new Safeefah as well as other weaving techniques, using a new colour range.
Linen, Safeefah weaves, steel
Mermelada is an industrial design studio founded by Laura Blasco, Juanmi Juárez and Alex Estévez. The three of them met in Barcelona after years of training in Design Schools in Spain, England, and Italy, and set off on a creative journey brought together by their common aim of finding the extraordinary in the ordinary.
The media have described their work as a mix of wit and poetry and praised them for their unconventional look at objects that fill up our everyday lives. They strive to find excellence and achieve balance in each one of the projects where they have participated. They collaborate with renowned international brands such as Moroso, Kettal, BD Barcelona Design, Kvadrat, Fermob, and RS among others.
In 2012, the trio created Mermelada Editions, the outlet they use to design, manufacture, and distribute their innermost creations. This way, they share with the public limited and unique editions of their objects.
Their work has traveled the world in exhibitions, trade fairs, and conferences. Recently, Elle Decoration Spain has awarded the studio as the best young Spanish designers of 2016.
Belgian design is traditionally connected with its territory, both in terms of the use of natural materials and their corresponding colour palette. In addition, the international design scene was overwhelmed by the completely white minimalistic interiors in the nineties and the Scandinavian design trend with lots of light coloured wood and soft tones during the past decade.
To conquer the monotonous globalised, Instagram-driven interior design trends and to bring some optimism in these rather dark times, the international and Belgian design scenes nowadays fully embrace a vibrant colour scheme. Moreover colours are not only fun, but they also affect both our emotions and physical wellbeing. Or as Le Corbusier said: “Colour is an element as necessary as water and fire.”
Faithful to the Belgian context, most designers work with natural materials, which they manually transform into perfectly imperfect, tactile eye-catchers. These qualities can be found in ceramics and textile, but also in pieces from reclaimed materials that had a previous life. By integrating these unique or small-scale production pieces from independent designer-makers in an interior, you’ll bring their personal quests together into the unique story of your home.
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