French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance has used discarded burnt cork to create furniture collection featuring sinuous forms and a gradient of textures.
The seed for the collection was planted when the designer first moved to Portugal in the summer of 2017. He did the three-day drive from France alone, encountering devastating forest fires in the hills of Pedrógão Grande along the way.
In October 2018, the french designer along with the Made in Situ team began exploring, meeting with local artisans, as well as a small family-owned cork production facility named NF cork, which traditionally manufactured architectural insulation blocks and was now pursuing an overall revitalization. There, the designer learnt about the process of turning cork bark into blocks, but he also discovered one of its unused waste products, burnt cork.
Once harvested, the burnt barrier is peeled from the tree, allowing for the next layers of cork to grow. However, the burnt harvest is usually left behind by the modern-day cork industry. Bearing these facts in mind, the designer developed the desire to create a unique material from burnt cork leftovers, combining it with the traditional cork block technique of NF cork.
The result is a collection of tables and chairs that rely on the aesthetic beauty of natural cork and the speckled pattern and wavering density that emerges in the burn. The shapely contours and curvy edges respond to the tactile suppleness of the material, the beautiful final forms rejecting any semblance of their former cast-off status.