Have you ever made a bulletin board from wine bottle corks? I thought that was the most creative use of corks instead of throwing them away but obviously I am no Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance! The French designer created a whole furniture set using burnt cork as the material and therefore the range is aptly called Burnt Cork. He uses discarded cork for the range, choosing different gradients and cork grain patterns to create a play between textures.
Sustainable designs often draw inspiration from nature and this furniture series is no exception. It is produced through the designer’s own Portugal-based studio Made in Situ and it celebrates the beauty of Portuguese landscapes which are abundant with cork forests. Cork is one of the most resilient natural materials. While the designer was driving through the Pedrógão Grande mountain region during the forest fires of 2017, he was thinking of the destruction, and during that he had the “Aha!” moment of using burnt cork as a material. A year later, he visited a traditional cork manufacturing company where he discovered various cork processing techniques which included the waste material from the fires – literal burnt cork!
Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance spent two years on research and development before giving second life to the waste cork. The furniture set is an homage to the resilience and beauty of this sustainable material. Burnt Cork is crafted using a blend of traditional and modern techniques resulting in organic forms with curved lines that give it a unique sculptural aesthetic. Every design highlights the dichotomy of the rough and fine cork textures.
The limited-edition set includes a dining table, two low tables, a lounge chair, a dining chair, a chaise longue, and a stool. Each piece has a base with a bark-like texture that then transforms into a fine grain surface at the top. The chairs showcase ergonomic silhouettes that promise comfort while the tables feature architectural elements. Cork is an underrated sustainable material that finally got a chance to shine through design in the Burnt Cork furniture set.
Designer: Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance