The French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance has created a collection of furniture that is a tribute to Portuguese cork. The material used is the discarded burnt cork that creates comfortable furniture with sinuous shapes and in a limited edition. The burnt cork typically used is an industrial waste product due to its rough texture. The Burnt Cork collection, on the other hand, includes magnificent and comfortable chairs, tables and chaise longues.
Cork is waterproof, buoyant, elastic and flame retardant. Cork oak forests abound, which is why making cork furniture sounds like a great idea. The French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance has created a collection of furniture that is a tribute to Portuguese cork. The material used is the discarded burnt cork that creates comfortable furniture with sinuous shapes and in a limited edition.
All pieces in the Burnt Cork collection were carved from cork blocks, similar to those used in buildings as insulation. The collection includes chairs, tables, coffee tables and chaise longues. The burnt cork used in general is an industrial waste product due to its rougher texture. The idea came when the designer first moved to Portugal in 2017 and after seeing devastating forest fires in the hills of Pedrógão Grande on the way from France: “It was a shock to drive over these burning hills, the hell that consumed the landscape and left behind a world of visible entropy,” Duchaufour-Lawrance said in a blog post. “I was struck by the power of the fire, one of the five vital elements for existence on earth, a keystone for the development of culture… Part of me didn’t want to think about it, but I took pictures and this experience stayed with me. It made me question my interaction with nature as a designer and as a consumer. I felt it would resurface in the work I was doing here in Portugal. “
The cork furniture is produced in a small family-run cork manufacturing plant in Faro. Burnt cork is the top layer of bark of the cork oak, which during forest fires, carbonizes to protect the tree below and is then eliminated by cork producers to allow regrowth. Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance studied instead how to exploit this difference and has devised a traditional process that involves mixing and gluing cork granules in a mold, cooking the block for 16 hours and drying for six weeks. The furnishings of the collection Burnt Cork are made with different sizes of burnt cork granules so as to have more interesting and unique gradient textures.