Three years ago, French furniture and object designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance—whose clients include Baccarat, Bernhardt Design, Hermès, and Montblanc—moved to Lisbon, Portugal, to quell his desire to live in a small city by the sea. (He still maintains a studio in Paris.) Earlier this fall, he opened a space there called Made in Situ that champions the traditional crafts, techniques, and materials of the region through objects he designs and makes with local artisans. Its first collection, a line of black ceramic vessels, lamps, and diffusers called Barro Negro, is on view there through February 2021. We recently spoke with Duchaufour-Lawrance about his new platform and how he created the inaugural pieces with craftspeople who use a traditional firing method called soenga.
How did the idea for Made in Situ come about?
I’ve had this project in the back of my mind for a long time. It’s inspired by the way chefs work with ingredients that are directly around them, picking food from their gardens. As a designer, I realized that I had to look more carefully at what I have around me. When you become a consumer with this kind of awareness, it changes your way of seeing things. Made in Situ is a [way] for me to investigate and discover Portugal through its craft traditions.
To make the objects in the Barro Negro collection, you collaborated with Portuguese ceramicists Xana Monteiro and Carlos Lima. For more than three decades, they have been working in the soenga method, which gives pottery a coal-black color. Tell me about how that’s achieved.
Soenga is an ancient firing technique that dates back to Neolithic times. The pottery is buried in the ground [with burning pine], then covered in soil, creating a lack of oxygen that causes the pieces to become black and gives them a smoky smell. It’s a very aggressive way of cooking the pottery: A lot of it breaks in the process, so the forms have to be thick and strong.
How did you work together to make the pottery?
I visited [Xana and Carlos] a lot over the past two years, spending time in their workshop, sharing lunch or a drink after a day of hard work. It was a long, beautiful experience—first to build trust, and then to initiate the creative process. Soon I was sketching on the table, and Carlos was going to the wheel, working on tests with the clay. It was about exchanging, dreaming, and adapting to constraints. Patience was crucial to this adventure.
Aside from Portugal’s craft traditions, how else did the country inform your designs?
The Serra do Caramulo mountains and the nearby village of Molelos, where we made the pieces, played a big role in Barro Negro. On the Serra do Caramulo, you can find these granite rocks in roundish shapes that are sometimes cut with straight lines—they’re very sculptural.
You’re currently working with a honey-maker in Nisa, a candle-maker in Fátima, and a bronze expert in Peniche on future projects. How will your experience collaborating with different artisans be reflected in the objects you make together?
For each collection, I begin my investigation on a specific material with a kind of savoir faire. This leads me to more discoveries, thanks to the people I meet. In the end, our designs bear all sides of the stories lived in the process of creating them.
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A New Film Highlights Fashion Designer Margaret Howell’s Admiration for Understated Japanese Objects and Materials
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Since ancient times, people have looked to the sun, moon, and stars to create a sense of rhythm and order in their livesLittle Lange 1 Moon Phase watch elevates the poetic movement with a copper-flecked, midnight-blue silver dial that shimmers like the night sky, a
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Vietnamese-American Stylist Beverly Nguyen Pays Tribute to Her Family and Friends With a New Pop-Up Shop
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Imagine shopping a trove of objects that are at once elegant and ethically made—no post-purchase consumer guilt necessarGoodee, an online marketplace of homewares and clothing that make a positive impact on people and the planet. Founded by Montrundulating Pakurigo baskets handwoven by artisans in Ghana from locally sourced vetiver grass, vegan seaweed soap that cleverly uses coriander seeds and peppercorns as exfoliants, and the sought-after Goodee Hoodie, recently released in three new colors (dusty rose, Egyptian blue, and alabaster) and made from Egyptian cotton by the Kotn. There’s also a handsome German Douglas pine daybed from Danish B Corp Skagerak, topped with Kvadrat upholstery, and a Japanese windmill palm fiber “corner brush” designed to dust the undustable. Feel like decking the halls? Try these multihued Jipi Baubles tree ornaments, handmade from Jipijapa palm tree leaves by Colombian artisans in the Andes. For those on our gift lists, including the
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As gym closures continue (that is to say, most everywhere), the age of home fitness has arrived, and with it, a spate of online classes to match. Popular fitness studios like Sky Ting and Modo Yoga have recently transitioned to hosting live sessions online (as has Ashtanga yoga teacher Eddie Stern, who was just a guest on our At a Distance podcast), while apps such as Nike Training Club are temporarily offering free access. We’re also fans of the newsletter TheWorkout.Today, which sends a fresh routine to your inbox each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, along with a self-reflection exercise toGorilla Mat, and some good ol’ motivation.
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The prospect of starting a home garden might conjure some Thoreauvian notion of going “back to the land” or returning tothe Edn smart garden; another we recommend—an especially aesthetically pleasing option—is the SproutsIO system. There’s also a user-friendly mobile app for this new reality: Made by a team of British developers, Garden Plan Pro offers an update to the classic Farmers’ Almanac, with a detailed glossary of plants and flowers along with their peak seasonal ranges and the ideal plantings to pair tSimCity rolled into one. Siri, let’s get gardening.
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From Eileen Gray and Frank Lloyd Wright to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Frank Gehry, there’s a long history of famous arArchitectmade sells a range of such objects by some of the country’s most celebrated architects and designers. These include a range objets by more contemporary talents, including wooden animal figurines by Bjarke Ingels (a panda) and Nikolaj Klitgaard (an owl). The collection of sculptural items are imminently giftable and ageless, made
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Americans spend an average of more than four hours a day on their smartphones—and it’s hardly innocent fun. A new study finds that smartphone addiction can have the same effect on the brain as drug addiction, reducing gray matter and deliv
Artists, chefs, and scientists have long found creative inspiration in mushrooms, and for a variety of reasons. Prized fAdam Fuss—who creates photograms by placing spores on light-sensitive paper and letting them bloom in contact to create an abstra“Mushrooms: The Art, Design, and Future of Fungi,” organized by Francesca Gavin, examines the widespread influence of the humble organism, featuring the work of 40 artistMushroom Book of recipes and observations, artworks by Cy Twombly, and a series of events including a pop-up dinner by chef Skye Gyng
Designer Juliana Huang spent much of her childhood in Taiwan, before moving to Los Angeles after high school. Living halThe Wax Apple—affectionately named after her favorite fruit native to Taiwan—she’s able to share a little piece of her culture with a
When British editor Penny Martin and the creators of BUTT and Fantastic Man launched The Gentlewoman, in 2010, it boldly introduced a new type of “women’s magazine.” Redefining notions of female aspiration and personal sThe Gentlewoman features candid profiles and in-depth interviews with figures across the age, cultural, and professional spectrum—everymini-magazine. Measuring less than 3.5 inches tall, and nearly as thick as it is wide, it’s designed to fit in the palm of your hand,The Gentlewoman’s cover stories to date, including those printed in its earliest (and now rare and sought-after) issues. At once undersIrma Boom fan in your life. With its sleek white cover, it makes for a playful foil to the everyman’s little black book.