Cork, thriving bark

Cork, thriving bark

From yoga mats to lampshades to insulating panels left raw on the walls, cork has made a name for itself in interiors. It’s natural and recyclable, and always stands out when industrial design cites its greatest contemporary environmental successes. A noble material, rehabilitated and no longer blamed for its aesthetics, but highly significant in the 1970s. “Cork has become a material for which everything is used, or at least a lot”confirms from the outset Quentin Hirsinger, founder of MatériO’, a materials library that guarantees an international viewing of materials, dedicated to architects, designers and other creatives.

“It’s a fabric that makes you really want to touch it, and that’s important in design.” — Bruce Ripay, Noma co-founder

In its natural state, cork effectively protects against insects and fungi, isolates frost and bad weather and acts as a fire barrier during forest fires. Miraculously, once the material is used, it does not lose these qualities but rather acquires others such as sound and heat insulation. sweet and warm “It’s also a material that makes you really want to touch it, which is important in the design”, confirms Bruce Ripay, co-founder of Noma, which favors responsible production from recycled and bio-sourced materials. The cleanly padded Plast 74.9 chair offers a seat made of cork and recycled plastic on beech legs. Designed by Italian designer Martino Gamber, this object ultimately contains (as its name suggests) 74.9% recycled materials.

Portuguese story

This famous smooth tree bark comes primarily from oak wood found in the Mediterranean. This type of forest (called “montado”) is the most numerous in Portugal, but it is also found in southern France, Corsica, Italy, Spain and North Africa. Bark is extracted from trees in a nine-year cycle. This time between harvests is necessary for the tree to recreate a new layer of protection. “This de-barking activity of a delicate and ancient motion benefits and regenerates the tree itself.”French designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance confirms. In Lisbon, the French designer imagined a range of interior furniture designed from burnt cork blocks, including a sculpted chaise longue whose rounded shapes seem to defy the flexibility of the cork material.

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About the Author: Irene Alves

"Bacon ninja. Guru do álcool. Explorador orgulhoso. Ávido entusiasta da cultura pop."

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