Photos: Paula Alvarado.
Made in mimbre is another great example of fruitful collaborations between designers and traditional craftsmen, so common in Latin America over the past years (with cases like Quinua in Argentina or Oficina Nomade in Brazil, to name a few).
The project -developed by The Andes House- aims to use the wicker crafting techniques from the inhabitants of Chimbarongo, a town 150 kilometers south from Santiago de Chile, to locally produce slick and modern lamps and pieces of furniture.
During a recent trip to Santiago, TreeHugger stopped by their shop in the chic Providencia neighborhood for a chat with associate director Sofia Dominguez.
The project started four years ago with the aim to work with Chilean materials and manufacture, paired with contemporary design. Wicker was the first material chosen for its ubiquity in Chilean households.
Lamps and furniture pieces compose the Made in mimbre collection, but the firm also has a special department where they have designed interiors for stores and businesses. Products start with an iron structure built in Santiago which is then covered with the wicker skin by hand in Chimbarongo.
"It's funny, when we started we told craftsmen that we wanted to build a big workshop for them to work, but each of them has their own rhythm, schedule, place to work surrounded by their children, so we learned that you cannot take them out of their context because that's where they work the best," says Dominguez of the process.
Under The Andes House brand, head designers Jose Miguel Araus, Cristian Dominguez, and Arturo Errazuriz are now launching new products in sustainably sourced wood and stone working with artisans specialized in each material.
Their products can be found in several stores in Chile (including their shop-studio at Provindencia, pictured below), at Puro Chile in New York, and soon in two locations in Europe and Argentina.
More Sustainable Design From Chile
Organic Beeswax, Play Dough Tea Cups From Chile To Reflect On Our Relationship With Objects
Great Looking Trash Can + Furniture with Post-Consumer Recycled Plastic from Chile
Design with Waste from Print Industry, by Onceneto in Chile