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Today, Design Limited Edition shares with you a special and exclusive interview with Boca do Lobo’s designers: Marco Costa and Alexandre Calvário. Insects are o of the biggest 2017 design trends and this Portuguese design studio was a pioneer in the creation of unique furniture pieces for contemporary home decors. Metamorphosis series is the name behind an unorthodox yet elegant collection. Take a look!
1) Metamorphosis Series has come to symbolize a new line of thought and design inspiration for Boca do Lobo. How did you conceive such a bold design concept?
Metamorphosis Series is more than just a simple line of design. It has a special meaning that has been part of Boca do Lobo’s purpose and creative’s DNA – breaking creative boundaries and being capable of constantly making something better. It’s hard to define what creativity is, but we know for sure that is during the creative act, that we become able to manipulate objects or symbols to produce an uncommon definition of art and giving origin to the most bizarre and unique pieces. As I said before “the creative process is something between your past experiences and the things you’ve been through, and your future with everything you can still experience and control”. We believe that the highest kind of creativity is surely that which shatters the clouds of custom, and extends the possibilities of thought and perception.
This way, and inspired by a great novel of the 20th Century, written by a phenomenal thinker – Franz Kafka – Metamorphosis digs deep introspection, unknowingly looking for meaning or something to hang on to. This was the word which rung in conversation and thought and has come to symbolize a new line of thought, and design inspiration for Boca do Lobo. This was how Metamorphosis Series was created.
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2) Metamorphosis Series puts aesthetic standards and the meaning of beauty to test, seeking at the same time to provoke a reaction. What kind of reaction are you trying to instigate?
Insects can be repulsive and can make people think of how different and unique life is by itself. That was the main purpose behind this line of design. By putting aesthetic standards and the meaning of beauty to test, the Metamorphosis series seeks to provoke a questioning within the evolutionary context. I am sure of one thing – emotional design and creating experiences is where we have to work on, and that’s where the main purpose of Metamorphosis lives. By creating a reaction, we are also creating this emotional experience and bringing the design concept back to life.
3) This three-piece set includes one of the Boca do Lobo’s most iconic design – Diamond Sideboard. Why did you choose this peculiar piece to be redesigned?
Diamond Sideboard is one of the most emblematic pieces ever created by Boca do Lobo, and it just fitted perfectly into the Metamorphosis ideal. It all started as a funny game between designers – who could make the same look different? Upon laying out a selection of bugs on the piece, we thought… why not?! And basically, this was how the redesigned and transformed Diamond Sideboard into something different. Also, with this piece we were able to rediscover creativity as a subjective concept, which allowed us to find beauty in the strangest things and that special place is known as true luxury.
4) To complete such a challenging design, Boca do Lobo’s core selection of material (brass) went through a series of new and innovative treatment processes. How was that process?
This current three-piece set took us to a new selection of materials, which were mainly brass and wood. This core’s selection of material went through a series of new treatment processes in order to fulfill our ambitions and complete such a challenging design. The most important technique we explored was ammonia oxidation, a special finishing uncommonly used in metalwork. The metal oxides are very interesting materials because they possess wide and universal properties including physical and chemical properties that can be used for many applications.
The metal oxides are very interesting materials because they possess wide and universal properties including physical and chemical properties that can be used for many applications. Ammonia oxidation, which is basically the reaction of ammonia with oxygen, was a technique never explored before, carefully developed in a lab by our designers and chemical engineers. After several tests, we finally found out how to apply this technique to metal work and create beautiful bugs for our pieces.
5) Which were the main barriers that you had to get over through?
Most of the techniques and finishes we used throughout the entire production process were completely new for us. This way, it seems quite logical that we went thought a lot of barriers and difficulties to reach the final result. The first significant barrier was the peculiar kind of foundry that was used for producing the bugs – a fine art practice mostly used in jewelry. We are talking about a very complex technique which involves more than one single foundry. The bugs on display are the result of the combinations of several foundries, pieces and components, carefully handcrafted by expertise artisans and jewelers. It’s a process that involves a lot of time, manual labor and dedication what that’s why it took 11 months to produce the first prototype. The second big barrier was the convex mirror that is conceived with a unique manual technique that distorts the view. The huge dimensions of the mirror made this technique almost impracticable, only achieved by talented hands of our wise artisans.
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6) Presenting such a challenging and controversial design at Salone del Mobile in Milan took Boca do Lobo to a whole different level. What can we expect for upcoming designs and novelties?
Regarding upcoming designs, we are expected to launch another novelty according to the Metamorphosis concept. However, a lot of things have the power to inspire us, and our job is to pay attention to them.
As we gain knowledge, the world around us becomes more and more demanding, and it becomes more difficult to surprise and be surprised. That’s the challenge!
A kind of addiction that takes control of you, creating a sense of discomfort and a permanent craving for a surprise at every step you take.
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