focus on: BulRUSH

co/rizom incubator is guiding amazing artisans, designers and business professionals in developing their collections for a global audience.

 focus on series will allow you to get to know better the people behind the PODs.

This edition is dedicated to BulRUSH: The POD zooms in the Bunho technique – a Portuguese basketry technique that shapes the natural fiber Bulrush (Shoenoplectrus Palla), into a mesh of knots and stitches.

With an intentional focus on natural fibers and ancient techniques, Manuel, Lucrezia, Iany and Allegra invite us to reconnect with ourselves through the raw materials from our landscapes, our ancestral know-how and our makers.
Manuel Ferreira is living in Santarém, Portugal, and is currently one of the very few artisans working with Bunho – the endangered basketry technique. Before retirement, he is willing to transfer his knowledge to the younger generation.

How did you start working as an artisan?

It started by chance. I was working in a different field and enlisted in a public scholarship training for “furniture production” more than 30 years ago – thinking that I was going to learn woodworking or something related. Little did I know it was training for basketry artisanship. I was disappointed at first and only stayed because it was paid. It ended up becoming my profession until today.

What attracts you to the material you chose for the process?
The material’s unique soft touch.
MACHEIA is a design studio, based in Lisbon. Created in 2020 by italian-german product designer Lucrezia Papillo and mozambican-portuguese architect Iany Gayo. MACHEIA’s work ranges from “transfer of know-how” related products, collaborative installations and private commissions.  

Describe the co/rizom incubator in 3 words
Eye-opening, challenging and stimulating.

  What is an emotion connected to this collection?
We expect that the collection brings a sense of liveliness – that through the pieces you feel that ancient techniques, this one in particular, are alive and still have a lot to say still.

  Can you describe the material in 3 words?
Soft, sturdy and light.  

What is the biggest challenge in the design process?
Combining two highly contrasting materials – natural fibers and metal – with the intent to highlight each other’s characteristics but at the same time perceived as one.
Allegra Zanirato is born in Italy, and lived in Porto, São Paulo and Bordeaux. From 2019 to 2022 she worked at specialising in art production and exhibition design. From her interest in art and design she co-founded Cosebelle, a research project focused on production services for young artists and designers.

What does the word craft bring to mind?
Craft can be described as a common ground: each culture can relate to artisanal techniques and local materials. Somehow, the craft is related to collective memory.