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Vitra Design Museum launches a competition in partnership with Corticeira Amorim

20 Jun / 2012

The Vitra Design Museum in partnership with Corticeira Amorim has recently launched a competition challenging designers from all over the world to design new and innovative uses for cork or improve the existing portfolio of cork-based products.

The 20 best project proposals will be selected by July 15, 2012 on the basis of their clear relevance to the cork industry and application in the improvement of existing cork product lines and/or the design of new applications or product lines. The winners will be invited to attend a specialized workshop at Domaine de Boisbuchet. The goal of this workshop is to develop prototypes of the 20 selected ideas. At the end of the workshop an award of € 10,000 will be given to the author of the best project.

Alexander von Vegesack, a representative of Domaine de Boisbuchet and Vitra Design Museum, Gabriele Pezzini, Hermès design consultant (Paris), Cathleen O'Rourke, Director for Europe of Parsons the New School for Design (Paris), Luisa González- Portillo, Coordinator of the IED Master and Academic Director of Domaine de Boisbuchet, Rita João and Pedro Ferreira (both Portuguese designers at Pedrita) as well as Carlos de Jesus and Raquel Castro, Marketing and Advertising Director and designer, respectively, at Corticeira Amorim, are the jury members who will be responsible for selecting the winning designs.

According to Alexander von Vegesack, the head of Domaine de Boisbuchet and Vitra Design Museum, "The Domaine de Boisbuchet is an idyllic place which attracts creative people from all around the world. Inspired by nature they experiment with wood, clay, fabrics etc. and above all with their phantasy. Cork is an ideal enrichment of this palette and it's a material I always met with great respect and sympathy. I never throw away a cork and my hands as well as my feet in many ways enjoy the soft and warm comfort of this natural product. But my intuitive affection is also matched by convictions: its outstanding ecological qualities make cork one of the most obvious basic materials to develop the future of our environment.”

Seduced by the versatility of cork, the Vitra Design Museum is focused on enhancing in the privileged space of the Domaine de BoisBuchet the development of new applications for cork products, by exploring the endless potential of this sustainable material and taking advantage of its exceptional properties, such as its thermal, sound and vibration insulation, resistance to high temperatures, impermeability to liquids, resilience, compressibility and lightness.

The  website has full details on the design competition. Applications forms should be submitted via email ( by June 30, 2012.

Corticeira Amorim has been leading several initiatives to leverage the combination of cork and design. In this context, Corticeira Amorim - as a supporter of this competition – will be associating again with Domaine de Boisbuchet in this action. This is an excellent opportunity to showcase cork and its application potential as well as to promote the design of new and innovative applications for cork products by the creative community.

It should be remembered that Corticeira Amorim sponsored a workshop on cork at Domaine de Boisbuchet in 2011. That workshop was coordinated by Rita João and Pedro Ferreira (Pedrita) and the emerging creative community was encouraged to rediscover this unique material.

In this 2012 competition and in this education centre par excellence, designers will be again urged to create innovative designs in cork under the motto “sustainability”.

About Domaine de Boisbuchet

Domaine de Boisbuchet is currently considered to be one of the most important international sites of experimentation in design and architecture. The summer workshops at the Domaine de Boisbuchet (an idyllic country estate in the Southwest of France) are carried out in partnership with the Centre George Pompidou and the Vitra Design Museum.

The summer workshops were resumed in 2010 after a gap that broke a 14-year cycle in promoting architecture and design workshops for international artists, architects and designers. The workshops run for six to ten days and the participants are invited to explore the theme underlying each workshop and apply their newly and recently acquired knowledge to practical use.

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