Guajiro furniture collection was inspired by the hats of Cuban peasants (guajiros). They work on farms under the sun all day long. Hence, they use this typical hat for protection. In addition, this garment goes beyond the purely native and has become one of Cuban most popular handcraft traditions: basketwork.
In Cuba, basket weaving is mostly practiced in rural areas. It is frequently developed by all family members and it is inherited from elder generations. Therefore, the aim of this project is to encourage Cuban basketwork tradition through the combination of old handcraft techniques with a contemporary approach. Guajiro collection gives native artisans an interesting opportunity to apply their inherited know-how to a new aesthetic. With this purpose, the designers worked with the craftmen comunity from “el Malecón sin Agua”, located on the outskirts of Havana. Holders of 20 years of experience, they specialize in the weaving of guaniquiqui, a liana that grows wild in the Cuban forest.
The furniture collection comprises a low table, a sofa, a stool and a floor lamp. Each product alludes to the peasant hat telling us a particular story. Some of them combine functions such as support-lighting or lighting-containment. The low table is the axis of the collection and recreates a common anecdote: after a working day, guajiros frequently arrive home and put their hats on the table as a metaphor of the beginning of the rest. The table concept explores this particular moment, which is reinterpreted with an unexpected fictional meaning: during the day the hat works as energy reserve, and throughout the night it releases this energy as light.
This project was created with the support of the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Cuba.