At Milan’s Salone del Mobile 2010, cult design studio, Bokja, exhibited ‘Conversations’, a project celebrating the narratives and experiences that make up a sofa. The exhibition was held at the prestigious Spazio Orlandi, the gallery selected as #5 on the top 10 things to see at Salone 2010 by WGSN- a world-renowned trand forecasting ad analysis agency.
The idea behind the Conversations installation is that the object – in this case the sofa – is the moment from which conversations between time and place emerge, and that these narratives and stories don’t cease to exist with the object, but go on to live beyond it.
‘Conversations’ presented two sofas – not as independent and final objects – but as a collection of stories pieced together from a vibrant collage of different contemporary and vintage fabrics from around the world. Dissected layers of fabric from the sofas were strategically hung around them at the same height and distance apart, giving visitors an autopsy-like deconstruction of the sofa – accompanied with descriptions revealing each fabric’s place of origin, context and story.
The upholstered sofas were positioned in an “S” shape – to encourage conversation between people visiting the installation. Visitors were able to compare the fabrics independent of the sofa and to feel how a whole new dynamic is created when they are mixed together.
Bokja Co-Founder, Hoda Baroudi explains that “the installation concept is meant to express the feeling of how “each piece of hand-made fabric that Bokja comes across carries with it the attached stories and memories of the country and society from which it originates.”
In Bokja’s technicolour world, what goes into each creation is unique. The studio’s design duo, Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri – painstakingly search for fabrics all over the world, that with their history and origin, later find their place on a piece, amongst other fabrics. For Bokja, each fabric tells a story. Re-using it – whether on a furniture piece or a soft furnishing – serves to regenerate and extend its life.
‘Conversations’ was a celebration of 10 years of Bokja.