The Ohi Design Project

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A collaborative project that celebrates Basque heritage via contemporary design.

Founded by designers Naia Querejeta and Silvia Ceñal, Ohi Design Project aims to re-imagine Basque furniture and design heritage in a contemporary language. In the first year, the two founders collaborated with five design studios to redesign an item linked to Basque culture. The following year, the project expanded to include more studios, students, and people connected to the world of design. The second collection included home accessories and products that celebrate Basque heritage while also putting a focus on artisans, materials, and manufacturing methods. For 2019, Ohi Design Projects launched the complete collection of 11 designs.

The objects re-imagine tradition for contemporary living spaces but also aim to re-connect people to their cultural heritage. The range includes various types of items, from tableware to bags and lamps. Some of them explore innovative manufacturing techniques, while others highlight traditional or almost lost techniques and artisan skills. However, each object celebrates an aspect of Basque history and culture. For example, the Bat tableware set references the glazes and enamel of ancient pottery, while the Bi cheese or bread basket draws inspiration from an old agricultural tool.

Distinctly contemporary and creative, the Argizaiola lamp nevertheless references ancient lamps used in religious ceremonies. The Lolo planter recreates a centuries-old technique of using metallic “staples” to re-connect broken ceramic pieces. The Saski bag brings together old basket-weaving techniques and 3D printing. Other designs in the collection include the Hiru tray with built-in ceramic containers, the Su square and round grills, the BDP bench with storage and shelving, the Ogi bread bag, the experimental Lur fabric, and the Eguzki trays. Every product shows how cultural artifacts and artisan techniques can come to life in thoughtful contemporary designs. Photographs© Ohi Design Project.

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