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Wiid Design: Bespoke Collections

Established in Cape Town in 2013 by designer Laurie Wiid, Wiid Design is well-known for its bespoke furniture, lighting, tableware and collectable objects that combine specialist manufacturing with handcrafting.

Working with a wide range of materials, the studio is known for its innovative use of cork in high-end product design, architecture and large-scale production manufacturing. This includes several world firsts, including the world’s largest cork pendant light and cork cabinet.

“Cork is one of the main materials used in the design of our furniture and decor items,” explains Laurie of the sustainable material that is 100% biodegradable, recyclable and renewable.

“Notably, we use recycled cork grades, which adds even more sustainability to our products.

Agglomerated cork (composite cork) or compressed cork is a cork grade created when the natural raw cork material is obtained from cork left over from producing one-piece cork stoppers, cork bark unsuitable for the manufacture of cork stoppers and cork collected from recycling initiatives.”

“This material is ground up and the resulting cork granules are mixed with a binding agent and compressed into moulds. By adding heat, it is shaped into agglomerated cork blocks, or agglomerated cork rolls or sheets. For most of our solid cork products, we use façade grade cork, whereby only the bark from a cork oak tree’s first harvest (called virgin cork bark) is used. This material is quite rough and unsuitable to produce wine cork stoppers and contains higher amounts of tree resin.”

Pushing the boundaries of design, today Wiid Design has several collections featuring the incredibly light, impermeable, elastic and abrasion-resistant material behind its name. This includes the Corkabation Collection, a collaborative project with dhk architects and the first to champion the material, which features tables and chairs suitable for outdoor use. While the Terrazzo and Cork Collection explores the relationship between texture, colour and proportion using light or dark facade cork with unique, imported Terrazzo for a distinctive furniture collection. The Bodulo Collection, meanwhile, celebrates Sotho culture in two vibrant cork and leather and cork and plywood Bech designs.

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