AYA is a collection that combines Indonesian craftsmanship with Belgian confection skills, and demonstrates a very creative and open mind. The result is an attractive and commercial family that clearly departed from the human and ecological aspects of design.
Livable and Vincent Sheppard partnered up to create an innovative new collection using rattan as the main component. Stimulating and enriching the local community in Cirebon, Indonesia, by exchanging knowledge and enriching experience, was at the heart of this project. They specifically chose for rattan as Indonesia is the country most known for its incredible, age-old techniques and skills in managing this material.
Rattan as the main focus of the collection
Rattan is the main focus of the AYA collection. The material is a lot more durable than for example wood, since its growth-cycle is much shorter. The ancient techniques that the local craftsmen use for this material bring the word ‘craftsmanship’ to a higher level.
Collaboration and co creating with local communities
To really bring out the local and unique character of the age-old techniques in this collection, a close collaboration with local craftsmen was essential. A collection comes to life when the designer is truly aware of the characteristics of the materials he uses, and when he allows himself to be inspired by the unique talents of the people that produce the final product. Being closely involved also results in a much more efficient and agile way of working. Quick prototyping and constant trial and error allow you to make decisions and move quickly.
The challenge to reinterpret old materials with a certain history of their own, is what shaped this collection aesthetically. For a long time, rattan had the image of being an old and heavy material to use in furniture. With this collection, we try to break completely with that idea. The combination of the natural material, the industrial steel, and the soft felt, gives the collection a very contemporary feel. The result plays with the balance between traditional techniques and a modern approach.