Babiche #1 is a speculative design project that presents an alternative world, where office furniture is manufactured sustainably by local artisans. This concept is demonstrated in the redesign of the classic computer chair. The traditional craft of babiche weaving is utilized in an innovative way to create ergonomic surfaces that can be refurbished over and over. In the refurbishing process, the end user is invited to participate not only in material sustainability but in cultural sustainability a well.
In sustainability we often talk of the 3 Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) but we think “Repair” should also make the list. For any of these four processes, there is a lot of confusion between the theoretical reusability, recyclability and repairability of an object and the actual likelihood that an object will be recycled or reused or repaired. The reality is that often industrially produced objects are not deemed worthy of being repaired because it is simply not cost-effective. Babiche #1 attempt to disrupt this mentality in many ways. Mainly, by rooting its design in the culturally significant practice of babiche weaving it increases the perceived value of the object making it more worthy of being refurbished.