Cork: State of Nature

The undeniable link between mankind and nature is a frequently explored theme in the fields of design and architecture. The choice of certain materials, for instance, actively contributes to the way in which outputs are perceived and used by their consumers. Earlier this year, Dominic Leong and Jessie Baxa from Leong Leong and Stefan Sagmeister were invited to go to Portugal in order to explore a natural, sustainable and highly versatile material: cork.

© Ricardo Gonçalves

Their visit lasted for two days. On the first day, the renowned architects and irreverent graphic designer got in touch with the very first step of the cork extraction process by visiting a cork oak tree forest in Coruche. While in the forest, they connected with the wildlife, the pure and fresh air and of course the impressive oak trees. They also visited Amorim’s Coruche factory, where they were given the opportunity to analyse newly extracted pieces of cork bark.

© Ricardo Gonçalves

This field trip allowed these City Cortex participants to enter the fascinating universe of cork: during this first day, Leong, Baxa and Sagmeister learned about the cork formation process, and the highly specialized manual work that is associated with its extraction, whilst also witnessing some early cork transformation procedures at the Coruche factory.

© Ricardo Gonçalves

© Ricardo Gonçalves

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