Yves Béhar discovers the sustainable and versatile qualities of cork during his visit to Amorim

Yves Béhar visited Corticeira Amorim on July 11, 2023, which began with the introduction of a few cork oaks planted near the Amorim Revestimentos facilities. Interestingly, the first cork extraction from these trees had recently taken place, 28 years after they were originally planted. The Amorim team presented the cork extraction process and also some of the irrigation methods that are currently being explored.

Moving on to Amorim Isolamentos, the designer was shown various examples of agglomerated cork. These have high quality technical characteristics and are evidently sustainable, with excellent results in thermal and acoustic insulation.

Then, at the factory, Béhar learned about cork transformation processes and the capabilities of Corticeira Amorim’s production facilities, as he observed the complete manufacture of a cork block from its purest state.

In the showroom, the team presented Corticeira Amorim’s latest projects and potential uses of cork, from the most recent and innovative “Corkeen” solution for flooring in recreational areas and playgrounds, made from cork residues and with excellent drainage capacity; to the company’s collaboration with sports brand Nike Grind to produce a new material using recycled trainers and cork.

The visit ended at Amorim Cork Composites, where the City Cortex projects are currently being produced. He was able to observe some tests being carried out to explore the limits of the raw material, and also learned about other Corticeira Amorim projects, such as Korko, a range of toys produced in cork.

Yves Béhar’s visit to the facilities of Cortiçeira Amorim marks a significant collaboration between design innovation and traditional craftsmanship. Witnessing the intricate process of cork production, Béhar gained firsthand insights into the sustainable and versatile qualities of cork, and how this material can be applied to public urban contexts in ways that seamlessly blend aesthetics, functionality, and sustainability.

Naturally curious with the world around him, reflecting a restless outlook on life, Yves Béhar believes that design should be a force for positive social and environmental change. Interested in creating micro experiences of perception, his visit to Corticeira Amorim opened doors of exploration and fed his inquisitive spirit.