The Catalan designer, Ramon Llonch Vilalta had the idea, following a cycling trip in Senegal, to give a second life to the fishing boats of the Senegalese fishermen. To succeed in his gamble to make 100% African furniture, Ramon decided to set up and train local teams of carpenters to transform the colourful boats into contemporary furniture. Coffee tables, side tables, chairs and even pinball machines have all come from the African fishermen’s boats. No two boats look alike, and so each creation is original and unique.
Participating countries: Senegal
A little extra information: the samba wood of the boats, having passed the majority of it’s life in the Atlantic ocean, has never been treated, as it is already naturally resistant. Once the furniture is finished it is simply cleaned and disinfected ready to be shipped.
A couple of questions for Ramon Llonch, the company’s founder:
Three words that define your brand:
Mixed creativity, African recycling, and social design.
The latest achievement of which you are proud?
To see how the boats which have sailed across the Atlantic and served the Senegalese fishermen to earn their livelihoods, are little by little transformed into new objects which one day will be sent somewhere around the world.
What does your business bring to this region of Senegal?
Many young Africans undertake the uncertain and dangerous trip to Europe in search of work. For the young people in our workshop, to transform these boats into furniture allows them to live with dignity, having a creative job here in the land where they were born without having to think about emigrating. It is one in the eye to this complicated situation.