Cucula is a pilot project which empowers the refugees to literally build their future, one piece at a time. The chosen designs are classics from Enzo Mari. Photo: Vera Bruening

Cucula | Chairs To Take Care

Cucula is a pilot project which empowers the refugees to literally build their future, one piece at a time. The chosen designs are classics from Enzo Mari. Photo: Vera Bruening
Cucula is a pilot project which empowers the refugees to literally build their future, one piece at a time. The chosen designs are classics from Enzo Mari.

Political Design Positions Revitalized By Refugees

It all started with a ‘shelter against the cold’, installed in Berlin in to response to the critical situation of refugees coming to town. Soon, the inhabitants, Malik, Moussa, Saidou, Maiga and Ali started to build furniture with product designer Sebastian Daeschle, to equip their rooms. This marks the birth of Cucula.

Cucula is a pilot project which empowers the refugees to literally build their future, one piece at a time. The chosen designs are classics from Enzo Mari. Photo: Vera Bruening
Cucula logo

Cucula’, originates from the Hausa language in western central Africa, and means ‚to do something together’, as well as ‚ to take care of each other’.

Cucula is a pilot project which empowers the refugees to literally build their future, one piece at a time. The chosen designs are classics from Enzo Mari. Photo: Vera Bruening
Enzo-Mari’s let anybody build high quality, sustainable and beautiful furniture with simple tools and little know-how when it comes to carpentry.

 

Maiga, Moussa, Ali, Saidou and Malik are from Niger and Mali. Like so many they left their home countries many years ago. Armed conflicts, hunger and lack of prospects forced them to embark on a murderous boat trip over the Mediterranean. They were lucky to survive this dangerous crossing, and stranded in Lampedusa, Italy. They moved on, reached Berlin, hoping to stay and make a life in Berlin. Without residence and work permit, they are however again forced into passivity. This is where Cucula takes action.

The 19 ‘do-it-yourself’ furniture designs, which the Italian Designer Enzo Mari published in his book ‘Autoprogettazione’ in 1974, marks a milestone in the comtemporary design history
The 19 ‘do-it-yourself’ furniture designs, which the Italian Designer Enzo Mari published in his book ‘Autoprogettazione’ in 1974, marks a milestone in the comtemporary design history

Cucula is a pilot project which empowers the refugees to literally build their future, one piece at a time. The chosen designs are classics from Enzo Mari. The 19 DIY furniture design plans from his book ‘Autoprogettazione, published first’ in 1974, mark an important milestone in the history of product design. Enzo Mari suggests the democratization of design, provoking a stronger identification with our own furniture and fostering a learning and reflection process. Consequently the members of Cucula integrate artifacts from their perilous journey across the Mediterranean. Fragments of colored planks, picked from the ship graveyards of Lampedusa. Hauntingly beautiful relicts of the deadly struggles of forgotten fugitives.

Cucula is a promising example that product design can be done in a vivid, creative way that comes with a social and political impact.

Cucula is a pilot project which empowers the refugees to literally build their future, one piece at a time. The chosen designs are classics from Enzo Mari. Photo: Vera Bruening
The proceeds of the furniture sales will be invested directly in the refugees’ education and cost of living.

 

Images by Vera Bruening via Cucula

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