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Boca do Lobo has launched the first edition of Legacy – A Design & Craftsmanship Testimony, designed especially to the ones that have been supporting the brand during all these years and to the ones that are entering in its world just recently. In this article, you’ll get to know Boca do Lobo’s challenges and motivation.
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This is for design lovers, interior designers, for hand craftsmen, for marketers, for architects and for everyone in this industry or in any other industry where passion is the main ingredient in the construction of their dreams! You can download yours for free here.
This design magazine pays tribute to all the manual arts that have been struggling not to disappear through the years. By publishing its revelations, the brand wanted to highlight its importance and develop the brand’s legacy to this cultural richness.
Boca do Lobo wanted it to be entertaining and to have an informative character, at times contrasted, but above all useful. Inside, you’ll find a mixture of descriptions, behind-the-scenes pictures, features and testimonies, as well as a wide range of inspirations. The brand hopes that, through this magazine, you’ll get to meet the soul of all the people that work in the daily construction of the brand, because once you’ve done that you have really met the soul of Boca do Lobo.
Boca do Lobo was born naturally, without any strain, without any obligation. It was born as a need and desire at the same time. As a need to represent what no one until the beginning of 2005 had come to do: to duly represent Portugal’s talents and crafts and, as a desire, to create a brand that would endure and flourish through the years into something quite different from the rest.
Amândio Pereira and Ricardo Magalhães, the two design students who absorbed experience and inspiration from the capital of design and fashion, Milan, returned home with a clear objective: they would create a design brand able to break the norms of conventional luxury and find a way to celebrate the use of artisanal techniques by paying a tribute to all the Portuguese heritage and culture.
These were the early beginnings of a brand which, years later, would be distinguished as a brand with a unique design concept, courageous to experiment and too stubborn to give up. The first product and the first collection of Boca do Lobo was Soho. Although it seems quite timid and simple compared to today’s collections, it created a reaction when it was introduced for the first time. A reaction strong enough to include Boca do Lobo in the world of luxury furniture with a unique design.
Boca do Lobo derives from the Italian expression “In bocca al lupo” (Italian pronunciation: [im ‘ bokka al ‘lu:po], “into the mouth of the wolf”), an antiphrasis to exorcise any bad luck from a friend. Just as Amândio Pereira and Ricardo Magalhães, who used to wish good luck to each other on their way to university, during their exams.
The head of the wolf defines Boca do Lobo. From a folkloric and mythological background, the wolf has a decisive role in every narrative of native culture linked with courage, strength, loyalty and success at hunting.
Its bilateral temperament embraces perfectly the two sides of Boca do Lobo, the ability to evoke contrasting emotions: like shock and delight, pleasure and discomfort, amaze our outrage, as an explicit and refusing protest towards indifference.
“The history of Boca do Lobo is reborn repeatedly, marking each year with a new inspiration, a new challenge, but with the same objective and passion. The restoration of the antique arts of manual work, honouring the art of hand painted tiles, marquetry, joinery, upholstery and metalwork.”
The collections that followed – Coolors, Limited Edition, Private – show emotionally, but also rationally, the evolution of the luxury brand, its maturity to the utmost control of the unexpected. If we symbolically compare the alpha wolf with the leading person (from an ideological and aesthetic perspective) of Boca do Lobo, the latter is Marco Costa.
Marco Costa is responsible for creating the most iconic and important brand products. He believes that the world is a place to be discovered and enjoyed rather than feared, embracing challenges with the ultimate objective to design and deliver products that would delight the public. This perspective, apparently optimistic but deeply audacious, has its roots in all the brand’s physiognomy.
Iconic pieces such as the Pixel Cabinet, Diamond Sideboard, Fortuna Dining Table and more go beyond the furniture and its primary function, pushing the object to new levels, blurring the boundaries that would separate functionality with art. Most of the techniques and finishes used by Boca do Lobo throughout the entire production processes are completely artistical and technical “inventions” of the designers.
This continuous self-challenge f the abilities and capacities is a path filled with barriers and difficulties until it reaches the final result. The result is precisely this ability to transform these ‘creatures’ in functional products with a past and ready to create a present and then a future, achieved thanks to the communication capability and close collaboration between designers and artisans. Along the way, all the “crazy” ideas found understanding and talented hands to create unmatched products. Diamond (2008) is one of Boca do Lobo’s most sculptural pieces yet.
There is no secret recipe for success, much less for creativity. Everything is taught, gained or improved through practice and experience. Our prime difference from all other creatures is the ability to learn feelings, memories or histories. Nothing disappears, everything is rooted in the unconscious, to be displayed unexpectedly through the course of a lifetime. When “married” to a so-called creative mind, this inherent ability of human nature naturally generates the steps to the creative process. From the abovementioned sensations, from the conjunction of the conscious and unconscious, from the co-living of the past and present, Boca do Lobo created the so-called “10 Creative Steps of the Brand”.
According to Marco Costa, the Art and Brand Director of Boca do Lobo, the designer’s responsibility is to identify and, at the same time, fulfil the customer’s needs. Although he is not referring to the essential needs of human beings, it seems that, over time, the spaces where we live, work and more are transformed into patterns of our wellbeing and our feelings. This is the first step (1) that a brand should take along the creative journey, to treat spaces as a personal diary, where it will be able to read all the needs, desires and expectations of its customers.
Only after we have read and understood the language of these “secret” diaries will we be ready to go through the second step – Design Minds (2). Once you develop a passion for learning, you will never stop growing and ‘design minds’ is the tool that the creative staff of Boca do Lobo embraces to ignite its imagination. When it mentions ‘design minds’, it is referring to visiting museums, galleries, expanding horizon’s and shifting mindsets, with a natural thirst to learn the unthinkable.
The contrary of this would be ignorance, (3) which for Boca do Lobo is the resemblance of innocence and genuineness. While embracing a new idea, “out of the box”, the problems and challenges start immediately when your idea attempts to gain shape and weight. We remind you here of one of the most elegant products of the brand, the “Venice” mirror. From the moment of idealization, sketches and technical drawing to the production it took no more than 360 days. Boca do Lobo “artists’” (4) spend a good part of their lives in the search for handcrafted.
During this research and exploration, in the visits to the settlements of these talents, the brand learns the most interesting details of its work. Capturing the details and the peculiarities of the materials, sometimes standing on the tables and other times laying forgotten or thrown away in a corner is one of the crucial steps of Boca do Lobo’s creative journey.
Trust and confidentiality (5) are two of the values that the brand gives great attention, in the relationship with the customer. This close relationship with customers, the ability to transform the relationships into opportunities of learning, provides the best advice and, later on, the best ideas for the designers. The customers quite often sculpt the best structures of the brand.
We arrive now effortlessly to the (6) steps of the creative process of Boca do Lobo – Not! Sometimes the brand develops things that, at a first glance, can be considered as an error or a failure, when surprisingly, for many others, it might be that special touch assumed as the most interesting detail of the product. The castings oxidations are “errors” that now are an inseparable part of the brand’s character. We can remember here about the most beautiful error – the Emporio Chair, with a broken leg, an error that was transformed into an iconic and desired design piece.
Always lead, never follow” (7), this the brand’s daily motto, refusing to accept any boundaries between the possible and impossible. The Imperfecto Sofa, Heritage Sideboard, Diamond Sideboard and many others would be just sketched desires if the brand didn’t challenge itself. There isn’t greater satisfaction than to exceed everyone’s expectations.
From another perspective, the cultural heritage (8) of a land that grew from the mixture of all the people who inhabited and traded in the region over the centuries is not solely part of the brand’s DNA but also the soul of each furniture piece.
The Portuguese explorative and wandering spirit (9) has a great contribution to the creative process of the brand. The last but decisive step is the passion (10)! Passion is the only ingredient that can not be learned or copied. It is the most authentic feature, it is the most inexhaustible power to convince your work towards your purpose while inspiring everyone else. It is the soul’s duty to be loyal to its own desires.
Designing for Boca do Lobo is every designer dream. It’s an inspiring way to create and tell unique stories. The complexity of the detail, the strong features, the classic heritage and the audacity that every piece can take is mind-blowing. It seems that there’s no limit, and to create pieces made to fill up a room… There’s no better recipe.
“I’ve always been inspired by Boca do Lobo, mostly in its strength, the way it has been treating the noblest materials over the years, it’s colours and shines and, above all, its motto, passion is everything. Since Boca do Lobo was founded over a combination of classic and contemporary, I chose emblematic product typologies to start and I told its story through the brand. I searched for new characters in a new story”.
“I try to recreate and reinterpret each piece, each story, I wanted to continue these design narratives but through my vision. Although Boca do Lobo has a strong identity and a defined style, the ambition of any designer is to leave their personal signature in this brand. I think that it is the richness of design. Boca do Lobo’s success comes from the knowledge from our ancestor, but seen in a contemporary way throughout different eyes and hands”.
he fascination in creating the unexpected and defying the boundaries between art and design is what inspires the brand. It’s the strong DNA of the brand that fascinates and conquers the public. Boca do Lobo stays true to its values, the respect for its past and excitement for a bright and challenging future is what motivates the brand. Its culture, the talent of its daring designers, the tradition of working with noble materials, the wisdom of its artisans and the love and dedication of its team keeps pushing the brand always for a better self.The reinterpretation of the past with a contemporary touch is part of the core values and aesthetic of Boca do Lobo, combining good design with exceptional production skills. The richness and variety of its cultural heritage with centuries of history, the Portuguese legacy couldn’t be more fertile to its designer’s inspiration. A unique universe which continues to fuel the creative minds behind the brand. Extraordinary design, projects of top architects, refined interiors created by the best interior design firms, amazing work of groundbreaking artists whose influence changed the world as we know it are a great source of inspiration that motivates the brand to do more and better.
Boca do Lobo is continuously reinventing itself. It comes up with new concepts, designs, materials and exclusive pieces that have been inspiring and “shaking” the design industry. It is necessary to follow the evolution of new generations. People have changed their consumption habits and the competition is getting bigger. Boca do Lobo is overwhelmed by the influence of social media, with thousands of images passed before its eyes, capturing its attention and inspiring its audience.