Bokja - Made in Beirut: the Design Paradox
Interview with Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, Lebanese designers founders of studio Bokja.
by Valia Barriello
Studio Bokja’s work is to be defined as something within the limits of art, artisanship and design. Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri founded the studio in Beirut, back in 2000. The name of the studio reflects the passion the two designers have for fabric, in fact Bokja refers to the elaborate Turkish texture in which a hope chest is wrapped.
Fabric is Huda and Maria’s starting point, the inspiration that draws them to create and make furnishings. Seats, sofas, and pillows are only some of the products Bokja asks artisans to make: each item is handmade and unique.
The duo’s style mixes history and contemporary world. The results are surprising, and according to them almost create a paradox. The challenge lays in using materials and artisanal techniques to make contemporary pieces. The production of their Bokja signed astonishing furnishings and the many installations around Europe, going from Paris to Milan, to the Middle East, Kuwait City, Dubai and Beirut, confirm the success of the project.
A: How is your language connected with the materials? And how do you choose them?
A: Would you be able to express your style without resorting to traditional handmade crafts?
A: When you say it “to be a bundle of paradoxes” what do you mean?
A: What is your concept of beauty?
A: Do the artisans who work with you help modify and improve the pieces' aesthetics and functionality?
A: There has been a huge revival
A: You made a number of installations in Italy. What do you think about Italian design?
About the author Valia Barriello