Loofah Series by Fernando Laposee

Loofah is an edible fruit (related to the pumpkin and cucumber) popular in Asia, which grows vertically attaching itself to trees. It is harvested with little impact on the soil, reproduces rapidly and leaves little to no roots behind. This sustainable fruit is perfect for extensive use and a dynamic array of uses. With only 6 months harvest time and up to 8,000 of them per hectare, it seemed only natural to explore its qualities to give it a new use and new value.

Laposee wanted to use loofah and exploit its natural qualities: lightnesstranslucencyheat insulation,texture and shock absorption which when mixed with cement and wood resulted in a pleasant balance as the natural tones blend well. Loofah itself was flattened, sewn together and shaped to extend its possibilities. The exploration allowed Fernando to envision the products and how he could make the material the protagonist rather than the object itself. This approach lends the series of pieces a sense of consistency and gels it as a group. Collaborating with a local carpenter in Mexico City, the designer was able to shape each piece carefully using the craftsman’s experience.