Eastern influenced yet thoroughly modern in concept, Bokja by Beirut-based designers Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri brings a cherished sense of past and memories to one-off pieces upholstered with a wide variety of vintage and contemporary textiles and embroideries from around the world. Their latest collection, Migration Stories, was launched at Rossana Orlandi during the recent Milan Design Week and references people on the move, be that through the impact of war, economics, instability, ambition or love.
It’s a poetic idea that many can relate to, brought to life using furniture, rugs, wallpaper and artworks which captured the essence of bundling up belongings, packing away treasure and moving on. The Migration sofa that seems to carry the burden of rolled up rugs and bedding on its ‘back’, while Migration Stories features wallpaper, created in collaboration with the Studio of Deborah Bowness which features a doorframe to an abandoned room; a rug, hand made by Tibetan weavers using natural dyes and recycled jute, maps the evasion of French taxes.
Fittingly to Migration Stories, each piece is created in Bokja’s Beirut workshop by Lebanese men and women from different Arab nationalities who in their own way are immigrants too. There has always been a strong element of story telling to Bokja, and this latest collection is both intriguing and emotive, true to their shared vision of contemporary interpretations of age old themes.