C.OSA is the furniture catalogue of opensourceArchitecture. Here we offer our personal interpretation
of vernacular craft culture with an innovative focus on traditional ways of creating furniture.
Our intention is to bring about a revival of popular design, its unpretentious character, essential
simplicity, elegant and direct solutions. With this work we aim at building a bridge
between the culture of contemporary design and the knowledge of object-making within popular
tradition. C.OSA is not about tricky shapes, stainless steel or invisible screws. In fact we have been exploring different cultures and thus discovering the craftsmanship of beautiful works made by artisans all over the world. We get these designs into our workshop with the desire to discover the secret behind their uniqueness and reveal what makes them universal. And we go in great length searching for more sources of inspiration in this genuine field.
We pay careful attention to this wonderful heritage of craftsmanship, a sort of universal knowledge but with the intention to come out with something brand new. To achieve this mark, we look for extreme simplicity in materials and as well as uncomplicated methods of assembly. Often, we make use of industrial objects but with the intention of modifying and putting them in a new and unexpected context. Our aim is clear: we strive for simple solution without sacrificing any of the ornamental and detailed craft.

We develop our designs drawing with chalk on our workshop’s floor, and we build models on a 1 to 1 scale that may change radically from one version to the other. Also at times these designs may turn into a reverse of a conventional engineering process where tecnical drawing follows models.
Thus, when designing, to know the nature of the materials available is paramount.
Handling them with respect we try to find out the best way to shape them. At times, we start by copying an existing piece and later we reshape it. It undergoes various phases of remodeling up to the point that it acquires a brand new character, and something a new comes into live. When working in a design, we don´t pretend to hide or over-emphasize its details. For us the most important is to see and understand at first glance the structure of a whole design. We believe that this is what gives transparency and lightness to an object, thus avoiding any complicated arrangements or a weighty finish.
As for finishing a piece, we prefer to respect the material’s natural colors and textures so as to
enhance its organic feel. In fact, we only use oils and varnishes for protection.

Our task is a fairly ambitious project, though we believe that popular craftsmanship and design involves certain purity and simplicity, understood in a very special way. Hence, we search for the soul of a piece in every handcrafted object that we elaborate on a one by one basis. These values are reflected in our dual practice, where designer and craftsman become one to create wholesome and unpretentious objects.


Photo of Berndt Colmar in La Havana