Ilse Crawford has collaborated with Bosnian brand Zanat to create furniture using a UNESCO-protected traditional carving technique (+ slideshow).
The Touch collection includes benches and trays with stippled surfaces created by hand-carving small scoops out of the wood using custom-made metal tools.
Crawford worked with Bosnian craftsmen to create the furniture, with each bench taking up to two days to complete. The carvers use techniques dating back 150 years, and work without referring to drawings, meaning the surface of each bench is unique.
Related story: Wingårdhs decorates Tattoo stools using UNESCO-listed wood carving technique
"Our collaboration with Zanat was framed by their commitment to preserving cultural heritage and improving socio-economic development in Bosnia-Herzegovina," said Ilse Crawford.
"In this digital age we crave more tactile surroundings, so we explored using these carving techniques as a texture, rather than a pattern, to create tactile surfaces that engage our instinctive impulse to touch and understand our surroundings through our hands."
The studio tested several different techniques in an attempt to find something that would evoke an immediate tactile response in people using the furniture.
"Since woodcarving is a part of Zanat's DNA, we agreed to experiment with carving patterns to add a new aesthetic dimension to a minimalist, modern bench," said Zanat CEO Orhan Niksic.
Each piece is made from solid wood in Zanat's factory in Konjic, and benches also have optional cast bronze legs.
The furniture design industry is currently experiencing a revival of craft and traditional making methods.
Zanat has collaborated with Swedish architects Wingårdhs to create a set of stools that were "tattooed" in hand-chiselled carvings.
It also worked with Stockholm designer Monica Förster on a collection of furniture and accessories that featured decorative edges.
The Touch collection launched ...