Last Sunday night’s TOUCH | NY opening in Chelsea was definitely a colorful green addition to New York Design Week’s offerings. The Inhabitat team was excited to be onsite for a first hand look at TOUCH’s innovative Brazilian eco designs, as well as their gorgeous Mana jewelry collection. The crowd was totally festive and chatting up a storm about the need for ‘design that matters’ and is working towards viable economic opportunity. An impressive design find from the TOUCH event was jewelry designer Raquel Soares‘ handcrafted, wooden Baboa jewelry. Soares’ collection is an eye-catching example of recycled materials taking on new life with the right assemblage and combination of minimalist means. Baboa’s designs are crafted from left over wood scraps, an aspect we feel sends the right kind of sustainable style message when it comes to repurposed local design ingredients creating a global appeal.
Raquel Soares studied arts and crafts as a teenager in Portugal as well as graduating as an urban planner with a Masters Degree in Landscape Architecture from the Catalan Polytechnic University in Spain. She has designed numerous landscape projects in Portugal, and her lasting fondness for pure simplicity and natural materials led her to revive her early craft studies to create the Baboa Collection. All of the wood used in Baboa’s geometric necklaces and pendants are handmade from Portuguese scrap wood that the designer also uses for her hand stamped business cards. The effect is sculptural stunning as well as tactile and timeless. It’s a balance of a sustainable concept paired with resourceful fresh design.