Perú is a place known for its alpaca fiber and cotton, but when not exported, how do Peruvians convert these raw materials into innovative designs? The Perú Gift Show offered a look at just that. While not as well known as other shows, the Perú Gift Show saw a strong presence of international press and over 130 buyers from 10 countries. Organized by PromPerú, the Lima-based show featured Perú House, a special installation filled with Peruvian-made home goods with a focus on sustainability. Inhabitat was on hand to get a tour of the house, and take a survey of other sustainable design initiatives happening throughout the country.
Curated by interior designers Rocio del Barco and Alejandro Rincon, the house was a treasure-trove of sustainable and eco-friendly designs that highlighted the country’s pride in its traditional artisan skills and ability to fuse craftsmanship with modern, international home décor trends. Handmade, naturally dyed wall hangings and bed spreads, furniture made from reclaimed wood, and eco-friendly kids toys were just some of the many items that enticed visitors to pass through.
The wood floors of a former train wagon provided the base for a hand-carved, patina-colored coffee table and bench by Raymisa decorated with cushions by Inkatraditions. Ikasa provided the bar stools with Heliconia leaf carvings, celebrating Perú’s flora. The study was given a natural touch with traditional rainforest carvings by Rocio del Barco- Diseño y Artesanía that were thoughtfully aligned along the wall. In the kid’s room, an array of colorful, plush toys peeked out of a chest. Made from felt scraps, the bold creatures were the invention of Paya. Lum Pen also added a touch of color and creativity for kids with a series of paper mache mobiles and figurines to get young minds thinking about recycling.
Overall, the layout of the house also allowed visitors to enjoy each room independently while still feeling connected to the rest of the house. The virtual divisions, bamboo poles and open spaces mimicked that of the traditional Peruvian beach house. Typical Andean designs and colors within the space also celebrated the mountain cultures that are an important part of Perú’s history.
Beyond Perú Home, several exhibitors also stood out for their eco-approach to high quality design. Tallerqata, a Quechua name meaning “covering,” uses naturally-dyed, organic materials crafted by skilled artisans to produce a variety of home goods as well as several styles for women and children. The designs are highly modern, timeless and inviting to touch as many feature Peruvian pima and native cotton and baby alpaca fibers.
Also of note was Toti, a brand devoted to the creation of hand-woven and knitted textiles and rugs made from 100% alpaca, baby alpaca or llama yarn. With a respect for artisans and native materials, Toti produces a variety of goods in subtler and more vibrant hues. For those with an appreciation for ceramics and the environment, Tinkuy fuses both. Using natural mountain Gress and arcilla from a local quarry, the iron causes the clay to change color at high temperatures resulting in a variety of naturally occurring tones on the final products.
Overall, the Perú Gift Show was a chance for the international community to observe how far the country has come in the past several years as reflected through design. While carefully maintaining a balance between a respect for artisan traditions, the environment and contemporary design, the event will undoubtedly continue to grow and gain attention in coming years.
All images © Amanda Silvana Coen for Inhabitat