Pirwi, a young Mexican furniture brand with sustainability embedded in its DNA, presented its collections at the Milan Furniture Fair for the first time last week. Founded in 2007 by designers Alejandro Castro and Emiliano Godoy, Pirwi has grown from a small laboratory exploring eco-design to a full-fledged company with a catalogue of over 100 products that combine technology, local craftsmanship and sustainable materials.
The collection is comprised of designs from main players of Mexico’s design scene, as well as young emerging talents. Godoy and Castro are no strangers to the Milan Furniture Fair, in recent years they participated at the Salone Satellite as part of the NEL collective, and later as a Fuori Salone show. Some designs originated at NEL are now part of the Pirwi catalogue, and designers from the collective like Hector Esrawe have several products in the collection under their name. Last year the company opened its first showroom at Mexico City’s Polanco neighborhood, and during this year’s fair it opened its doors to a colorful Milan showroom at the Navigli area, marking it’s entry to the European furniture market.
The entire collection is a statement about environmental and social responsibility derived from research and development. Pirwi’s products use woods like birch, teak, maple and walnut from sustainably managed forests, with assemblies made from natural adhesives, dry joints or rope seams. The fabrication process is a mix of the precision and efficiency from CNC cuts with the hands-on detailing of skillful craftsmanship of artisans. Pirwi also seeks to reduce the carbon footprint from its production and transportation by the efficient use of energy and intelligent designs that can be assembled by the end user, thus reducing shipping space. The company works closely with the designers from early on to develop products that comply with the company’s Cradle-to-Cradle mindset.
Emiliano Godoy has built a strong portfolio with a sustainable approach since early on in his career with his studio Godoylab. His Knit chair from 2005 (later part of Pirwi’s first collection) is constructed from geometrical pieces “knitted” together by cotton rope that provide flexibility to the seat, adapting to the body’s movements and posture. Godoy’s designs for Pirwi explore different ways of doing eco-design, from tables that salvage thin wood, to benches that use twisted thin layers of plywood to create a strong but lightweight structure.
Young designers, recently graduated from design schools in Mexico, inject a fresh feeling to the brand’s catalogue. Ian Ortega’s MOD table is a customizable workstation with an intelligent solution for clear working area. Its surface is divided into two parts, one side stores items that need to be kept accessible, while the other side provides a cable management solution by concealing peripherals under the working area.
Another emerging designer from Pirwi’s catalogue is Daniel Romero, who inspired by a traditional Mexican toy designed Maroma, a playful modular storage. Three slanted cubes attached by straps allow the cubes to rotate along two axes, which allow the end user to create several configurations.
A heavyweight in Mexico’s design scene, Hector Esrawe has several collaborations with Pirwi from which the Los and Ovo screens stand out. These room dividers use striking geometric patterns to create different levels of transparency to efficiently divide spaces. Other designs by Esrawe include the almost artistic Centipede benches and the recently unveiled Field table, inspired by topography or terraced rice fields.
With Pirwi’s new venture in Milan, the company will not only export modern Mexican design to Europe, it will also spread its sustainable ethos to the world by showcasing high quality eco-design with environmental and social responsibility.