The Good Shepherd by Fernando Laposse

Drawing on his Mexican heritage, Fernando Laposse’s The Good Shepherd presents a playful rocking bench inspired by the historic practice of herding sheep on horseback. A designer whose work draws on the connections between rural communities and the natural environment, Laposse chose to work with Kvadrat’s sustainable wool products, wool being a material whose production depends on sustaining grassland for grazing and the continuing practice of herding traditions that go back thousands of years.

For Laposse, herding and wool production are part of humanity’s DNA – and wool, he believes, is a material that binds us to nature. The Good Shepherd bench mixes some of the traits of the horse and the sheep. The bench’s silhouette resembles that of a horse seen from above. The simplified horse “body” has a saddle carved in wood, including the protruding horn – a saddle feature first developed centuries ago by Mexican vaqueros for roping livestock. The saddle is upholstered in two versions of Kvadrat’s Vidar 4 atop a blanket in Recheck 775. These take inspiration from soft saddles and tartan blankets, which are traditionally made with wool.

The body of the bench is covered in a form of knotted sisal, a fibre derived from the leaves of agave plants, cultivated by the designer as part of an ongoing land and community regeneration project in rural Mexico. After washing and drying the sisal turns a blonde colour – Laposse likes to call the material “vegan horsehair”.  Curved feet on the base allow the bench to rock gently, introducing a playful element. The bench has been designed using only mechanical fastenings and no glue so that its parts can be reused or recycled. The core of the bench is made with pine ply that interlocks and is fastened with pocket screws; similarly, all the textile components are stapled and screwed to the main body for easy disassembly.

Fernando Laposse

Fernando Laposse is a Mexican designer whose practice focuses on transforming natural fibres, such as corn husks, sisal or loofah, into design pieces and new architectural materials.

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