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Crafting with nature, Wild Fibers by Aurélie Hoegy is an exploration of rattan's essence
Wild Fibers by Aurélie Hoegy
Image: Gordon Spooner

Crafting with nature, Wild Fibers by Aurélie Hoegy is an exploration of rattan's essence

The furniture collection embodies a symbiotic relationship between rattan's qualities and the designer's vision, resulting in functional art that celebrates movement and materiality. 

by Ria Jha
Published on : Feb 16, 2024

Used in crafts since the dawn of time, elegant, flexible, versatile, and gentle to the touch yet hard and resistant, the material Rattan. Motivated by an innate fascination with the fundamentals of movement and inquisitiveness about this pliable yet robust natural material, Paris-based designer Aurélie Hoegy has used rattan as the primary material for her furniture design collection titled Wild Fibers. “My primary focus consisted therefore in drawing inspiration from the material in its essence, along with the idea of forming a symbiosis between bodily movement and the dynamic quality of the rattan itself,” shares Hoegy. The French designer and artist creates installations, furniture, lighting, and product designs, among other works, using movement as a medium and embodying it in her work.

The furniture in the Wild Fibres line truly serves as functional art, with each piece evoking a sense of osmosis between the body, the environment, and the object itself through movement. Owing to the furniture designer's intrigue and interest towards the materiality of rattan, allowed her to use rattan as she would work with a flexible textile that allows for movement without restraining it. Commenting on how she first got introduced to the material, Hoegy relays, “I went to Indonesia, where I spent a month in a traditional craft workshop. There are incredibly long rattan vines over there. I started to get to know it and work with it in Bali. I was fascinated by the gestures of the craftsmen: they work with their whole body, even their feet. They dance with the fibre. It's a refined piece of work, and they were delighted to pass on to me their know-how, which they know is under threat.”

The designer takes into account both the natural and mechanical reactions of the fibre, letting it live and express itself, viewing it as a collaboration. As a result, sumptuous forms undulate with life, documenting the dance between body and medium. Hoegy started with the traditional and fundamental chair structure owing to its straightforward design and practicality. She was able to explore how to form and shape the rattan threads on the chair structure, giving it greater body, flexibility and opening it up to new movement possibilities. “I was able to make a prototype whose movement of the fibre marries the traditional structure of the chair while keeping its own movement,” shares Hoegy.

Throughout the entire collection, Hoegy adhered to her philosophy of accepting the fibre's mechanical and natural reactions. Each item became evidence of the product designer’s collaborative approach to working with the material, directing its evolution into functional art while allowing it to show its inherent attributes. Beyond the traditional chair structure, Hoegy extended her exploration to various furniture pieces, such as a coffee table, sofa, duchess, armchair and tapestry. The end product is a well-composed group of pieces that reflects the elegance of the designer-material cooperation while also showcasing the adaptability of rattan.

By delving into this age-old material, Hoegy has produced functional sculptural art as well as established a strong bond between the environment, the body, and the objects themselves. The collection offers a glimpse into the endless possibilities of rattan, owing to it being both original and timeless, produced with a deliberate approach that honours the spirit of the material.

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