Applications are now being accepted for the sixth edition of Route Artlantique, the travelling design ‘laboratory’ that enables students from around the globe to learn first-hand from Senegalese artisans and artists, and exchange ideas, in their unique places of work.
Combining traditional craftsmanship and upcycling innovation, RA workshops have seen participants collaborating across creative disciplines with wonderful results. From painting, batik, basketry, weaving, screen-printing and tailoring, through to ceramics, silversmithing and sculpting from ebony wood and old bicycles – each creation is handmade and completely unique. Wooden furniture crafted from old fishing boats are a colourful reminder of the organisation’s roots.
It all started as a personal passion project for founder Ramon Llonch. On discovering the vibrant array of abandoned fishing boats on a Senegalese beach, inspired by the local culture of recycling and repurposing everyday objects, he started Artlantique. Together with local craftsmen he transformed the old wooden boats – discarded after a life at sea – into quirky pieces of furniture, such as chairs, cabinets and tables, (including a football table as featured in ‘FT How To Spend It’). Five years later, having showcased pieces in his native Barcelona and beyond, “convinced of the importance of design as an instrument of social transformation”, Ramon added an academic dimension and in 2015 Route Artlantique was born.
Running in partnership with London College of Communication and Barcelona’s Elisava University, RA’s aim is to celebrate and preserve artisanal skills and cultural heritage, while growing an international community who speak the universal language of design.