Four Berlin-based creatives wanted to support the refugees arriving in their city from their native countries in Africa. Not by donating money, but by setting up a design company.
Initially designer (and now co-founder of Cucula) Sebastian Däschle helped young refugees to build furniture for their new homes. From here the idea to set-up a design company came to life, which they named Cucula (meaning “being together, working together, connecting things and helping each other.” in the Hausa language).
Through teaching the refugees woodworking skills, they provide them with much needed legal employment. And in order to further smoothen the transition into German society, they also teach German language classes, and other life skills.
Though when purchasing a Cucula piece you are clearly supporting a good cause, the well-built, handmade piece of Italian design to brighten up your living space with, is definitely more than just a pity buy. Italian designer Enzo Mari, granted the Cucula team the rights to use his designs which were first published in his book ‘Autoprogettazione’ in 1974. All the furniture is handmade from pine wood, and you can request something custom made if you need something extra special.
One especially interesting collection, not surprisingly all sold out now, is called ‘the Ambassador’. In these pieces, pine wood and wood elements from stranded refugees boats were combined. This smart use of storytelling must be part of the reason why they had incredible success with their crowdfunding campaign last year, reaching a whopping 123.000 euro goal.
Looking to get your own piece of Italian design and support a group of young men looking to build a new future? All info you need can be found here!
ps: for more (design)businesses that have an important social component and ‘do good’, have a browse around the lovely Design Good Now website.