De La Espada | neri&hu
More a design laboratory than a factory, De La Espada is located in an old timber workshop about 100kms south of Oporto in Portugal. Founded in 2005 by the wonderfully eccentric Luis de Oliveira (who acts as curator, manager, producer and vendor) De La Espada realises the visions and ideas of other designers - from the award-winning studio Autoban (Istanbul); to British designer Matthew Hilton, textile designer Charlene Mullen, Soren Rose Studio from Denmark, and Japanese team Leif.designpark. And so De La Espada focuses on carefully crafted niche products rather than mass designs, utilising an elite stable of designers from around the world. Standout designs include Hilton’s ‘Light’ dining table; Leif.designpark’s Hug seating collection, and Lisa Crawford’s Companion bed, side table and desk from solid chestnut. One of De La Espada’s most successful collaborations has been with Philippines-born Lyndon Neri and Taiwanese-born Rossana Hu, who together comprise Neri&Hu Design. Their Solo range of dining and lounge chairs, stools, sofa and bench is reminiscent of Scandinavian design of the 50s. And their Shaker dining table is a masterclass in simplicity and craftsmanship. At the centre of De La Espada stands a love and respect for traditional woodcraft.