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JOOKI: design from Colombia in Zurich

JOOKI: design from Colombia in Zurich

Jooki is actually a passion project of two Colombian-Swiss couples: Laura Henao and Patrick Bussmann and Laura Gonzalez and Stefan Huggenberger. It all started during a brunch, where they discovered that all of them shared the idea of bringing Colombian design to Switzerland. As they all travel regularly to Colombia, in those trips they kept seeing many very talented Colombian designers and brands and were very passionate about giving them a platform to show their work to a bigger and international audience. That’s when the idea of Jooki was created. The concept is to have cycles of a small number of designers or brands that they bring to Europe with a very limited amount of products.

“Jooki means ‘torch’ in Wayuu, the native language of the indigenous people living in La Guajira, the desert in the very north east of Colombia. It’s the torch we use to search and find the hidden treasures of Colombian design”. explains Stefan.

In Jooki the collections feature small, curated and limited product editions from upcoming and well-established Colombian designers and craftsmen with the promise to accompany you for a while.

The first cycle started in November 2020 with three designers: Fango, Atlas and Vrokka. For 2021 they are planning to bring a second and potentially a third cycle with more local designers. Fango represents origin and culture, they tell us stories about simple objects that honor tradition and craftsmen, and designs pieces that create a dialogue between craft and technology. Francisco Jaramillo is in charge of the Fango brand’s creative process. His approach to design comes from his own experiences. He believes that objects have a strong link to culture and that is why he is convinced that they carry a “soul” with them.

El Corista by Fango. This limited edition has 30 pieces hand-numbered by the designer

Atlas is created by industrial designer Mariana Vieira, where she rescues, designs and produces everyday objects that represent local identities. The Guajira Cósmica series, produced in collaboration with the Wayúu community, was born out of a succession of nights that Mariana spent in Cabo de la Vela, northern Colombia. Each piece is a representation of the sacred geometry of the cosmos designed through an ancestral technique developed by the community, especially by the artisan Cecilia Acosta. The technique is known as tapiz gualdrapa – a form of weaving on a locally made horizontal loom with cotton threads and a 2-hole wooden needle.

The Guajira Cósmica series by Atlas

Vrokka was created by Juan Carlos Franco an industrial designer from Medellín, as a personal project. Vrokka believes that design should express simplicity in its shapes and preserve the features of timelessness and neutrality. The designs reflect the culture of Colombia, permeating its unique features such as tropical forests and the excellent workmanship of its craftsmen. From conception to execution, each object and interior design piece is focused on sustainability as its foundation. He uses handpicked oak and wallnut tree wood as primary materials and local manufacturing for the development of its products.

Vrokka created a project in collaboration with Mexican designer with José Bermúdez that addresses a global issue by portraying three animals in danger of extinction in Latin America.

“What is very important to us as a basic idea is to bring back more meaning to the products and objects around us. With the mass production and fast fashion and design popping up everywhere, people often lost their emotional connection to the things around them. Replacing this with things that have a human story behind and we have a deeper connection with is what is at the core of Jooki”

Stefan Huggenberger, co-founder of JOOKI.

So far Jooki is only an online store, but there are some ideas about collaborating with existing stores and other spaces to showcase their products.

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