SimpleFormsDesign: a sustainable nest for cork design

SimpleFormsDesign: a sustainable nest for cork design

July 2017


neo~local design


Cork, a material that is as difficult to work with as capable of incorporating the ideas of natural, local, organic and sustainable, is at the centre of the work of Porto’s SimpleFormsDesign studio. Where cork is back, between tradition and innovation.


Run by Alzira Peixoto and Carlos Mendonça, SimpleFormsDesign is a design firm based in Porto.

The design studio works on the combination of innovation and tradition, experimenting timeless materials and production methods. The firm started making a name for itself in 2008 as its first cork collection received the prestigeous Red Dot Award.
Since then SimpleFormsDesign has been pushing the expressive range of a Portuguese classic ‘uneasy’ natural material: cork and agglomerated cork.

SimpleFormsDesign pursues ways to combine tradition and modernity through the explorations of the interactions between craftsmanship and cutting-edge technology to create a vast array of designs that – from lamps to chairs and tables;  bath accessories to tableware; bowls to lamps, and from the two beautiful and iconic bird houses to cork tiles that echo Portuguese’s traditional Azulejos – pair the natural-traditional color and texture of cork with elegant materials such as stainless steel and white china

SimpleFormsDesign’s cork tiling system elegantly shapes one of the most sustainable natural materials offering extraordinary acoustic and insulating properties.

Behind objects that bring a distinctive and organic touch in perfectly contemporary environments, is a research effort that revives  materials and traditional, and too often declined, methods of production, showing a fine synthesis of local, contemporary, modern, traditional and sustainable.


Nicolò Ceccarelli

Associate Professor, Alghero School of Design


Associate Professor in Design at the Alghero Department of Architecture, Design and Planning. Over the years he has oriented his research work towards the interactions between design and digital technology, exploring various research fields such as 3D modeling and design visualization, heritage valorization, the exploration of new languages for making information accessible, through visual design. In 2013 he organized and hosted the first edition of the international design conference 2CO_COmmunicating Complexity. More recently, in his research laboratory ‘animazionedesign’, he started exploring ways to develop a design approach aware of the local dimension, working abroad, in Morocco and Palestine, and in Sardinia, with a major research project at the 2015 Expo, a project about the dissemination of his University's historic scientific museum, and a multimedia installation for the PastFuture exhibit at Milan's Triennale.

After organizating and chairing the second edition of the international design conference 2CO_COmmunicating Complexity, Tenerife, Canary islands, Spain, November 2017, Nicolò is currently engaged in a new exciting project about visualizing the 'Statuti Sassaresi' a codex from the beginning of the 14th century