Semi-secluded amidst dense forests and large pasture lands, Domaine de Boisbuchet is a former XV century agricultural estate located in the West of France. Acquired by German design collector Alexander von Vegesack, in 1986 Boisbuchet was turned into an experimental centre, where each summer a series of design and architecture related workshops take place.
Adhering to the learning-by-doing movement, the centre stands as another example of modern experiments that question the lack of hands-on activities of traditional educational systems. Just like the Bauhaus, the Black Mountain College or the Cranbrook Academy of Art before it, Boisbuchet puts hands-on-work, nature, cross-disciplinarity and collectiveness at the centre of its discourse.
Back in December 2016 we met Alexander von Vegesack in order to learn more about how the project started and the values he would like to pass on to the next generations.
Ranging from bamboo and earth architecture to ceramic and glassblowing, perfume making and performance, along the years its seasonal courses have attracted a culturally diverse community of professionals and students from all over the world, who gather on site to experiment and live together.
As people share meals, bedrooms and bathrooms, gather around fireplaces and swim in the estate’s lake, Boisbuchet's ephemeral community is not just about the sharing of a common interest in design, but much more about establishing relationships, share intimate experiences and face disagreements.
All images courtesy of Domaine de Boisbuchet
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