Our history

Our history

In 2016, Amandine Furhmann and Mériadek Caraës decided to change their lives. They had just spent more than ten years working in a major contemporary art gallery in Paris. They loved ceramic objects, which they found at flea markets or made themselves. They also loved travelling, particularly to the Mediterranean, and dreamt of the work of Moroccan, Italian and Spanish craftsmen. They were often disappointed to learn that a particular ancestral skill had disappeared or that another was in decline. They were saddened that so many so-called ‘ethnic’ objects are standardised and factory-made, with no regard for the territories from which they claim to draw their inspiration. So it was as outsiders that they decided to make their mark in the world of decoration, with a fresh look and a different approach to their competitors.

“We are keen to create objects that have meaning”.

So in 2016, the duo took the plunge and set up Datcha, a design studio creating decorative objects based in Paris. In Russian, a ‘dacha’ is a second home, often built of wood and located in the countryside. Amandine and Mériadek decided to make this word, which is reminiscent of literature, their own, and to bring together all their passions, their taste for crossbreeding, handmade objects, colours and objects with meaning. Their ambition? Going back to the roots of craftsmanship, working hand-in-hand with manufacturers, and offering accessible objects that are both contemporary and respectful of tradition.

“For us, the name datcha evokes the image of a warm, authentic home, as well as the idea of travel and a change of scenery.”

Every Datcha collection starts in the same way. The two designers rummage around, driven by their curiosity. Looking as much at the history of craftsmanship as at ways of doing things in the Maghreb or the Far East. They innovate on the basis of these skills, designing unique models that do not copy but pay homage to the crafts. Their choices tend towards atypical practices, with an element of randomness in the production processes, with chance and ‘accidents’ often creating pleasant surprises. This gave rise to ceramics decorated with candles or soap bubbles, objects fired in flames and textiles stamped with mud.

Datcha Collection

Then comes the work with the craftsman. The duo systematically visit his studio several times during the creative process. Together, they check the technical details and make several attempts to obtain the desired shape or colour. They submit their ideas to the manufacturer, who offers them in exchange. And the emphasis is always on natural materials: terracotta, glass, wool, wood, natural fibres (rush, rattan, raffia, palm…). The least polluting manufacturing processes possible are favoured, as is recycling. The idea is to create timeless objects, must-haves designed to last, without overproduction, with a view to rational consumption.

“Behind each of our objects is a meeting, a craftsman and a story”.

Because that’s what Mériadek and Amandine are most proud of: Datcha objects are all unique. By their original design, of course, but also by their manufacture. The human footprint is clearly visible. Between two plates or vases, the colours are never quite the same, so that lovers of beautiful objects can find the piece that resonates with their emotions.

Each collection bears the name of a place which, if not the place of manufacture, is the place of inspiration. Datcha has given its creations evocative names: Gibraltar, Mogador, Formentera, Syracuse, Smyrna, Paradou, Batignolles…

Design Datcha Paris

“Our aim is to promote the value of manual work, and to preserve heritage, traditions and techniques that are disappearing”.

The Datcha designers are very concerned about the ethics of their objects. To reduce their carbon footprint, they produce as close to home as possible, particularly in France: Alsace, Limousin and the North of France. The rest is manufactured in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and India. In all, there are more than forty craftspeople and workshops working with the Paris studio, all of whom are paid a fair price, enabling them to make a living from their skills and to develop.

Today, Datcha develops two collections a year. Initially located on rue de Paradis in Paris (a street formerly dedicated to French porcelain and crystal), the brand has moved to a new space in summer 2021, on quai de la Mégisserie, in the heart of the capital and a stone’s throw from the Samaritaine. They offer crockery, household linen, lighting, furniture and decorative objects. All these products are reasonably priced and are also distributed in over forty sales outlets (in France, Europe, the United States and Asia). Their collections have been acclaimed by numerous European interior design magazines. The studio has also been invited to work with a number of restaurants, as well as interior design and ready-to-wear brands.

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