Palm Lab’s collection

Palm Lab’s collection for Made in Design.



matali crasset conceived a selection of objects that will be exclusively distributed by Made in Design. The Palm Lab, between workshop and laboratory was initiated by the same team that conceived the Dar HI eco-lodge located in Nefta, Tunisia. matali crasset proposed 12 objects imagined by local craftsmen. Made is Design is part of that adventure that mixes design and the development of local talent.


Palm lab, a project integrating a responsible tourism approach. Palm Lab is a think-tank dedicated to Nefta’s oasis, close to Tozeur, in Tunisia. While working on Dar HI, matali crasset, Patrick Elouarghi and Philippe Chapelet, the idea of the Palm Lab came to their mind straight away. Ecology and sustainable development is the core of DAR HI’s principles. The main material used in by the inhabitants of Nefta is palm wood and it is also used for Palm Lab because it is a natural, economical and ecological material from Nefta.


The oasis, local jewel, is a very fragile environment that needs to be preserved and rehabilitated. The objective of Palm Lab is to question the creative, productive and ecological potential of the oasis and of the palm tree. Palm Lab has a program that unites experts-craftsmen with the organization of workshops and long term researches on the future of that environment.


DAR HI; the headquarter for Palm Lab’s actions and experimentations Palm Lab is completely integrated in Dar Hi’s philosophy. The team is all involved in the global approach of preservation and the oasis development. The house was used like a laboratory and was conceived with an interior decoration made out of Palm tree and day to day experimentation – menus, body care in the hammam and in the rooms are all thought keeping in mind the development of local products.

DAR HI dedicates as well a specific space for Palm Lab to undertake researches and therefore benefit from a conceptual and logistic support.



The objects of the collection are inspired from objects found in Dar HI. They were selected and redesigned in order to give global coherence. The objects were also transformed for a European usage and that is why their principles are organized in three main focus :

– mobility : curtains inhabitants of Nefta were nomads, they have developed a culture around mobility, they have their own way of occupying the ground, they live in exterior most of the time and go very often from interior to exterior carrying few things…. This characteristic of mobility is interesting to work on adapting it in the context of our urban modern life.

– Simplicity: it is not a question here to have objects that are decorated or re­fined but more on basic traditional usage. In this region that is accessible with difficulty and in the middle of the desert, you learn to make with what you have and adopt construction technics that are simple and effective. This simplicity gives the objects a new sense.

– Raw material : the ancients had developed skills using all part of the palm tree : the trunk as well as the leaves for wickerwork, the ­fiber of the bark of the tree to make rope, the branches for accessories and even the roots …. It is a good example of the optimization of natural resources. This approach is very relevant in this contemporary context…





– Patrick Elouarghi & Philippe Chapelet (Hi Life)
In December 2010, Patrick Elouarghi and Philippe Chapelet opened Dar HI, an 18 room eco-lodge in Nefta, in the Tunisian desert. Patrick being from Tunisia wanted to break the image that people have of the country with strategy of mass market tourism and decided to initiate an innovative project.

– matali crasset (designer)
The creations of matali crasset are all the result of a reflection on the codes that govern our daily lives. Her main objective is to free herself from this and experiment new approaches. Her work is based on a lot of research and more hypothesis than principles. She develops new typologies that are articulated around foundations like modularity, ownership, flexibility and network. Dar Hi and Palm Lab projects are a new opportunities for her to enhance the humanity within the design.

– Catherine Colin – Guillaume Petit (Made in Design)
Catherine Colin began her professional career in human resources. She will be a consultant in that sector and then Human Resources manager in a company for 15 years before founding Made in Design in 1999. The ­first online design shop in France that will soon become the leader in that area in Europe with 200 editors, 25000 products, 800 designers. Catherine Colin has followed matali crasset’s work since the beginning. They both share their love for design, for human relations and « human design » that they fiercely defend. When matali crasset created objects for Dar HI the approach and the drawings once again appealed to her. With Guillaume Petit they immediately wanted Made in Design to be part of the adventure.


Photography: Wassim Ghozlani



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