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Okro – A place of tension between contemporary craftsmanship and design.

Okro – A place of tension between contemporary craftsmanship and design.

OKRO develops contemporary designs in collaboration with craftsmen, designers and architects. Together, they explore the limits of the possible and impossible, of utility and beauty, purpose and space. The objects they create exude a sense of timelessness and history.

Using the cultural diversity of their immediate surroundings, OKRO pairs regional craftsmanship and international design. Their aim is to stimulate and establish relationships between design authors, manufacturers and customers.

OKRO edits limited and unlimited editions of objects and furniture, and in doing so, fills gaps that are ignored by the industry. They also run the Gallery O in Chur where objects are displayed not only for their contemporary craftsmanship and design uniqueness, but for their crazy new ideas and concepts.

Who’s Heinz?

The gallery O, representing in part the label Okro, came to life first in the head of Heinz Caflish. Not long afterward, within a former industrial building, garage and workshop in Chur. As we talked to Heinz about good architecture and aesthetic design, his enthusiasm for the genre was immediately demonstrable by the large fount of knowledge he drank from. 

After his studies at the Technikum in Winthertur and at the Zurich University of the Arts, he founded the architectural office Auer-Caflish together with Roland Auer in 2000. In 2012, seizing the moment, he made journeys to various countries and attended universities and lectures, spoke with students and designers, broadening his skills, knowledge base and toolsets. Fueled by these experiences, Heinz then created a hub for design and craftsmanship, opening Galerie O with his label Okro in 2017. The Galerie O design hub served to forge links between crafters from the surrounding alpine region and designers who repeatedly had the demand for individual custom-made products but did not really know how to produce them for their customers. Together, they explore the limits of the possible and impossible, of utility and beauty, purpose and space. The objects they create exude a sense of timelessness and history.

Heinz Caflish’s interpretation of design is to facilitate and promote these encounters. Okro is a cultural space, besides exhibitions in the gallery and a sales room for products created by the collaborations, there is also a beautifully constructed kitchen unit in the newly designed former garage. Where meals are often cooked and enjoyed in a convivial atmosphere. The design of the kitchen reflects the Japanese food culture, in which aesthetics has an essential meaning, just like for Okro. This shop and the Maker behind it, are a living manifesto for contemporary craftsmanship and design. 

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Up-to-date

Do not miss the current Sommerschau in the gallery O. The exhibition is called “Hot Materials” and features Laurin Schaub (ceramist) and Fabio Hendry (industrial designer), both material innovators who explore the boundaries between industrial production and handcraft.

Exhibition period 11.7. – 12.9.2020