Design · 11/04/2018

TakeCaire-Genesis of an encounter between Cairo’s Artisans and Paris Designers

View from the gallery : TakeCaire products issued from the first workshop – Photography by Faouzi Massrali

TakeCaire is an Edition House of handmade design cofounded by Sylvie Blanchet, interior designer and graduate of ENSAD School, and Emilie Kartsonas, architect and videographer.

TakeCaire was born through collaborative work between artisans of Old Cairo and young French design graduates from the prestigious Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs (ENSAD) in Paris.

Photography by Faouzi Massrali

Sylvie Blanchet, who lives in Cairo for almost 12 years, imagined this gathering of talents. It came upon her that the precious know-how of Egyptian artisans, their stalls and workshops, though always present in the streets of Cairo, should be more valued. During the first gathering between artisans and designers, the idea of joining their operating principles and creations under a single design label was brought to life.
A first series of products was designed, challenging the artisans and allowing them to break determined codes of their everyday production. This first collection also allowed the designers to conceive objects inspired by a culture different than their own and target an audience sensitive to the cultural, historical and ethical values they transmit.
Today, TakeCaire is growing and expanding its presence to a wider audience.

Inside the workshop of Arabi Farouk finishing work on copper jewels from the Lotus collection.Design : Lola Mercier – Photography by Faouzi Massrali

TakeCaire’s action is founded in its team’s expertise in design, marketing and communication, as well as an in-depth knowledge of Egyptian craftsmanship. The project constantly explores different techniques and materials offering a range of objects; with each item telling the story of an encounter between two talents, two countries, two skillsets, an encounter between tradition and contemporary research. Their current collections include local materials such as copper, brass, blow glass, turn wood, recycled cotton and paper…a fraction of the diversity of raw materials available in Egypt.TakeCaire – a sustainable model – Allowing artisan communities to evolve and fit their skills into new perspectives, while enhancing their competences through vocational and technical training. – The integration of innovative processes and design services with local traditional know-how. – Introducing artisans to a wide range of new local markets – Exposure of Cairo’s artisans and their communities to international markets. – Offering young designers new challenges and opportunities to edit and diffuse their creations.

Hand stitched cup in silk organza–Heba collection Design: Nathanaël Abeill – Photography by Faouzi Massrali

Black Wall” folding screen – khayameya, traditional tone on tone applique technique – Photography by Faouzi Massrali

Raw wood seats and hand stitched upholstery with cotton fiber filling – collection Naguib – design: Nathanaël Abeille et Samuel Aden – Photography by Faouzi Massrali

As a first step towards sustaining and giving full meaning to our mission and action TakeCaire has recently opened a gallery in the heart of Cairo, inside a flat facing the Cairo Museum and within walking distance from the now iconic Tahrir Square. Establishing TakeCaire’ s in a 1930’s building is not a coincidence; it is a tribute to the history of Cairo, including its contemporary history, a city resolutely turned towards its future and intimately linked to the multiple layers of its past molding its social and cultural present in an ever so unique way. The Gallery space has been made possible with the support of Al Ismaelia for Real Estate who share TakeCaire’s vision of making Downtown Cairo a cultural hub, a part of the city where creative and positive energies flow, a springboard to creativity sublimated through tradition and innovation.

TakeCaire was established five years ago and has since been working towards consolidating a sustainable business model, enriching and developing their collections, as well as organizing new workshops in Egypt. 2018 marks the debut of TakeCaire’s products, locally and internationally, through exhibitions and pop-up events. TakeCaire plans to extend its activities to other governorates in the spirit of embracing and exploring the various cultures and traditional craftsmanship found in Egypt.

Photography by :Faouzi Massrali

For more info check their website, Facebook page and follow their Instagram account @takecairo