BOKJA is a Beirut-based design studio, crafting meaningful narratives through embroidery and textile to create personable objects, from furniture to fashion.
BOKJA’s signature is its assemblage aesthetic, bringing together textile fragments of a time and place, situating them in unusual arrangements to communicate a unified message. The integrity of each piece is upheld as it is connected, layered and ultimately integrated and juxtaposed. It is through the juxtapositions of disparate surfaces that the importance of each component becomes magnified; a rich and unexpected visual language is created.
‘BOKJA’ is a regional word referring to a ‘bundle’ or the piece of fabric that is used to wrap the dowry of a bride. A familial tradition, a typical ‘bokja’ always bears the treatment of hand-embroidery from different female members of the family.
BOKJA is a team of talented artisans and designers from over 10 countries, representing a diverse cluster of textile practices of the Arabian region. Brought together under a unique mission, this textile laboratory seeks to preserve a local craft tradition by redefining it in a contemporary voice.
BOKJA operates out of Beirut, a city that echoes this complex language of assemblage. The country itself is positioned between old and new, east and west, bringing to the surface issues of identity and impermanence. Accordingly, behind Bokja’s surface fabrication is an underlying theme of identity; how it can be created and collected, how it can travel and adapt, and how it can ultimately be shared and communicated.
BOKJA is a message of diversity and tolerance, best exemplified through its assemblage aesthetic and the social causes it supports and communicates. As craftivist platform, Bokja aims to be an active participant in conversations related to ecological awareness and social injustice through its preferred medium: textile.
BOKJA was established in the year 2000 and founded by Huda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, Bokja was born from the female duo’s shared passion for furniture, textiles, art and design. While Huda has spent her life collecting fabrics from the Silk Road, Maria is an expert in antique pieces of furniture with a hidden beauty. The two married their expertise and knowledge of traditional craftsmanship and started Bokja by reupholstering vintage furniture found in antique stores and flea markets with precious fabrics from the region. Since its inception, Bokja has grown into a multi-level design studio building the story of Beirut’s numerous co-existing cultures through their famous assemblage aesthetic, establishing itself as a disruptive and innovative brand, breaking down barriers and weaving human connections.