Who We Are
Who we are
Studio Botanica is a maker of handcrafted teak furniture. We’re Silvio Hochuli and Lucas Thompson, Co-founders of Studio Botanica. We're two colorful characters with industrial and interior design backgrounds who share a passion for craftsmanship, visual art, the natural world, and traditional Indian woodworking.
Silvio hails from a family with a celebrated artistic and academic history, having grown up in the hills of Switzerland surrounded by nature and who loves to paint. Drawing inspiration from his Dutch Grandmother, Else Hessuer Van Arkel, whose notable works include a portrait of Prince Franz Josef II von und zu Liechtenstein – a cherished family friend, the late Pascal Danz, heavily influences Silvio’s artistic style. In addition, he studied at the prestigious CENTRO diseño in Mexico City before completing his Bachelor's in Industrial and Product Design at Basel Academy of Art and Design FHNW and later completing his MSc in Strategic Production Design at TU Delft in the Netherlands.
Lucas spent his early childhood years on a farm riding horses in Australia, where his family collected species of rare plants, which developed his passion for landscape architecture and where he developed an expert knowledge of botanical science that was passed on from his grandparents. He has lived in Hong Kong, China, Singapore, and Brunei and now settled in the Netherlands for almost a decade – where he worked for The European Fine Art Foundation (TEFAF). Lucas's family's colonial history has inspired him to collect treasures that are reflected in his eclectic interior designs. A UX Designer by trade, he's fanatical about high design, collecting modern art, rare timber, and Chinese antiques.
Our backgrounds aside, Studio Botanica has a presence in Amsterdam, Zürich, and in our third home – Mumbai, India. In saying that, our objective has always been to build furniture of the finest quality. Hence, we make our pieces from aged reclaimed teak and hand-woven rattan cane. Therefore, each piece in our collection is individually assembled using traditional wooden joinery and weaving techniques – with each design having its own unique character.
How Studio Botanica came to be
Our friendship developed after meeting in Tuscany, and it took a few minutes before we realized that we shared an obsession for Modernist, Mid-Century design and art in all its forms. Such a connection quickly evolved influenced our decision to found our design business, and our enthusiasm and love for what we do influences every aspect of Studio Botanica's collection – including our ambitions for future designs.
That being said, we’re two very similar humans who share a fascination with Swiss-Indian design history that has inspired us to re-create and customize Pierre Jeanneret's Modernist classics as they were made decades ago. And we must acknowledge that with the help of a family of expert carpenters and weavers in Mumbai, we craft our furniture by hand using only natural materials with exusuite details.
Our main ingredient to craft our furniture is aged reclaimed teakwood salvaged from old colonial-era buildings demolished in the wake of India’s decolonization. Most of our timber is from 1935-1950 and is around 70-90 years old.
Any carpenter would agree that old, solid timber provides more durability and is less prone to warping than freshly milled timber and tells a story through its unique grains. In the case of our teakwood, our grains reveal a certain beauty due to their turbulent history.
Moreover, by using reclaimed timber, we reduce the harm to living trees in the production process of our furniture, which is a value we hold dearly and emanate through the quality of each piece in our collection.
The result is a furniture collection that embodies a bold new design language that rejects its colonial past, reflecting the ambitions of a newly restored nation free from the oppression of British occupation — the Republic of India.
With Studio Botanica, we are creating a confluence of the past and present by combining our knowledge and experience in art and design with the celebrated history of Indian woodworking whilst maintaining a century-old Indian family business with a deep connection to Mumbai’s history.
Studio Botanica looks forward to sharing our journey and the colorful stories behind them with you as our unique design language is applied to future collections that we’re thrilled to showcase in the near future.
Thank you for visiting, and please let us know if we can assist you.
Silvio & Lucas