The TOTEM pole
In the tradition of ancient Native American tribes the TOTEM has symbolic meaning which best represents the idea of our company. For the Ojibwa tribe, the totem is a being or category of beings that a group considers itself to have a particular familial relationship with. The basic idea of TOTEM is precisely this: to create a bond between our wooden furniture and those who use them. Researchers studying the philosophical concept of the TOTEM, as well as the disciplines based on totemism, describe "a worldview that identifies a specific relationship between human beings and forces of nature, used as a conceptual tool for the classification of reality and of society."
TOTEM furniture, then, is not only carefully designed to be functional, also strives to create a more intimate relationship between our spirit and our surroundings: our homes, the meeting place for our "clan" of family and friends, the place that allows us to separate from the chaos of the outside world and rediscover our hidden aspirations.
The TOTEM simultaneously represents a spiritual quest, an individual path in motion, curiosity, experimentation, to discover our place in the world, and in this sense TOTEM gives us the ability to change, transform and to create new spaces based on paths of change- so a simple loft bed one day can become a four-poster bed, a crib can be reborn as a comfortable rocking chair for children, a table transforms into a sofa and sofa into a comfortable bed. All in a simple and harmonious way, without upsetting the balance between sustainable design and quality, in harmony with nature, the external world and our spirit.
Our product names symbolically pay tribute to and recall Native American tribes who considered the totem as a meeting point between their societies and nature.
The history of the Totem is that of a young architect who dreamed of being able to design furniture that could really be an integral part of life of every home.
It all began in 1996, born from the hundreds of notebooks full of drawings and ideas on the utility combined with the functionality and sustainability of furniture. After graduating from university, Paolo Cogliati went in search of work at big furniture companies. In Milan the trend has always been to follow the fashion industry and in the 90s the material par excellence was plastic, many kinds of plastics, of all conceivable colors. In his notebooks, which would become the basis of the Totem project, the only material used was wood. “Wood is thing of the past” was the phrase he kept hearing, along with the closing of the doors of big businesses.
In those years, the concept of self-production was almost unknown, as was sustainability awareness, respect for nature, and the combination of production, consumption and harmony of the senses.
Good quality furniture for every-day use was not available on a large scale. Designers aimed created furniture for the high-end, relatively good quality products with very high costs accessible only to few.
And so that in the frenzy of colored plastic, the increasingly accelerated pace of a consumption-based system and trends which were anything but ecological, Totem began to take shape.
The first step was to choose products among the hundreds of ideas and designs. There were not many rules to follow, just some basic principles. The selected products had to be: simple, able to be built by craftsmen and artisans, practical designs made only of wood, without the need for additional accessories or tools, without expensive finishes. The material had to be found in Italy, or within Europe, to avoid high transport costs (now called Km0).
As time passed, however, the concept of ecology became an additional market strategy and selling and buying green products became the new trend. If in the 90s we had plastic, we now have “ecology”, a lot of ecology, ecology of all conceivable colors and flavors, but Totem continues its independent struggle against fads, against massive and ferocious consumption.
Totem continues to create its history one piece at a time. It is the only wooden furniture of Italian origin, able to adapt to change and the passage of time, easy to assemble and disassemble without screws or nails, so flexible the designs can transform, so original that they are not simply pieces of furniture, but a personalized experience with wood.
Anti-consuption to protect harmony and for creating a new balance between humans and nature.
Our designs are meant to last, against the planned obsolescence that is prevailing in the market.
Totem products are built to last, if they are ever damaged, they can be easily repaired.
The organic dimension of Totem.
Instincts that remain the same do not evolve, consciousness counterbalances instinct and also does not suffer the effects of evolutionary processes.
Totem evolves, changing according to your needs.
NATURE: the man outside of nature has a distorted perception of the world, satisfies his instincts in an alienated dimension.
There is no direct relationship between the need and availability, nor the perception of limit.
Totem is nature, without waste, without pretensions.
BALANCE: the need to rebalance the relationship between instinct and consciousness.
Do we want a “luxury home” that is also “low cost”? This is not possible. We can have a home with quality furniture at the right price. This is Totem.
HARMONY: as a value itself, the perception of harmony is the legacy of few.
Art and harmony are the criteria that give form to Totem’s values, and include all of the above criteria.
Do you provide International delivery?
Yes we provide international shipping to these countries: EU, UK, Russia, Turkey, for other country please ask for shipping quotation sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What is your returns policy?
We apply the Return and Refund Laws in Italy, more info at this link
How can I contact your couriers?
we provide a tracking number also we can ask to the courier to contact you before delivery