Lazo Studios


Saturday 21st September 14:00 – 17:00 

Mezzanine | The Koppel Project Central 

Lazo Studios, an art, design, and wood crafting atelier that fuses Eastern traditions with contemporary Western designs. In this workshop they will take you on a journey to the remote tribal regions of Afghanistan. Formerly known as Kafiristan (Land of the Infidels), Nuristan is a remote mountainous part of Eastern Afghanistan, where several ancient tribes have lived and flourished in isolation. They are thought to be relics of an original Indo- European population secluded in the mountains up until the 1890s when they were forced by the then Afghan Emir, to convert to Islam. It is at this time that the region became known as Nuristan (Land of Light). As pagans with their own ancient belief system, they developed their own chip carving techniques using simple tools and local timber from the surrounding forests.

The resulting simple geometric patterns imbued with symbolic meanings, when executed with discipline and restraint have particular appeal to contemporary taste. In this workshop you will learn some of the basic alphabet of Nuristani carving and will get a chance to carve your own unique small cheese boards under the guidance of the partners at Lazo Studios.

Naseer Yasna is a master carver, a designer and an educator from Afghanistan. At the age of fourteen Naseer became apprenticed to an Iraqi master in Tehran. It was there that he learned the precision, sense of design, and scrupulous attention to detail which is integral to his approach. Shortly after returning to Afghanistan at the age of twenty eight, Naseer joined Turquoise Mountain – a charity dedicated to preserving traditional crafts – as a master artisan and teacher. After several years, he went on to establish his own business in Kabul, employing a large number of young Afghan craftsmen  and women, many of whom were his own students. Drawing on the rich heritage of Afghan and Islamic design, Naseer has worked on many prestigious projects both in Afghanistan and internationally.

Hedieh Wojgani is a trained architect, artist and a designer with a nomadic background straddling several cultures and places. Born in Iran and raised in Germany, she trained as an architect and fine artist at the Rhode Island School of Design. Subsequently, Hedieh worked at various architectural design firms in Boston, New York, and Berlin before moving to London to continue her studies at UCL. She then pursued multidisciplinary research projects at various universities in the UK before relocating to Kabul in 2010 to join Turquoise Mountain, first as an architect and later as the director of business development and creative director.  For the better part of a past decade Hedieh worked with various artisans from Central and West Asia.




This exhibition was generously supported by:

Please contact info@thekoppelproject.com for more information.