Founded in 2007 by Americans Caitlin and Samuel Dowe-Sandes, Popham Design is a design studio and bespoke tile workshop based in Marrakech, Morocco. The company designs and manufactures handmade concrete tiles that are exported throughout the world, adorning luxury hotels, restaurants and residences from San Francisco to Sydney.
The idea was simple: to celebrate and maintain a traditional artisan craft while updating it with modern patterns and color combinations. The collection draws inspiration from Morocco and its rich history of pattern, along with influences as diverse as the pattern of raindrops cascading down a windowpane, the shadow cast by a palm tree under the blazing African sun, or a delicate crescent moon aloft in a velvety sky.
Concrete tiles are part of the cultural and artistic heritage of Morocco. popham design is fortunate to have an enviable team of master artisans, many of whom have 20+ years experience in their craft. Each tile is lovingly hand made to order (3 to 5 minutes per tile). Each tile is unique with subtle variations in color and line. These “imperfections” distinguish a handmade product from a mass-produced one, lending depth, movement and character to installations.
Tucked away in an olive grove on the road to the Atlas Mountains, the popham design workshop aims to respect the Moroccan countryside, treading as lightly as possible on the earth, and strives to implement eco-friendly policies wherever possible. This includes water filtration and rainwater reclamation systems, over 95% locally sourced materials, recycled packaging, and solar-heated showers for the team.
Popham Design tiles are pressed in a hydraulic press, not kiln fired like ceramic tile, so very little energy goes into their production. The tiles are cured and then air dried, and contain no lead or other harmful toxins. They are suited for commercial and residential applications – walls and floors – and perform very well partnered with radiant heat. The tiles are durable, functional, and easy to care for, and can be used indoors and out.