Curro Claret presented the Shoelaces project for Metalarte to mark the grand opening of Palo Alto Market on 6 and 7 December 2014. He was the guest artist at the Gallery and produced an installation by way of a workshop which also involved people from the Arrels Foundation in Barcelona and San Martin de Porres Foundation in Madrid, who made the lamps "in situ". Shoelaces was the result of his collaboration with the Majorcan company, Camper, and these two foundations. This collection of lamps is the result of a social project and a chain of actions taken on the same idea: to involve a group of people at risk of social exclusion, who in the past have lived in the street, in a design process as a way of helping them in their recovery process.
Behind these lamps there is a unique story which can be summarized in three acts. The first began in 2010 when Curro took part in a meeting on Design against poverty called by the Ministries of Culture and Health. He designed “The Piece”, a simple metallic element designed to join parts and build furniture from reclaimed materials. He was given an award and used his idea to develop, with the Arrels Foundation workshop, a diverse collection of stools, tables and lamps, to illustrate its possibilities. He presented it in the Estrany de la Mota Gallery in 2011. Then he offered his idea to any organization that so requested, provided the furniture was made by more or less marginalized groups, socially excluded or otherwise, as a way to help them in their situation.
In 2012 Camper took action and asked Curro to design and build one of its stores in Barcelona (calle Pelai, 13-37, in the Triangle Shopping Centre) based on his idea, with reclaimed materials and the collaboration of a group of people from the Arrels Foundation. The idea was not only to use them as labour to produce the furniture but to actively involved them in the process, offering them the chance to participate and make decisions on certain aspects of the design. This resulted in the curtains made from shoelaces which add colour and personality to the space. The collaboration model (contained in a documentary video) was a success and was repeated in Madrid (calle Preciados, 23) two years later, this time with the San Martín de Porres Foundation.
Shoelaces were also used to make lampshades for both stores, with such a striking result that it did not go unnoticed by Metalarte. This is, so far, the last act of this story. The lighting company has added another link to the chain and developed with Curro Claret a collection of lamps christened with the name of Shoelaces. They are made in the workshops of the Madrid foundation and will be sent to the world’s major furnishing and lighting stores, on their own merit, as with the Camper stores, without using the social aspect as a claim.
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