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Shoelaces is a Curro Claret project arising from his collaboration with the company Camper and the foundations Arrels in Barcelona and San Martín de Porres in Madrid. It is the result of a chain of actions carried out with the idea of involving a group of people at risk of social exclusion –who have lived on the street in the past– in a design process, as an opportunity to help them with their recovery. It started in 2010 when Curro participated in the Design Against Poverty contest held by the Spanish ministries of Culture and Health. He designed a simple metal element intended to join parts and build furniture with reclaimed materials. They gave him an award, which he used to develop a series of stools, tables, and lamps that illustrated the possibilities. Then he offered his idea to any organisation that asked him for it, as long as the furniture was made by more or less marginalised groups. In 2012 Camper took over and proposed to Curro that he design and build one of its shops in Barcelona based on that idea and the collaboration of a group of people from Arrels Fundació. The idea wasn’t only to use them as labour, but rather to involve them in the process actively, allowing them to participate and decide on certain aspects of the design. This is how the shop came to have curtains made with shoelaces. This model of collaboration was successful, and two years later it was repeated in Madrid with Fundación San Martín de Porres. Shoelaces were also used to make shades for the lamps in both shops, with results that were so suggestive that they led Metalarte to join the chain, developing this collection with Curro, producing it by hand in the foundations’ workshops and selling it so that it can reach the most important lighting and decoration shops in the world. On its own merits, as happens with Camper shops, not making social work into an excuse.

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