Modern Contemporary Design


Shoelaces Lamps by Curro Claret with Metalarte

Shoelaces, a lamp designed to assist people at risk of social exclusion. shoelaces_lamps_curro_claret_metalarte_02.jpg Details: Developed by Metalarte with Curro Claret, Shoelaces is a collection of lamps that attempt to involve people at risk of social exclusion “who have lived rough in the past, in a design process, as an opportunity to assist in their recovery process”.


Using reclaimed shoelaces from Camper shoe stores, Shoelaces lampshades come to be simply by tying laces side by side on a metal frame.


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“A story in three acts

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 which can be seen on 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, which will be marketed

as from January 2015. They will be made in the workshops of the Madrid foundation and 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.

It is not a case of charity but of offering disadvantaged people new opportunities to feel valid and creatively active. Curro Claret (Barcelona, 1968) has dedicated a major part of his professional career to this. He studied at the Elisava School in Barcelona and finished his training at the exclusive Central Saint Martins College of Art in London, but he is the antithesis of the typical image of a designer, a rarity which if it didn’t exist would

have to be invented. In 2013 he received the Ciutat de Barcelona Award for his work, which is full of meaning and considers design a tool at the service of society.

The thought and method of Curro is contained in the book “Imperfect portrait of Curro Claret Polyphonic conversation on design and other things”, written by Oscar Guayabero and published by Camper. To mark the occasion of the presentation of Shoelaces in Palo Alto Market a special retail edition has been published, limited to 60 numbered and signed copies printed by Nova Era on recycled paper. Lamps made in situ by people from the foundations and the display lamps themselves, mostly prototypes or unique items, will also be sold at very reasonable prices.”


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