When Curro Claret was commissioned by Camper to redo one of their Barcelona shoe stores, he decided to let a group of people in risk of social exclusion have a go at it. The result of this open design project is a very positive one. Together with Arrels Fundació, Curro Claret and the group of ex-homeless people designed and built a new shop interior almost exclusively from recycled materials.
The furniture is based on a metal piece called T300 by Claret with which he has been working for a while now. This joint allows you to create tables, shelves and stools from nearly any reclaimed piece of wood.
Apart from old furniture found in the streets of Barcelona, the group had discarded materials from Camper to work with: old signboards, shoe laces, and leather offcuts were turned into wall coverings, curtains, lampshades and seats. The result is a colourful and playful, yet slick interior that proves that upcycling can look good and be fully functioning.
Curro Claret explains on the Camper blog:
…our goal was to inspire us to embrace a different set of values. From the beginning, we knew that tthe space had to work and be visually appealing. But we also knew that it wasn’t just about asking people forced to live in the streets to work to make furnishings for the premises; we had to get them involved in the process, offer them the possibility of participating and making decisions on certain aspects of its design, and invite them to discuss and debate what a Camper store has the potential to be…
Through this open design project, a group of people who had been living on the street at some point of their lives managed to learn new skills and experience what it is like to design a commercial interior. Moreover, it provided them with extra income, paid by Camper. The rest of the commission from Camper is used by Arrels Fundació to keep running their workshop which offers constant activities and training for people in risk of social exclusion.
The stunning illustrations of the work in progress on pieces of scrap wood are by artist Miguel Fuster, who lived on the street for 15 years. If you are interested in the full story, watch this video: