Our friend Alberto Villarreal sent us details about their recent collaboration with Guadalajara's EOS México, a firm founded by brothers Mauricio and Sebastian Lara. Like many a clever design, "EOSkate" started with a mistake: the latter firm was preparing a book to commemorate a decade of their work when a printing error yield "several hundreds of (somehow) useless books."
Instead of merely recycling the flawed volumes, "the creative minds of the Lara brothers turned this 'error' into a design opportunity."
They saw this as an excuse to recycle the books into art and design pieces and invited 11 designers/firms to create objects using the books as a raw material, and gave 6 to 10 books to each invitee.
Alberto Villarreal and his team at AGENT (the Mexico City-based firm he leads), started brainstorming about what to do with the books they got. [They] roughed out several ideas and ended up designing a skateboard made out of paper (from the book pages) mixed with resin.
Villarreal tells us,
I saw this as an opportunity to experiment with materials—the book itself has so much color in the pages and this encouraged us to play up the graphic content, but when we started experimenting with the paper new things came up.
We didn't follow a logical A to B process. We didn't know what was going to be the outcome, but while experimenting and analyzing the properties of the paper, new ideas started to come out.
Initially we started by cutting and folding paper, creating gradients and patterns with the graphic content, [resulting in] tons of woven patterns.
[We] wanted to "freeze" the patterns, so we sunk the paper patterns in resin. Then voilá! The skateboard idea came out and we literally took a journey into it.
We made a mold from a wooden skateboard, with specific patterns to fit in the dimensions and size, following the curvatures of the skateboard mold. Then we made several prototypes until we achieved the right color gradient as well as the right amount of paper layers and resin.
Villarreal explains the process, highlighting mockups and samples of the prototypes that served as steps on the way to the final paper skateboard:
The full list of invited designers included: Alberto Villarreal (AGENT), Ariel Rojo, Cecilia León de la Barra, Emiliano Godoy, Héctor Esrawe, Jorge Moreno, Marcela Compeán, Mariano García, Ricardo Casas, Giovanni Estrada, José Alfredo Silva.
The pieces were exhibited at the Comex showroom in Polanco, Mexico City.
Besides the pieces made by the invited designers, the Lara brothers themselves used the books as raw material to design Arquine's stand at the International Book Fair celebrated in Guadalajara last year.
Creative Direction: Alberto Villarreal
Design team: Isaac Smeke, Tom Pelzer, Felipe Castañeda
Prototyping: AGENT & Manolo Serranía
Photos: Isaac Smeke, EOS Mexico