LAPIZ DE ACERO
How was the unique trophy design in 2001 by CD&I Associates inspired, and how did it incorporate a playful element?
In 2001, a creative endeavor unfolded at CD&I Associates as we were entrusted with a remarkable task by Iván Cortés and Maria José Barreto - to design the prestigious "Premio Lápiz de Acero" trophy (www.lapizdeacero.org) Revista Proyecto Diseño. Little did we anticipate the profound impact this venture would have on our journey.
At the inception, Iván presented us with a unique challenge. The task was to design the trophy for that year, deviating from the convention of having a different designer for each edition. Luis Angarita's initial instinct was to suggest that the steel pencil needed no further design, given its iconic status. However, an opportunity presented itself to craft the base and accompanying accolades.
This began a process of un-design, a paradoxical exploration aimed at avoiding unnecessary embellishments.
The ethos of that era demanded not only the design of the steel pencil but also the special mentions and nominations. Our aspiration was to make the pencil, when placed on a translucent base, illuminate, a vision that fueled extensive research into materials, forms and technologies.
We were successful in realizing this vision, albeit constrained by budget and technological limitations at the time. The fabrication became a reality, and we meticulously crafted pieces through laser cutting, ingeniously utilizing a central steel disc for nominations, an inner one for special mentions and an outer one for the main award, adhering to the golden ratio and several other carefully calculated proportions.
Crafting an unconventional, playful trophy was a collaborative and innovative endeavor, leaving a lasting mark in Colombian design
Yet, amidst this triumph lay a humorous challenge. The separable design of the base and the pencil inadvertently led to some recipients dropping the base upon receiving it, a playful risk we had envisioned and found delight in. After all, design involves embracing a certain level of risk!
With a touch of "false modesty", Luis says that he must admit what truly fills him with pride about this design is the fact that esteemed designers, architects and advertisers from Colombia proudly display his creation in their homes. It's a testament to the collaborative effort of the entire CD&I Associates team that brings these visions to life, as every project in our office embodies this collective spirit.
We extend our gratitude to Iván for this incredible opportunity, marking years of collaboration. We cherish the presence of three of these trophies in our own homes. The joy of seeing them proudly exhibited when visiting a friend is truly unparalleled.
Moreover, this is our design, a labor of love from CD&I Associates. As we celebrate many more years to come, we remain eager to possess the entire box of pencils and this year, we shall once again participate, aspiring to reclaim the wayward prodigal soon!