A' DESIGN AWARD WINNER – CHARTRES – 2014 / 2015

It all started with a research about the handmade stained glass technique. The objective was to increase the work flow of some small companies. I was in love with the effect that these colors made when exposed to light. The amazing feelings these combinations gave me. Our senses are just receptors of information that’re turn into feelings. But there are some feelings that we can’t identify the origin of. With Chartres I wanted to go beyond the five senses and reach a new feeling that despite highly influenced by our visual sense gave us comfort and a new way to see a traditional technique, giving a new feeling to your home.
So I started to break up the relation that exists between the religion and the technique, giving it a modern visual approach, maintaining the storytelling. I focused the story around Man instead of God. Finally, I combined this technique with a daily used home product.
What inspired me is what inspires everyone, our hobbies. My interest in circus, theater, and movies, makes me want to tell a story in each product, picking up on shocking concepts and to turn them into a symbolization of distinctive taste and humor.
Chartres breaks up the relation between the technique and religious motifs. With funny and ironic representations of a circle of life on earth in six chapters. Chartres creates a magical environment in the space that it occupies and with 6 different glass colors it re-creates how lighting should make you fell. More than just illuminate your needs, it fulfills the emotional aspect of your visual senses.
The hardest part was to combine the modern storytelling with the traditional technique that has lots of constraints. First of all creating the visual modern history of Man in a reduced number of “chapters” was a challenge to begin with. Which moments should I focus on? I was constantly talking with the craftsman so I could understand what would be possible and which constrains we could change, turning the impossible into possible.
Chartres is made of six stained glass slices and a circle, that are attached to a darken oak wood structure with a grid and details in brass. All the process is handmade so it gives sustainability to Northern Portuguese craftsman, a part of Portugal very affected by the economic crisis. The height between the wood structure and the electrical component can be easily adjusted so it’s easier to change the lamps.
Chartres is adaptable in its distance to the ceiling and in its inclination, so it can easily adapt the light direction to any kind of interior project. The version with a dimmer allows you to control the percentage of light you want it to present. It works beautifully with lights on and lights off, a light when working and a piece of art when turned off.
The dimensions of the piece are 1650mm x 1650mm x 260mm and is estimated to weight approximately 40kg, but since it’s a hand made product it can be easily adaptable in its production to any needs.

All my collegues were happy too and we needed to celebrate it in video.