Of course you could just buy a trophy online and shrink the process to an order. There are many designs out there. My client did not want that. They wanted me to come up with something special while trusting my judgement. The budget and the time allowed for it so I went the long way.
I tend to be quite obsessive when it gets to working on a project like this for me would be a mix of thinking and making driven by concept, physical models and various digital and manufacturing technologies. For Safezone there were so many ways you could take this. An award can be an abstract object made from some interesting material and it will work well. It is a very generous subject especially with something like insurance which is not a theme rich in meaning. But I would not find it motivating to approach it this way. I wanted to grasp some strong motive and compose the concept for this out of really strong elements. First was the idea of embrace and protection that kind of describes the meaning of insurance for me. Then the entire archetype of the trophy or award with its physical features. I added in the faceted diamond look too. The mix of these strong expressions was then put together using some interesting technologies like flexibility simulations, laser cutting, anodizing of metal alloys and so on. Below are some of the good moments from this process.
Finding the form
Following the archetype of a trophy with its stable base and decorative upright presence I knew early on in the process that the relationship of a heavy cast and a light open structure will work. It took a series of attempts to explore this idea and figure out the right recipe that mixes the distinctive look of diamond facets and voronoi textures with a metal and concrete base. Somehow the first idea of the hollow mesh did not work at all. It went from complex to chaotic too strongly.
High-grade surface finish
The mechanical and electro-chemical steps that produce the surface finish on Safezone are the same as Apple uses on their unibody components. It is a highly unified gentle metallic grain texture based on metal oxides that has great surface hardness. We worked specifically on the oleophobic properties so it does not accept fingerprints. It is an important part of the lifetime of this design as the complex faceted structure would be difficult to clean. No cleaning needed now.
A metal embrace
The concept drives the process from the first moment, the form follows the concept and the process. Just like the hands the express an embrace the metal of the object is enveloping a symbolic void. An abstract parallel simple expression. The void represents anything that is precious and needs to be looked after. An valuable object, a dear person, an good idea.
The 2D pattern was taken through simple flex analysis to check the distribution of material, openings and connections. Based on this analysis the outer connections are 20% larger than the inner connections. Outside the structure is more open and needs the extra strength while inside it needs to flex more to work well for hand sculpting.
3D printed molds & fittings
The final assembly of the metal parts and the pouring of the acrylate / concrete mix was done using an array of custom 3D printed molds and fittings. This enabled a fast production sequence with no alignment errors or cleanliness problems.
I find that replication of an idea in a series of objects is really satisfying. It is the closing of the loop where the initial concept becomes a reality on a certain scale. To ensure a set of 19 perfect ones we produced 29 pieces. Some of them were used for testing and developing the surface finish.
Czech Insurance Broker Association
creative direction, design, ideation, product development, 2D & 3D modelling, material technologies, prototyping
Chabera Studio in collaboration with technological companies and craftsmen, produced in Czechia
7 x Gold, 6 x Silver, 6 x Bronze