Walking around the construction site while listening to a guitar playing folk and gospel songs coming from craftsmen gathering around a bonfire during lunch break was a common sight for me. It wasn’t long before I was drawn to partake and join the circle. Over many of these appeasing sessions I got to learn much about their towns, their culture and most importantly their skills. I soon realized that most of these craftsmen had additional inherent skills that they learned from childhood or were simply part of their age-old traditions. What became evident to me was that these skills went beyond what they were expected to do; and yet they did not thought of them as being “of use” to the architecture process. 

I encouraged them to contribute some of their work and share some of their creations and abilities. This soon became an experimental workshop were all different sorts of things were being created; all in order to test and challenge their skills.

It was then evident to me that these people would be much better off creating finished products and living from the sales of these. I came up with a plan to create a design workshop of collaborating  artisans, set up as a cooperative. We created a line of one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, lamps, sculptures and objects that we labeled: FANTÁSTICA.

We hardly sold any, our pieces came across as too expensive when compared with imported mass produced furniture. The only thing we could do was to match the prices, so we simply could not make ends meet. There was obviously no-ready market for one-of-a-kind of hand-made or sustainable furniture.
news from nowhere