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Meet the Chol1 Team

The team behind Chol1 is very important to us, they are the ones who constantly work to show the best of our brand, to offer the best service to our customers.

For this reason, we wanted to give you a space to present each one of us, share our points of view as industrial designer.

Manuel Rossel, Industrial Designer, 34 years, Hobbies; Cycling – Bodyboard

What is the project you are currently doing about?

A year ago at Chol1 we set out to replace centralized manufacturing with centralized manufacturing. Today, we are occupying this production model for 11 months, and packaging this experience in a methodology with which we hope to share with the community of designers who want to implement it. On the other hand, we are permanently designing new furniture that can be distributed with this model.

How do you think globalization has changed the way we design products?

I believe that globalization has been important in creating and strengthening global communities of people who come together from common interests, and as designers, we have been able to observe how in different territories, there are common problems, which are expressed in common habits, where design local can be a global solution.

Alazne Mediavilla, 22 years, Industrial Design Student, Hobbies;travel and see new places with a good company.

What is the role of the designer within society?

From my point of view, the designer is a fundamental agent of change in the society we are living today, in a society where people full of empathy are needed who can put themselves in the shoes of the other to solve problems that afflict us, we are going constantly molding according to the events that surround us and thus be able to achieve a common good for all. It is an extremely versatile discipline that allows us to carry out multidisciplinary projects. I am glad to know that the role of the designer / designer is taking more prominence every day, that gives us more strength to fight for a better future for the designers who come.

What is the project you are currently doing about?

Currently, apart from being part of the Chol1 team, I am developing a project based on the use of organic waste thus generating a benefit for the community itself, based on the creation of a biomaterial made from waste organic fruits / vegetables allowing to see the problem from another point of view and thus see opportunities where everyone sees waste.

Nicolas Vidal, 23 years old,degree in industrial design, hobbies; I like to move on wheels, I skate and recently I changed my fixed gear bike and I liked it. I do tattoos and I really like to draw

What is the project you are currently doing about?

 I do several at the same time, I think that sometimes that allows me to change the perspective easily, to be more versatile, lately I am helping Chol1 with the development of the methodology of their current model, so I can spread and help more people to manufacture in a distributed.

 For my title I am developing a biobased material from the waste produced in the craft beer kitchen, I believe that we should stop considering waste as garbage if not as a by-product, thus giving things one more turn.

 I am also organizing and professionalizing the topic of tattoos, I recently rented a space for it, I am doing my training, etc …

How do you think design can influence the current problems that we are going through as a society?

 We have many problems, I think we are in a process of super strong change, people know that those who make decisions in the country and in the whole world do not consider anyone other than themselves and their close circle, the bubble in which have been raised does not represent society. Design in that sense has always been about that for me, making decisions based on needs, observing how people behave, what they do, and thinking about how I could improve the quality of life.

 We are already witnessing creations by default and meaningless that only waste the few resources allocated, such as bicycle lanes built by people who have never mobilized by bicycle, instead of solving a problem, they trigger many more.

 Design must consider people and their environment, for that much more is needed than just designers, working together and collaboratively will give much better results.

 As designers we have the role of creating solutions to the problems that we find in our environment, starting from the place we are, and in this case distributed manufacturing gives us that small advantage of manufacturing in a network that can meet needs in different localities.

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Augmented reality joins us in the Chol1 catalogue

Digital manufacturing technologies, now more developed than ever, are designed to produce on demand meeting individual needs – that is, products made for people, rather than warehouses or showrooms.

AR (Augmented Reality) technology is growing rapidly and even more so recently, since its incorporation into Instagram in the form of filters. Providing the missing link between digital design and fabrication: a digital showroom.

In collaboration with the developer Sacha Lujan, specialized in making augmented reality filters on the Spark AR platform. Thanks to this collaboration we were able to create a virtual catalog where users can experience a virtual showroom in their own home before their furniture is manufactured.

Being this a tool that allows us to digitize our method of dissemination and marketing especially in this period of pandemic where the way of selling products has radically changed, where social networks have become essential when promoting products, in Based on that, we wanted to expand our way of relating through the creation of the virtual catalog.

Chol1 furniture is made on demand by independent manufacturers, so there is no stock, and without stock, there are no warehouses, or pieces available to display in the showroom. With the incorporation of augmented reality technology, on Instagram, the most popular platform in the world, we are bringing closer and facilitating the testing of the model and its most appropriate color, without leaving your home.

We have taken our designs and modeled them in detail by the Spark AR platform, with the help of our collaborator we have managed to create an immersive and realistic experience, then they have been published on our instagram profile so that everyone can have access to them.

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Meet our makers: Sandy Eggo, From California, USA

Located in Vista, California, Sandy eggo is a workshop that in their beginings was a hobby of his owner, Kyle, till 2015, when his business scaled, when he started to work as maker being part of themakers network of furnitures of the brand Opendesk.

From December when we started on the Distributed manufacture model, Kyle was the first in our maker´s network,always showing motivated and love on his work, reasion why we believe that our arrival in USA as brand, is in good hands.

Psss: Get this code on the checkout: CHOL1MADEINCALIFORNIA (Only US customers)

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“Distributed design: Global design & local manufacturing”

For a while now, the world has been changing at an accelerated pace and we believe that is a chance for us to reinvent ourselves. From the start, our brand was founded from an everyday problem for us as cyclists, and when this idea was materialized, we were able to notice that this was something beyond our borders. Since then, we have been able to help people from all over the world who have bet on storing their bikes in our furniture.

Today, in collaboration with the University of Chile’s FabLab, we resolved to go for another way to reach to our customers around the world, which considers the use of new fabrication technologies and global nets of creators. This model is called Distributed Design, which has been promoted by FabLabs around the globe and until now put into practice in the furniture market by the British brand Opendesk, and looks to contribute to a circle economy based future, opposed to the way production is today, in a linear and centralized way.

Traditional business within the furniture industry often implies supply chains and business models that lead to enormous retail mark-ups, competitive production costs and therefore its associated workload, and little or no materials traceability and sustainability.

The design of a product for mass fabrication generally comes from an external source, where the materials and production costs are lower (often involving countries where land and labour costs are the cheapest, like China). For the production of these products, the pieces are obtained from factories and delivered to  centralized assembly lines, then this finished products are sent to the other side of the world in containers. These items are then stored in large regional warehouses, before being finally delivered to customers or retail outlets. This kind of process is the type to squeeze makers and designers, generating considerable profit for the middlemen and even a greater carbon footprint.

The traditional business way, our previous system

Our approach to Distribution Design

Until 2019, in Chol1 our products were designed and manufactured in Chile, to be then sent to their destinations across the world by air mail. This implicated long periods of delivery and large shipping costs, in addition to an enormous carbon footprint caused by airplane transportation.

Distributed Design is a production model that allows to fabricate objects at a long distance with local makers, thanks to digital fabrication technologies.

Along with the implementation of this model, Chol1 products are designed in Chile and manufactured in different location around the world by local makers. This seeks to reduce the delivery radius (implying its costs and associated delivery time), and for products to be made using local materials.

The new business way, our current system

An alternative model

Independent manufacturers are at the center of this model, and paying a fair price to people who manufacture furniture from Chol1 is very important to us.

This generally means that a greater amount of the sale price goes to the manufacturer compared to traditional factory production, which may depend on large volumes of stocks made for low or minimum wages.

Our model saves in shipping (which is a lot since, from Chile, any shipping to the USA or Europe travels more than 8000 km), storing, and exhibition rooms.

Instead, this money goes mainly to the makers, and to build, administer and commercialize the necessary technical infrastructure for the creation of a global furniture market.

When you buy furniture in Chol1, you’re supporting local makers, supporting our designers, and making a future for distributed fabrication to be possible.

We love to talk to our community about this model and why we work this way. If you have any question, thought or idea, don’t hesitate to contact us!

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“We redefined our products: Bicho Collection”

As designers and cyclists, we are constantly looking for new ways that help people opt for bicycles and incorporate them into everyday spaces.

We rethink our own product, looking for simple and functional objects, that support more and different bikes.

The result of that design process is our new collection: BICHO

The Story

The story of the bicho furniture began at the same time as the rest of our models, as a result of repeating once again this thought of how an object, through one subtle gesture, allows the incorporation of bicycles into the everyday of our intimate spaces.

Creative process

It was a coffee table, deprived from its cover, placed at the entrance of the apartment to stack the visit’s bikes, the one that this furniture was based on. For the first time, we were adventuring into designing an object that would stack 3 bicycles simultaneously, with the minimum of material, and the maximum of performance.

This process led us to the prototyping of the first version of this furniture, which although it responded to the functional need, that is, to effectively support 3 bikes, the way the furniture was built, convinced little to our team, who ended up deciding to put this model aside until its construction were as efficient as its functionality.

Iteration

After many years, drawings and scale models, we found a simple way to build this furniture, simplifying its many parts into one module, which with subtle variations, it allows to articulate the shape of the Bicho, taking advantage in an effective way of the use of wood and its assembly logic.

The iteration process was key in this model, the use of scale models at 1:6, allowed to play with the parts in an agile way to get to a result that surprised us.

Different spaces, different shapes

What pushed us to develop this model, was the energy of our clients, who knew about the existence of these prototypes, and they requested us to pick up this design, which solves in many cases, the storing of bikes in houses and offices, with a capacity for many bicycles and of different types.

Update!

Distribution method

This furniture uses between 4 and 8 times less wood than the rest of Chol1’s furniture, and to make its Distributed Fabrication production sustainable, is why this can be bought in two ways:

-Immediate purchase: every Bicho uses an x part of the wood plank, by which to use the whole material, for immediate purchase we offer a minimum of x units, the Bicho 3 uses ¼, the Bicho 2 uses ⅙ and the Bicho 1 uses ⅛ of the plank.

-Pre-order: To buy only one Bicho furniture, you can join to a pre-order of clients in your area, to build an order. The moment 4 orders are requested in your area (USA, EU, UK, AUS, etc), we’ll send you an email with the confirmation of your order.

For example:

In the case of the Bicho 3, which uses ¼ of the plank, for immediate purchase you must buy a minimum of 4 units, and in the case of a pre-order, when 4 orders are requested in your area, we’ll confirm your individual request by email.

This way, the unit price corresponds to what has actually been used from the material, and not paying an extra price per unit.

Team

Collaborators: Antonino Reinoso, Isidora Bonnet, Martin Campos, Jazmin Saavedra, Vicente Muga, FabLab U. de Chile

Photography: Francisca Widerström & Esteban Morales

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“Tribute to an old school: Visit to Ciudad Abierta”

The Chol1 project, has the poetic gaze and the way to face design as a basis from the poetic book Amereida. This manifesto-poem was written during the year 1965 by a group of artists, designers and architects, who traversed from Tierra del fuego to Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, in which they interrogated themselves about the meaning of being American (as “from the Americas” from now on) and inhabitants of this continent, in a genuine and original way.

Wasn’t the finding foreign to the discoveries?

The gaze of the Amereida, opens to reflect around what we understand as the American Identity. The sentence “¿No fue el hallazgo ajeno a los descubrimientos…?” (Wasn’t the finding foreign to the discoveries?) sums up this vision about the discovery of the Americas as from a misunderstanding: Christopher Columbus, as the representative of the european man, is found in a new continent, which he confuses with the Indies, for then to found european cities to scale, while implementing a destiny and a foreign way of construction, and that way recreating a foreign continent. This results in the construction of a continent founded from the lack of recognition of its own nature, reproducing Europe in a foreign continent. This paradox, of the founding of a “new” continent, affects and redirects the destiny and identity of the american continent. Under this premise, this group of artists bring up the rediscovery of the american territory, traversing the continent and looking again at the territory from a poetic gaze, to find its own identity.

Observation as a design method

From the Amereidane thought, poetry and drawing are the work’s matrix, and the designer or architect is who builds something new through the observation of the reality seen open upon their eyes. Observation is a creation method based from the link between the poetic word and the shape design. In the observation, the word is the one that founds, from which the designer works with. This close relation between poetry and design, keeps the work fresh and dynamic, since is its own referent and creative guideline. This process is the one that allows the poiesis, an always different creation since it comes from an individual observation.

Casa del Errante, creative inspiration

Many of our designs are based on architectural works, both in the relation of the work with its surroundings and in the usability design for the inhabiting of people. One of our inspirations has been La Hospedería del Errante (project found at la Ciudad Abierta de Amereida, in Valparaiso, Chile). This work was built in two stages, one from 1981 to 1997, and the second from 1998 to 2000. While all Ciudad Abierta’s works are executed and conceived collectively, its creation was lead by the architect Manuel Casanueva (1943-2014). In this project, two main topics are addressed: the Lighting and the Wind. The work’s name comes from a text by the poet Godofredo Iommi, called “Carta del errante” which addresses the debate between poetry and reality. For this registry, we were welcomed by its current resident, the visual and sound artist, Oscar Santis.

Art Direction: Carolina Ovando & Manuel Rossel

Collaborators: Nicolás Neira, Gigliolla Monichi, Oscar Santis, Bicicletas Gravis, Jaufbike, Materia 3D.

Photography: Gabriel Ebensberger

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“Chol1´s Indiegogo campaign”

“In the future, art, design and urbanism will conjugate through the passion for cycling”

Health, sustainability and quality of life.

Are part of the benefits that this new revolution brings us.

Cycling does a good to the cities because it also does a good to people.

The passion of every cyclist can change the world.

But… do the objects we live with reflect this passion?

As designers… how can we contribute to this rising cyclist community?

Watch the full video


Collaboration

This project is framed in the Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign, for the implementation of a prototype workshop for our design team.

From there, we initiated a production process for audiovisual content, working in a collaborative way with the members of the cowork space “Centro Creativo Leñería”, the space were our brand was born.

See the campaign

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“Trip to the UK: Visit to Spin London”

From the invitation to expose our designs at the annual design products for cycling exhibition “Spin London”. The event was held in May of 2016 at “Old Truman Brewery”, in the neighbourhood of Bricklane, London.

The exhibition had to be taken by one person, who’d travel by airplane from Santiago, Chile, giving enough material so the attendants could understand, in a ludic and expressive way, our Furniture for Cyclists proposal.

Acknowledging that sending just one furniture would be wasting this opportunity, and that it’d be impossible for just one person to carry more than one furniture there, we explored the idea of making the models at a scale of 1:6 (6 times smaller than the originals) from the original blueprints, using the digital technologies of laser cutting.

These tiny furniture, also served as merch during the exhibition, which worked as a way to cover the expenses for our trip.

After this, we incorporated this exercise of working with scale prototypes for new designs, which helps to reduce costs from our design processes, formal and conceptual analysis, in a first stage on the creation of these

.

Designers: Isidora Bonnet, Nicolás Neira & Manuel Rossel

Photography: Natalia Bustamante

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“Implementation of the Ready To Assemble model”

Today, bicycles will become the vehicle of the future, in the best case scenario, so it’s reasonable that furniture design will also analyze how to face this new everyday act of storing your bike inside your apartment.

With the growth of cycling at a global level, along with the reduction of habitable spaces, bicycles have been inevitably stored within the most visible spaces in houses and apartments, like living rooms and bedrooms.

“Think global, act local”

From our first appearances on the internet, the intention of cyclists outside of Chile to be able to acquire our designs arose. It was probably because of this reason that in 2015, we redesigned all of our models, which until then were sold already assembled and just in Santiago, Chile, to make our designs assemblable, enabling the shipping of the them in flat boxes, to cyclists around the globe.

This model of making furniture assemblable, used for the first time by IKEA to facilitate the shipping of their products, allowed us to reach to Europe and the USA, which generated an enormous expansion in our horizons as a brand.

New fabrication methods; CNC

Digital fabrication has changed the rules of the game in which refers to manufacturing, among these technologies, CNC Router has been radical to understand the future of furniture design. Both its precision and its speed enables the making of complex designs, in a velocity that was unthinkable until then, with identical results for each furniture, which has facilitated the process of designing products with assemblies, that dispense with fixation.

Designer: Manuel Rossel

Collaborators: Fernando Morales, Jamez Manuel, Asuncion Mena.

Photography: Diego Palma

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“Art & design: Functionality and sculpturic interaction between furniture and bicycle”

The human being changes, and these changes are reflected on the everyday acts we do.

This process is constant, and design is called to reflect these new acts into the objects surrounding us.

As furniture designers and cyclists, we have decided to self-entrust us to generate furniture proposals that addresses the cycling related acts, and we started by observing the place of the bike inside of the contemporary household.

The new everyday acts; why study the relation between bicycle and the interior spaces

For years we’ve seen two phenomenons:

One, the growth of cities, accelerated and chaotic, which generates terrible problems for the transportation through them. The personal car as a transportation system, which is expensive and contaminating, has generated a model that instead of being efficient, provoques indebt and stressed people, and polluted cities both because of its air quality and its acoustic levels.

On the other side, the spaces in which we inhabit, spaces even more and more reduced by the square meter, where interior spaces, like the garage, the front and backyard, and others, that before were common places, have been disappearing, places where bicycles were usually put.

Resignification of an object: the bicycle

The rising of the bicycle, appears like a healthy, economic and environmentally beneficial option. Life quality and appreciation of time, appear in the lives of bike users once again. People from all over the world have been progressively understanding the potential of urban cycling as a tool for a better quality of life and as a part of a more environmentally friendly life model.

Bicycle and interior space: beyond the storing

From these precedents, our proposal tries to contribute into the furniture field, to cover a new act in the lives of people who use bicycles, this new act, which is already a fact: Cyclists are leaving their bicycles inside the house, and they don’t own a garage where they can put it in, but this goes beyond that, the bicycle, in this process of paradigm change, it ceased to be the alternative means of transportation, left for weekend rides, to be the most used design object for many.

The bicycle as an expressive object

The bike ceased to be a nuisance and a behind the scenes object, to be the most expressive object and telling both about its owner and their fashion. This expressive content, from the bicycle, is what we want to show off, and not to hide. The bike talks, the storing space is visible, because our spaces have changed, but also because our habits have changed, and now this object is in the center of our habits, which have incorporated it in their medules.

Designer: Manuel Rossel

Collaborators: Fernando Morales

Photography: Diego Palma

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