Ariel Rojo

page with portrait image, short bio and CV about artist designer Ariel Rojo, Mexico City.


Each light in the rug represents an idea born every minute in Mexico and conveys that Mexico is on the verge of something unique and new.
— Ariel Rojo

ARIEL ROJO is a designer and studio dedicated to enhance the quality of life through design solutions. Conscience, responsibility and humour are the key ingredients of Rojo’s design philosophy. Following Albert Einstein’s idea of “If you aspire for outstanding results don’t do the same thing over and over again”, Rojo questions in every single work the way it will be perceived, and provokes a smile or a moment for reflexion with the user. Ariel studied design at the UNAM (Universidad Autónoma de México), but started to work professionally already at the age of 17, when he was designing mother boards for oil platforms. When he was 21 years old he was part of the winning team for the re-development of the Zocalo in Mexico City, the third largest square in the world. This manifested already at an early stage the multidisciplinary and multi-faceted approach that characterises Ariel’s work.
Today Ariel Rojo Studio is internationally oriented with clients in Latin America, the USA, Europe and the Middle East. His work has been numerously awarded and exhibited, in a varied range of media, magazines and exhibitions, from the MOMA design store in NY to the Design Olympics in South Korea. Rojo lives and works in Mexico city, where he runs his busy design studio and teaches design at university.

MEXICO CITY RUG (aerial view by night)

MEXICO CITY RUG (aerial view by night)


Translated, ´Foco Rojo´ means not only ´red fire´, but also refers to ´alertness´.
‘Foco Rojo’ thus carries two messages, the first - ‘alertness’ - is talking about the people that live in México City and its surroundings. With a population of 25 million people, the metropolitan territory of México City is one of the most populated areas in the world. Insecurity, corruption and crime fuel alertness, however this is also triggered by an enormous power of positive challenges and creativity for change. Secondly the red fire talks of México´s energy and creative force: For Ariel Rojo, each light in the rug represents a new idea born in México every minute and reveals that México is on the verge of something new and unique.

PRODUCER ODABASHIAN: Founded in Mexico City in 1921, Odabashian is a fourth generation family business that focuses on bespoke design and manufacture of hand-woven luxury area rugs and is one of the oldest oriental rug retailers in the Americas. Odabashian has produced collectible hand-made design rugs in collaborations with designers and artists as well as museums.

DETAIL of Foco Rojo rug.

DETAIL of Foco Rojo rug.

We were proud to be part with FOCO ROJO in a major exhibition at the MAD New York (Museum of Art and Design). It was a landmark exhibition to showcase Latin American contemporary design and craft, and the first ever museum show to tackle this exciting subject.

’NEW TERRITORIES, Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America’, was on: November 4, 2014 to February 22, 2015


Museum of arts and Design




New Territories explored the collaborations between small manufacturing operations and craftspersons, artists, and designers, and demonstrated how the resulting work addresses not only the issues of commodification and production, but also of urbanization, displacement, and sustainability. The exhibition explored a number of key themes, including: the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art; the use of recycled and repurposed materials and objects; the blending of digital and traditional skills; and the reclamation of personal and public space.

New Territories was organized by MAD’s then Acting Chief Curator Lowery Stokes Sims and Adriana Kertzer, Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager. The exhibition was accompanied by a fully-illustrated, full color catalogue.