PROMOTING CUTTING EDGE MEXICAN DESIGN
In a pioneering exhibition, showroom & platform delivering hand-picked, first-class MEXICAN DESIGN CULTURE to London, visitors could experience the work of around 30 designers, craftsmen and students via more than 100 objects and 200 recent Mexican book publications in architecture, design and art.
In this yet biggest and most far-reaching assembly of Mexican product design and design-art presented in London, guests had the opportunity to experience highly original, sensitive, qualitative, precious, luxurious as well as utterly humble Mexican design with a social impact. The exhibition uncovered diverse talent and protagonists in the creative design culture existing in Mexico. Through the work of around 30 staggering, established and emerging designers, craftsmen & brands of Mexico’s design scene, visitors could observe the richness and opportunities this country purveys. The vast array of traditions, materials, skills, workshops and artisans in place offers creatives an exciting terrain of possibilities to work and live in.
A book and media section presented by CENTRO university (more see below) revealed eclectic insights into publishing design in Mexico from the past 15 years, via 200 recent book publications and local design magazines.
Further highlight was an Obsidian display, with 30 functional objects made in artisan-designer collaborations to spur the applications for the beautiful golden sheen Obsidian. The project was presented by ANAHUAC university (more below).
Mexican designers are proud about their history, tradition, heritage and craft culture. As such many projects are based on deep artisan-designer collaborations and spur social change and betterment. These collaborations are crucial to preserve valuable and often rare artisan skills and workshops to avoid their extinction. The creative culture in Mexico is a catalyst for social integration and sustainable design thinking and propels designers to supreme outcomes. The exhibition sheds light on this part of the world and its talent that have not received sufficient exposure in the UK and Europe.
SECTIONS - MAIN SECTION
PARTICIPATING DESIGNERS (in alphabetical order):
Margarita Cantu, Pedro Cerisola, C37, Collective 1050 Grados, Feltum, Moises Hernández, Thierry Jeannot, Uzyel Karp, Silvino Lópeztovar, Julio Martínez Barnetche, Elissa Medina, Gala Fernandez Montero, Luisa Restrepo, Agustin Robledo, Ariel Rojo, Adrián Rosado, Ricardo Salas, Martacarmela Sotelo, Tributo, Jorge Yázpik
SOME EXAMPLES FROM THE RANGE OF OBJECTS AT THE EXHIBITION:
PUBLICATION & EDITORIAL DESIGN in MEXICO 2000-2018
presented by Centro university, curated by Uzyel Karp and Ricardo Lozano
This display, shown in Mexico City in 2017 reflects on the relational dynamics generated by the craft of making books. It visualises the rhythms articulated by the designer around contents, formats, and materials. It presents a great diversity of ways to approach, settle, and bring to life a printed book. The content of the exhibition started from an invitation made to designers and publishers valuing design, to select their most representative and relevant body of work. This set of books tells the editorial history of the beginning of the XXI Century in México. The thorough participation, and therefore the richness of the books’ catalogue, is not trivial. It denotes the collective desires of a guild to integrate a show that accounts for our way to do what we do, and how from different generations, we have transformed ourselves together through this editorial course. We displayed a selection of 200 books from the original exhibition that was composed of 600 books.
The story is acutally as follows: a call was made by the curators Uzyel Karp and Ricardo Lozano in 2016, to various established and independent publishing houses to get Mexican publications from between 2000-2017 sent in for an exhibition that would talk about the variety and richness in editorial design in Mexico. A stunning and surprising 800 publications were received. We were very happy to select 200 publications for the London show and complimented them also with some important architecture and design magazines. As in the original concept by the two curators Karp and Lozano, every book had a label attached with information about the authors, editors, graphic designers, publishers, and design facts and figures like size, number of pages, print-run, fonts, paper type, printing and binding and the ISBN code.
SELECTION OF TITLES:
The book exhibitions in Mexico and London have been made possible thanks to CENTRO university, Mexico City. Thank you to publishers ARQUINE and TRAVESIAS MEDIA for their generous support with book publications.
OBSIDIAN PROJECT - Innovating tradition through Obsidian
presented by Anáhuac University, curated by Ricardo Salas and Adrián Rosado
On show were be around 35 functional objects in Black Gold Sheen Obsidian by students, graduates and designers from Anáhuac university (Mexico City) and crafted by skilled artisans from the state of Hidalgo. The cultural diversity present in the Mexican state of Hidalgo is manifested tangibly through its handicraft production and unique designs. Craftsmanship and design are living examples of people with values and skills capable of combining a wide variety of expressions and feelings from their place of origin through their craft. “The Tradition of Innovating through Popular Art” is a program of the School of Design and the government of Hidalgo, in which students and designers propose design concepts to revitalise the crafts and develop new products that generate a creative wealth that benefits the artisanal communities of that state.
The proposals that constitute this first stage of the program and make up the collection are projects of students, graduates and teachers made in golden obsidian, originally from the municipality of Epazoyucan, and made by hands of artisans from Pañhé, Tecozautla. During the design process, the students of the first group worked six months under the guidance of the Mexican designer Silvino Lópeztovar, and the second group worked under the direction of the UK curator Marion Friedmann. The process ranged from gathering knowledge about materials and the craft production, visits for students and teachers to the workshops of the artisans, the conceptualisation of new ideas, development of those and the formal production in the craft workshops over the course of six months.
The project’s very crucial intention is to spur more applications for this beautiful and energetic material, that is mostly left to be used for decorative items like jewellery and little animals, such as turtles. The collbaration with the artiasans was energetic and created a huge wealth of new pieces that will continue to provide demand and variety for the handicraft skills of the artisans.
THE MAGIC and MYSTIC OBSIDIAN AND ITS PROPERTIES
The Obsidian is a volcanic glass stone with a hardness of 5 to 5,5. It has been used in ancient Mexico to make knives and mirrors. Looking into Obsidian mirrors showed the reflections of human faces. The Aztecs believed this were the god-like experiences of looking into the past, present and future. Obsidian bears powerful properties for strength, health and wellbeing. It has potent energies, as it bears the elements of fire, water, and earth. Put a stone on your desk to help your creativity flow and remove blockages. Its the stone of truth and can reveal secrets, and it can answer your biggest questions. Its the stone of honesty and can uncover lies. The stone can help ground you, especially when you are on the winning, succeeding avenue. It can make your dreams come true. Things you have been neglecting will become visible. It is a very protective stone that shield off negative energies. The obsidian stone works like a mirror to allow you to see your own faults and weaknesses. The stone helps to direct weaknesses into strengths. Black Obsidian is a powerful cleanser for the smog that builds up in your aura. It will stimulate your foresight.
This display for the show in London has been made possible thanks to ANAHUAC university.
SOCIAL & ENVIRONMENTAL DESIGN PROJECTS by CENTRO university
The items presented in this section shared design aspects related to Social Responsibility. Thought-provoking projects that expand our abilities, that embolden and build community, and others that make the most of our limited resources.
1) Palma Soul | Design focused on enhancing handmade items
by Berke Goldberg Kleiman
Industrial design has mainly focused on the mass production of consumer objects. A process that frequently overlooks the essence of the people that take part in it. Palma Soul approaches design alternatives to industrial manufacture by exploring means of handicraft production deep-rooted in Mexican culture. These objects made of palm, account for the diversity of paths that can be taken to conceptualize, manufacture and commercialize items designed on a small scale. These products speak not only of a process but also of the people’s creative soul.
Products: bags, clutch, taco-bags
2) Guardians of the Oceans | Design that reinserts plastic bags after being deemed useless
by the design students: Marla María Tinajero Cabrera, Eduardo Rivas Martín del Campo, Nathan Burak Case, Ana Laura Palafox Díaz, Valentina Anza Menalled, Ollintzin Castro Sánchez, Karla Tinajero, Radamés Vargas, Nahomi Weingers
The colossal amount of plastic bags has disrupted the balance in almost every natural environment, particularly in the oceans. In light of this, Guardians of the Oceans envisions the reduction of this negative impact, through up-cycling and by fostering responsible consumption. This project reinserts polyethylene into goods using a low-scale recycling technique that has been explored by MALIARTS, a design studio in Mexico City, over the past few years. A simple ironing process multiplies the lifespan and profitabilty of the material, providing an array of design possibilities to explore at the same time.
Products: Bags, back-packs and a raincoat.
3) Guma | Design to transform tyre waste into valuable objects
by Alejandro Curi Chávez
Somebody’s waste could be the raw material for others; Guma puts this statement into action. The project employs the desertion of something as common as tires, in order to generate new objects that stand out for their design, strength, durability, and cost. Therefore, Guma reduces the environmental impact of waste, whilst presenting new approaches to post-consumer design.
Products: shoes, stool, rubber sheets / mats
VIDEO MEXICO DESIGN TIME
thanks to Metonymie for the production
CREDITS & THANK YOU TO:
CENTRO and ANAHUAC universities for supporting the exhibition and for being partners!
LOGO & CI DESIGN & DEVELOPMENT courtesy of Centro university. Design by María Vargas, student visual communications, under the direction of Uzyel Karp
PUBLISHING design in México 2000-2018 brought to London courtesy of CENTRO.
OBSIDIAN Project brought to London courtesy of ANAHUAC university and the government of Hidalgo and the secretary of Culture of Hidalgo.
Thank you to ARQUINE (biggest architecture publisher in Latin America) who has brought in a substantial selection of architectural titles.
Thank you to TRAVESIAS MEDIA for their donation of book titles referring to México and México City.
EXHIBITION DESIGN: By Samael Coco
THE SMELL OF MEXICO: Thanks to AROMARIA for the olfactory experience and for making the exhibtion space smell Mexico.
A big thank you to our patrons, partners and sponsors, Carmen Cordera of GALERIA MEXICANA DE DISENO, CENTRAL HOTEL BOUTIQUE in Chihuahua and THE LIFT
Thank you to Milene Hayaux de Tuly and the MEXICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE for a beatiful Mexican evening during the show
Thank you to METONYMIE for the video production
MORE VERY SPECIAL THANKS TO:
Kerstin Scheuch, Uzyel Karp, Ricardo Lozano, Ricardo Salas, Adrián Rosado, Eduardo Landa Velasco, Aromaria, Aero Mexico, Mexican Embassy, Regent Street & St James's Design District, TCS - The Communication Store, The Crown Estate, Lisa Salazar, Denise Camino Creel
ABOUT THE PARTNERS
CENTRO university is an institution for higher education specialsied in design, architecture, film, media and communication. As the name implies, CENTRO channels science, technology and business across all aspects of creativity. Apart from being an institution that trains future creative leaders, CENTRO serves as a platform to carry out research and to undertake and discuss ideas about creativity. It promotes design by organising exhibitions, conferences, workshops and collaborative projects developed with the private sector as well as cultural institutions. CENTRO has a particular emphasis on an international outreach and perspective.
Anahuac university and its School of Design is an academic community nationally and internationally recognised. The institution generates, forms and spreads the tendencies in design culture via a pedagogic method that looks at research, the business world, technological developments, cultural institutions and educational trends in Mexico with a personalised educational approach. Design is practiced like an interface that humanizes technology and a social factor that connects the rich local traditions in Mexico with the dimensions of a globalised world.
GOVERNMENT OF HIDALGO / SECRETARÍA DE CULTURA
The Government of Hidalgo with its Cultural division has undergone great inititiatives and support of its artisans in fostering and promoting collaborations that help thrive communities. Artisan traditions are manyfold and rich in Hidalgo, and include textiles, ceramics, weaving techniques, metalwork, woodwork, leatherwork, stonework, paperwork and more.
CARMEN CORDERA / GALERÍA MEXICANA DE DISEÑO
La Galería Mexicana de Diseño (GMD) is a platform that aims to encourage and promote design in and from México. Founded in 1991 by Carmen Cordera, the GMD has been a pioneer in Mexico to show Mexican design, but also international brands wtihin Mexico. GMD has been innovative in selecting original and high quality products and offering those to the public via its store over the past 27 years.
Arquine, founded in 1997, is a project dedicated to the dissemination of architectural culture, a publishing house and a platform for generating content through its books and magazines, social networks, radio, competitions, conferences and festivals. Arquine published its first book in 2000 and today has more than 160 titles in its portfolio.
Travesías Media is a boutique media company, experts in content creation and editorial design with more than 17 years’ experience producing books, magazines, digital content, video and experiences. Travesías Media has three platforms of its own: Travesías, Gatopardo and Local. Club Travesías is a travel club that offers exclusive experiences to its members. e_spacio Travesías is a book and design store, located in their offices in Mexico City.
CIRCULO CUADRADO & PODIO
Círculo Cuadrado is a company specialized in communication and PR for architecture, industrial and interior design in the Mexican market. Working as a team with their clients the company creates communication and outreach strategies for echoing their clients’ messages throughout a wide net within the industry.
Podio is a communication platform specialized in architecture, industrial and interior design —with 27 years of experience and a range of more than 100 thousand impacts— supported on digital nets to promote and share the most relevant topics in Mexico and the world.
CENTRAL HOTEL BOUTIQUE
Born as a love story, Central Hotel Boutique offers a unique atmosphere where past and present collide. While being the former home of General Trías and the oldest “finca” in the city of Chihuahua, Central Hotel Boutique’s venue holds two centuries of history and is recognized by the INAH as a cultural patrimony of the Chihuahua's city center. This stunning XIX home with quarry columns and "Art Nouveau" murals has been thoughtfully re-designed to embrace its essence while offering an exclusive and gastronomical, historical and aesthetic experience. With the intention of promoting Mexico’s cultural heritage and artistic creation its gallery will host the works of emergent and consolidated Mexican artists and will invite for the continuous collaboration of galleries across the globe. Central Hotel Boutique, will soon open its doors for guests to indulge themselves into an delightful Northern Mexico experience.
The Lift is a collective based in Mexico City and a leading film production company with international outreach. They have proudly collaborated with top tier local agencies and brands in some of the most symbolic ﬁlms for the Mexican market. They provide world-class production services and creative solutions for content driven projects
The leading airline in Mexico. Over 80 years of innovation and exceptional service makes Aeromexico the vanguards of Latin American aviation. Their passengers are their passion and cutting-edge technology is their calling.
MEXICAN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE
The Mexican Chamber of Commerce in Great Britain (MexCC) was formed in 2011 with the support of key stakeholders in the bilateral relationship to represent the Mexican private sector in the UK, to support Mexican investors, businesspeople and traders enter the UK market, and UK investors, businesspeople and traders interested in doing business in Mexico and to raise Mexico’s profile as a business partner, promoting Mexico as an investment and trade destination.