The Best from Design Week Mexico
As Mexico City’s designation as World Design Capital 2018 nears its end, Tracy Lynn Chemaly visits Design Week Mexico and finds that the capital city is teeming with creativity, as illustrated in her five highlight events.
Design House is the result of tasking 24 interior designers, architects and landscape designers with transforming a neglected home into a show house of what Mexican design currently represents. Here, the country’s most lauded designers have transformed underground spaces into music rooms, terraces into sculpture gardens and bedrooms into cinema retreats. A much anticipated annual event, this year had each designer creating a space inspired by a famous local personality – from a bedroom for ballet dancer Isaac Hernández, complete with stretching bars, to an all-glass treehouse inspired by director Diego Luna’s theatre show Privacidad (Privacy). On until 28 October 2018.
Promoting, elevating and offering a platform for both emerging and established designers, Inédito, held in the Tamayo Museum of Contemporary Art, is an exhibition hosting the pioneering work of 76 local designers and studios. Acting as a product launch, every piece on show makes its premiere appearance at the exhibition, with an international jury selecting a winning design that will then be awarded funding for further development and production.
Innovative pieces include an entrance-hall wardrobe that changes colour according to outside weather, a wooden chair attached to a tree trunk (creating awareness for deforestation) and floor lighting made from packaging cardboard. On until 21 October 2018.
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Visión Y Tradición
In Mexico’s prestigious National Museum of Anthropology, groundbreaking pieces of work are on display, created especially for this visionary Visión y Tradición showcase. Top local and international designers have teamed up with Mexican artisans to show how age-old skills and traditional hand-worked techniques of production can meld with contemporary design thinking to create crafted pieces for a current lifestyle.
These residency programmes, promoting collaboration and exchange, saw six brands team up with 22 artisans from 11 communities to produce new items from local materials such as woven reeds, clay, silver and hand-carved wood. On until 28 October 2018.
A two-day (13-14 October) exploration of exhibitions and special activations in various urban environments in the city brought together usually disconnected creative environments. Workshops, collaborative showcases and guided tours presented contemporary design practices and production hubs to a wider audience, while encouraging a sense of creative community. The programme included visits to the UNESCO heritage home and studio of late architect Luis Barragán, an exhibition of over 300 maquettes by another golden-boy architect Alberto Kalach, an interactive display of light-made art, children’s painting workshops, street-art installations and a modern take on a street-food market.
An avenue in Lincoln Park in the Polanco district of the city was transformed into a mini design pop-up for Saturday and Sunday only (13-14 October). Twenty shipping containers, converted into unique miniature stores and display stands for product designers and collectives, brought furniture, lighting, tableware, fashion and children’s accessories to this evergreen public space.
The jovial outdoor atmosphere is amplified by live music, inviting passersby to experience design from their city in a laid-back, welcoming environment. An explanation on each container, telling what it carried into the country – from 17 tonnes of plastic to a variety of fruit and vegetables – was a quirky addition, showing the commercial lifecycle always present within.