With official programming as well as exhibitions at satellite galleries, stores and workshops, Design Week Mexico showcased the best furniture and decor design from across Mexico and the world for its 15th year.
The festival is based around a continuing set of programming organised by the leaders of the festival, Andrea Caesarman, Emilio Cabrero and Marco Coello, long-time friends and founders of local studio C Cubica Arquitectos.
The studio year kicked off this year’s events, which run for varying times but are focused in early November, at its newly opened office block and gallery in the San Miguel Chapultepec neighbourhood.
This year’s festival saw the continuation of the core exhibitions, with many other galleries and workshops across the city hitching their wagons to the festivities.
The core exhibitions included a yearly furniture design showcase called Inédito as well as Design House, the much-lauded event where 20 local makers partner with large brands to completely build out the interiors of a home in just one month’s time.
Other galleries, such as Mexico City stalwart EWE and the electric Orginario opened up their locations for showcases.
Much of the work highlighted the strong relationship between designers and craftspeople working with local materials like wood and stone.
“It’s exciting to experience a design culture that’s exploring contemporary ideas and approaches while from a deep tradition of artisanship and craft,” New York-based designer Joseph Vidich, who was visiting the fair, told Dezeen.
“The results of which are rich investigations of form and material through the precise and novel use of traditional techniques.”
While the programming showcased the aesthetics of the country, talks such as a conversation between intellectual designers facilitated by Odile Hainaut and Claire Pijoulat of Manhattan’s ICFF/Wanted Design festival also took place.
“Having the opportunity to meet many great talents from different countries makes the world feel smaller,” said Guatemalan designer Esteban Paredes, who took part in the talk.
“It definitely opens a window to create interesting relationships and collaborations between designers from Latin America and the rest of the world.”
Read on for Dezeen’s picks of this year’s best exhibitions.
Photo by Alum Galvez
Design House by Design Week Mexico
This yearly showcase saw the transformation of an ageing home in the hilly, mansion-lined neighbourhood of Lomas into a multi-faceted design showcase. Not only were the interiors completely transformed in the styles of the individual teams, but the exteriors were too, with a sculptural terrace by Mood Estudio.
Other standouts in the three-storey home included a shop with bright colours and central shelving by local studio De la Cerda Estudio, a tranquil, wood-and-stoned line area by outfit Estudio Claudina Flores and gallery Covarrubias Collection, both of Guadalajara, as well as a spa-inspired room by Espacio Tangible.
Los Acompañantes by Mughal and Rocca Luis César
Mexican designer Andrés Gutierrez hosted an exhibition at his shop Originario in the city’s Roma neighbourhood. Called Los Acompañantes, it foregrounded a collaboration between Mexican artist Rocca Luis César and rug company Mughal.
The series of geometric rugs were placed on the walls and floors of the two-storey space and the entirety of the gallery was painted in shades of blues and oranges to reflect the textile’s dominant colour schemes.
Gutierrez also hand-picked a selection of design objects and crafts to accompany the exhibition as it weaves through the spaces of the gallery.
Inédito by Design Week Mexico
The week’s yearly showcase of Mexican furniture and decor filled the hall of a modern structure called Espacio CDMX in Chapultepec Park. A selection of emerging and established designers were placed alongside innovative projects from students from local schools.
The furniture included by participants encapsulated a wide range of materials, from stone to fabrics, metals and plastics, showing the diversity of styles and processes at play.
Photo by María Merino
Transformación Comunitaria by Andrea Soler and Taina Campos
Part of the Diseña Colectiva series, Transformación Comunitaria was an exhibition hosted at Laguna, a textile factory in the city’s Doctores neighbourhood converted into an arts and community space. The exhibition, which was accompanied by a series of workshops, placed the work of women designers next to artwork by “dissident” practices.
Curated by local designers Andrea Soler and Taina Campos, the works filled the cavernous space. Included among the objects was a maximalist cupboard by local design studio Comité de Proyectos and a woven wooden chair by Perla Castañon. An installation of graphic design highlighting issues women’s and LGBTQ+ issues was included.
In the space’s courtyard, gridded dividers were turned into a community poll where visitors could vote on what they would like to see in their community – for example, clean streets or public space – with multi-coloured clothespins arrayed in a grid.
Retrospective by EWE
Founded by Age Salajõe, and designers Manuel Bañó and Héctor Esrawe, EWE has been a powerhouse on the Mexico City design scene since 2017. During this year’s design week, the studio opened up its Roma location for a retrospective that looked at the processes and iterations of the studio’s design objects.
EWE’s commitment to artisanal processes can be seen in its monumental stone forms, its blown glass lamps as well as in a series of milking stools.
The stools, based on a traditional design, followed a variety of iterations, from wood to cast objects and even the moulds from past collections were showcased, highlighting the processual, yet innovative, nature of the work.
Visión and Tradición by Design Week Mexico and Mobilier National
Design Week Mexico partnered with the French Institute and France’s furniture association Mobilier National to host an exhibition highlighting an initiative that paired French and Mexican designers with craftspeople from the Mexican state of Queretaro. The result was a series of objects that combined traditional techniques with contemporary design language.
Located on a pedestal in the entry building of the city’s Museum of Anthropology, the exhibition celebrated the collaborations, which were arranged on tables and surrounded by documentation of the collaborations.
Standouts from the exhibition were a wood-and-glass coffee table created by French designer Sammy Bernoussi with Mexican artisan Uriel López López as well as a massive wicker sculpture created by Mexican designer Sebastián Ángeles and artisan Martín Cruz González.
Bernoussi told Dezeen that he used Google translate to communicate with López to plan the work after having meals with the artisan to understand the dining traditions of the region.
Photo by Diego Padilla
Bomboti by MYT+GLVDK
Mexican architecture studio MYT+GLVDK showcased an exhibition at its freshly opened concept store in the Polanco neighbourhood, Bomboti. Drawing from hundreds of design and art objects used throughout the architecture studio’s work, the exhibition included graphics explaining the work.
More conceptual design was also shown alongside the handcrafted, such as upcycled plastic objects from local studio Bolsón.
Designo Contenido by Design Week Mexico
Located at Parque Lincoln in the city’s Polanco neighbourhood, Design Contenido saw dozens of studios and galleries fill shipping containers with work, creating a pop-up design space. Each studio had a single shipping container and only had a few hours to set up, placing objects, information and installations within the narrow spaces.
Works on show ranged from the wicker design objects of the local studio Hiato to the brutalist furniture of Mesawa. By far the most intensive installation was set up by lighting designer David Pompa‘s studio.
Showcasing a collection inspired by volcanic stone, the studio’s container featured a narrow entrance where visitors could walk in and view the lights arrayed around mounds of rock.
Photo by Mariana Achach
Fall Group Show by Angulo Cero
Design gallery Angulo Cero opened up its newly opened location in a house in the city’s Lomas neighbourhood. The exhibition saw a variety of works from local design studios such as Abel Zavala and ADHOC.
The works were arrayed in a white-walled space, spread throughout the first two storeys of the gallery. Rugs by Balmaceda Studio were arranged in many of the spaces, as the design studio shares the home as its office. Also included in the exhibition were works by artists Daniel Berman and Jesús Pedraglio.
Photo by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco
Té Ahorita by Su Wu and Bettina Kiehnle
At Salon Rosetta, above the renowned Rosetta restaurant in Roma, curators Su Wu and Bettina Kiehnle selected more than 100 tableware objects from Mexican designers. Based on an exhibition curated earlier in the year by Wu at Studio IMA, the exhibition focused on dining rituals and the use of objects in them.
Working with Rosetta chef Elena Reygadas, the curators arranged the objects by designers such as Maxine Álvarez and Patricio Campillo on contemporary furniture. The exhibition included a daily tea service as well as a shop where visitors can purchase objects.
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