July 31, 2021

Mexican design to conquer the world

An astonishing poster has recently invaded the streets of Lille. “Colors, etc. : colors and meaning in design ”, the new Tripostal exhibition, chose to show the face of a young girl, drowned in immense pink fringes of chewing gum… In reality, it is one of the materials favorites of Mexican designer Fernando Laposse: agave fibers dyed with cochineal according to an ancient method inherited from the Zapotecs (in the south of the country).

On the first floor of the Lille establishment, we also find its wall inlaid with corn husks, an eminently Mexican material whose transformation he worked in Tonahuixtla, a small town located five hours by road south-east of Mexico City. Fernando Laposse discovered marquetry in France, where he spent part of his childhood, and studied design at London’s Central Saint Martins school.

“In Mexico, know-how is based on natural materials: corn, agave, marble, cochineal, indigo, sisal…” Kristen de la Vallière, curator

Like him, more and more young Mexican designers are traveling the world to train, before returning to create in their country of origin. This is what the curator and design expert Kristen de la Vallière, an American living in Paris, observed, who left to immerse herself last winter in this ecosystem conducive to inspiration, between saturated colors, archaeological remains, architecture. modern, tropical imagination and seaside lifestyle. So many elements that structure the fertile ground of Mexican design.

Fernanda Salamanca (31) and Andrea Gadsden (26), of the Difane duo, met in Milan, where one was working for a furniture publisher and the other was studying industrial design. When they returned to Mexico, in 2020 they developed a collection called “Tacubaya” (the name of a district in Mexico City), for which local designers have delivered them pieces inspired by the country’s history and which they now aim to create. broadcast in Europe.

Others, like the Canadian Sylvain Marcoux, have chosen to provoke encounters between foreign designers and local artisans. First guest, Constance Guisset designed black earth vases and is preparing the launch of a second obsidian collection. “In Mexico, know-how is based on natural materials: corn, agave, marble, cochineal, indigo, sisal …”, details Kristen de la Vallière.

A coffee table and black earthenware vases, the fruit of a collaboration between Constance Guisset and Mexican artisans.

For Fernando Laposse, this marriage between ancient craftsmanship and little-known natural materials is the salt of contemporary Mexican design: “It is impossible to think of industrial production here; we have no structured pathway. “ At a time when the manufacture of objects must reinvent itself, the work of Mexican designers is seen as a model.

The Raúl de la Cerda console, from the Tacubaya collection, developed by the Difane duo.

In France, a publisher like Luteca, founded by Frenchman Sébastien Réant, is focusing on reissuing pieces from the XXe century, especially those of Clara Porset (1895-1981). “We want to bring the Latina Charlotte Perriand out of oblivion. Its universal design brilliantly blends pre-Columbian, colonial influences and brutalism devoid of any folklore. “ This clearing work allowed the emergence of designers such as Jorge Arturo Ibarra, with his sofa borrowing from the pyramid of Tenayuca. Or Studio Martès, whose Kiin Chair, inspired by the sun, equips the very trendy Ace Hotel in Kyoto.

The Alacran chair, edited by Luteca.