The 18 Latin American designers that exhibited in Milan
April’s SaloneSatellite, the less expansive, non-commercial fair within Milan’s massive Salone del Mobile, celebrated emerging design in two often overlooked continents. With the theme “Africa & Latin America Rising Design/ Design Emergente,” SaloneSatellite organizers placed the spotlight firmly on the southern hemisphere.
Ideated by the Venezuelan Marva Griffin Wilshire, chief curator of the Satellite fair, the exhibit showcased the wealth of design in both continents, which have a tendency to produce objects that are both sustainable and ecological. With this year’s theme, Griffin Wilshire looked to change the perception and understanding of design in these continents.
In order to avoid creating hierarchies between the 36 SaloneSatellite protagonists—18 African and 18 Latin American—the designers and curators appeared on video, presenting “live” from their home countries, and ultimately answering the following three questions:
Does your connection to your country influence your work?
How do you express this connection?
Is it important to affirm a cultural identity in design?
For Humberto and Fernando Campana, curators of the Latin America section of the exhibit, the aim was to recapture the passion behind creation and craftsmanship, affirming, “the technology of the future will be able to replicate human skills with even greater precision, but there will always be something missing: the passion that comes with creating a certain part of an object is as important as the passion that one generates for the great masters.”
To follow, we have compiled a list of the 18 designers selected to represent Latin America during the world’s foremost design week; designers that you need to know.
2. Anabella Georgi – Caracas, Venezuela
The Selva chair is inspired by the diversity, textures and depths of the Venezuelan jungle, and is a calling to protect nature and the local indigenous heritage. Made from leather intertwined with fibers extracted from Moriche, a palm tree found in southeastern Venezuela, designer Anabella Georgi has transformed a traditional indigenous material to create a revolutionary seating object. anabellageorgi.com
4. Cincopatosalgato – San Salvador, El Salvador
An example of the fusion of craftsmanship and the digital world, the Canasto lamp is inspired by the frame used on traditional woven baskets. A simple wire frame structures the lamp and a turned wood detail enhances the handle. cincopatasalgato.com
5. Cristian Mohaded – Buenos Aires, Argentina
This designer created the Ninho Collection, a series of curvilinear furniture and décor objects made from layers of overlapping discarded fabric that take on the appearance of animal fur. cristianmohaded.com.ar
6. Rodrigo Velasco – Bogotá, Colombia
Known for using 3D design and CNC machines to create architectural facades, Bogotá-based Frontis 3D designer Rodrigo Velasco uses three key principles in his work: innovation, sustainability, and custom design. frontis3d.co
8. GT2P – Santiago, Chile
A collaboration between Chilean studio gt2p and New York-based gallery Friedman Benda, Remolten Revolution is a series of objects created from “remolten” volcanic lava found in Chile’s volcanoes, the country with one of the largest and most active volcano chains in the world. gt2p.com
10. Hechizoo – Bogotá, Colombia
Colombian textile designer Jorge Lizarazo of Hechizoo identifies his rugs as soft architecture, incorporating innovative materials that redefine a conventional product. His Tapete Nudo de los Pastos was inspired by an admiration of Colombian craft tradition. hechizoo.com
11. Menini Nicola – Montevideo, Uruguay
These seating objects, called Cerros, are part of a collection called Paisaje Oriental, aimed to increase the value of wool by incorporating the material into products that represent a greater importance for the design industry. menini-nicola.com
13. MT Objects – Mexico City, Mexico
Two Mexico-based expats make up MT Objects, a luxury design brand inspired by the designers’ country of residence. Their Tarantula Vase explores Mexico’s strange fauna by means of their signature “empty” (MT) ceramic vessels.
14. Rodolfo Agrella – Caracas, Venezuela and New York City, USA
Rodolfo Agrella created the 15% Collection, a line of cabinets and mirrors that represent the percentage of Venezuelans that have fled the country in the past decade due to the country’s political and economic crisis. 15% of the object’s surface has been removed, while the rest of the object received an acid wash fading the color of the fabric that wraps around the cabinet. rodolfoagrella.com
15. Studio Tetê Knecht – Sao Paolo, Brazil and Lausanne, Switzerland
Andrea Knecht loves working with trash, a medium that she considers a “liberated aesthetic,” free of beauty and perfection. A mix of Brazilian craftsmanship, full of color and exuberance, and Swiss rigor and aesthetics, Knecht created the Elliot chair. teteknecht.com
18. Tu Taller Design –Medellin, Colombia
Medellin-based Tu Taller Design created the Mortar & Pestle, an object inspired by the rounded shape of the ancient Andean Quimbaya relic, the poporo. Designer David del Valle combined the archetypal form with the culinary function of a mortar and pestle, casting it in black resin. tutaller.com.co