This week, Mexico City hosted the contemporary art fair Zona Maco. In its 9th year, the fair brought together 90 galleries from as many as 20 countries, and happily enough, the fair included a small but significant modern and contemporary design component.
Consisting of over 10 design galleries and studios, Zona Maco Design, as this special section was called, presented a small but interesting overview of the Mexican design scene today.
On the more historical side of things we had ADN, a gallery that presented the iconic Sala Totonaca (Totonac Living Room Set) by Cuban/Mexican modernist designer Clara Porset. I'm crossing my fingers that this piece will go to a public collection where we can all enjoy the work of this hugely important designer!
The booth of Casa Gutiérrez Nájera, a new space in the state of Querétaro created to promote design education and the work of young designers in Mexico, included a range of beautiful and fun pieces, such as this sideboard by Cesar Ponce, inspired by plastic crates.
Esrawe Studio, an established design firm (now participating in Design Destination: Mexico at MoMA), presented only a few new pieces that included the "Banco Ban" (Ban stool), a heavy and sculptural stool reminiscent of African stools and the Stool designed by Charles and Ray Eames. They were also showcasing the "Mitote Shelving Unit," an intriguing structure with almost impossibly floating shelves.
Studio Roca, another veteran in interior and furniture design in Mexico, characterized by their use of eco-friendly materials and processes, presented a beautifully sculptural organically shaped table called the "Ecomesa 69," with a flat top that contrasts with the fluid shape of the table top and legs, almost like a fruit that has been sliced in half.
Younger firms like Rococo were also represented. Rococo re-works vintage pieces, giving them a new irreverent style, and their inventory now also includes a variety of fun and colorful floor tiles, lamps and textiles.They also carry a line of their own new designs, such as this table made with enameled pewter (a technique used to create traditional cooking pots).
And finally, on the fun and outrageous side of things, DFC (DF Casa) presented their collection, a range of objects that mix a crazy post-modern sensibility with traditional Mexican craft techniques. These objects would fit just as easily in a highly modernist interior as they would in a curio cabinet. Very fun!
(Images: as credited above)