Written by 12:10 pm Art

Cuba and Mexico come along with their designs

The eleventh edition of Design Week Mexico (DWM) has as a guest country Cuba, a just recognition of Cuban graphic and industrial designers, with recognized work in several countries and that just isn’t all the time completely visible in our country.

The Mexican capital will host from next October 3 to 27 designers from several countries in an event that for years has been extending its programming to greater than per week, to indicate the work of renowned professionals within the sector.

The DWM billboard, which can also be dedicated to the state of Yucatán, covers greater than 15 simultaneous activities between exhibitions, interventions in public spaces, conferences, talks, documentary shows, academic activities, pavilions and routes around design and architecture, under the slogan: Design in heritage contexts.

The Mondrián armchair can be considered one of the pieces that may adorn the exhibition of Cuban artists. Photo: luisramirez.com

The exhibition Cuba: La singularidad del Diseño (Cuba: The singularity of Design) can be considered one of the central moments within the month of October, an exhibition composed of design pieces, photographs, models and graphic and interactive materials by around 50 artists and specialists, where the audience attending the Museum of Modern Art can get to know Cuban cultural diversity through its design and architecture.

Furniture, dishes, photographs, models and graphic and interactive materials might be appreciated by the general public, where the work of renowned professionals from the sector akin to Clara Porset, Gonzalo Córdoba, Alfredo Rostgaard and Eduardo Muñoz Bachs, might be appreciated by the audience.

Eduardo Muñoz Bach’s poster work can be recognized on the DWM 2019, dedicated to Cuba. Photo: lufty.com

Regarding the problem of the rescue of Cuban heritage and participation, City of Havana Historian Doctor Eusebio Leal Spengler stated on the event’s website that “having the experience of Design Week Mexico honors and satisfies us greatly, so I endorse the participation of our Office on this event.”

The Office of the City Historian (OHC) will present the work they’ve done for a long time in the sector of conservation and restoration within the Cuban capital, a World Heritage Site, with the exhibition Ellas restauran, designed by the Restaura Architecture and Urban Development Projects Enterprise of the OHC, which consists of a sample of 17 posters that show a component of the work developed within the Historic Center of Havana, conceived by women.

The works that can be shown from October 11 to 27 on the Torre del Reloj were developed by architects and engineers working on the OHC, with pieces that dialogue with gender relationship studies and the labor dynamics of their career.

One other of the event’s proposals can be the Design House, a form of catalog in real time where about 20 designers and designers intervene a Nineteen Forties functionalist house, a constructing that incorporates styles and trends that make it possible to recreate a platform for the exchange of pros.

Greater than 20 projects by architects, designers and interior designers are participating in the reworking of a house for this event. Photo: picnicmedia.

Designer Luis Ramírez, vp of the Caguayo Foundation, will participate for Cuba within the Design House. His task consists in intervening the hall of the home, an area of roughly 15 m2, along with other Mexican specialists. His Mondrián armchair, a bit awarded the ONDI Prize last yr, can even be a part of the exhibition Cuba: La singularidad del Diseño (Cuba: The distinctiveness of Design).

“The Caguayo Foundation has been invited to be a part of the Organizing Committee of the event with the aim of organizing and showing what has been done and is being done in our country regarding design. Since its emergence our institution has supported and promoted Cuban design nationally and internationally and this responsibility is a recognition of this work,” said to OnCuba Ramírez, who also thanked the exchange between professionals from each countries.

Along with the exhibition spaces, the Design Week includes the competition Inédito (Unpublished), open to utilitarian design projects in categories of social impact, environmental impact, innovation, functionality, aesthetics, concept, user experience, materials and processes, which can be energetic from October 4 to October 20, a platform that features two categories of participation: professionals and students.

The lamp was considered one of the pieces presented by Darío Veranes to the Inédito contest. Photo: Courtesy of the artist.

Five Cuban proposals, three collective and two individual, are involved in a complete of 70: Guajiro Studio (project by Carilyn de la Vega and Carlos Pérez), De Marías (Isabel M. Pérez and M. Carolina García), delaFUENTE (Jorge Luis de la Fuente and Mical Romero), Ana Isabel Quevedo and Darío Veranes.

The latter will present a bit of furniture “considered made in Cuba and made in Cuba,” he commented to OnCuba. “The concept with this chair was to vary the aesthetics of what I used to be working on thus far and provides it a more handmade style. I believe this has influenced the collection of the work for the competition, where I share space with 4 other Cuban projects, which is a superb opportunity for young designers from the country,” Veranes added.

Guajiro Studio can even bring to Inédito a bit of furniture, with a bench that responds to a minimalist design with elements representative of national identity, one other of the Cuban attractions within the competition, which distributes eight honorary mentions and a money prize for proposals with social and environmental impact.

A minimalist and visually appealing design is Guajiro Studio’s proposal to the Inédito contest. Photo: ondi.cu

The handicrafts can even have Cuban participation within the Visión y tradición residences program. Two artisan communities, one within the state of Yucatán and the opposite in Taxco, Guerrero, where artisans and designers from the country and guest state are included, to foster collaboration and establish a working link between traditional production and contemporary design. The pieces produced can be exhibited for 3 weeks within the Media Luna room of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Regarding this meeting between Cubans and Mexicans, the vp of the Caguayo Foundation says that along with this space, “we may have more exchanges with Mexican designers because we’re participating together in each of the activities and exhibitions being presented there. Within the Inédito contest and the exhibition we can be competing and exhibiting together.

“In Visión y Tradición our designers have already held exchanges on their field, techniques and crafts that can be displayed based on handicraft productions made by Mexican artisans and Cuban designers. Design House gives the chance for a Cuban designer and a number of other Mexican designers to revamp as a team, an area that will reply to a new function and within the marketing space called Diseño y Contenido; we can even show and market products made by designers from each nations.”


Diseño y Contenido is one of the crucial colourful activities every yr at Design Week. Industrial containers turn out to be pop-up shops to indicate pieces produced by Mexican and Cuban designers with a select sample of their work and products.

This space of things of costume jewelry, jewelry and textile design can be an ideal fair featuring among the offers that Cuban artists, mostly young, can be promoting for the general public, considered one of the objectives of this activity of the event’s program.

The Expo DW expo sale can even make it possible to make visible the products made in Cuba, a business platform for direct sale to the general public whose foremost purpose is to spice up the economic potential of the creative industries of its producers and promoters.

Along with the sale of products, simultaneous presentations can be held around business models, brand registration, export, in addition to meetings with national and international buyers and thus promote trade relations between counterparts and firms from several nations, a needed international market which must benefit from Cuban design.

Design Week Mexico can be a chance to make Cuban design visible on a world scale and can facilitate many exchange spaces with international designers and producers,” says Luis Ramírez, aware of the necessity of moments like these for Cuban design (especially industrial design).

Although our country has achieved greater visibility of its designers in newly created events akin to the Havana Design Biennial, DWM recognizes the work of the sector’s Cuban professionals with an excellent track record in several elements of this industry, so needed for development on a world scale.

OnCuba Staff, OnCuba editorial staff

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