•   
  •   
  •   

Home & Garden What the Design World Can Learn From These 11 Latinx Creatives

18:21  14 october  2022
18:21  14 october  2022 Source:   architecturaldigest.com

Telling Latinas That Familismo Is All We Have Is Toxic - and Not True

  Telling Latinas That Familismo Is All We Have Is Toxic - and Not True If you grew up in a Latinx family, being told "family is all you have" isn't always a comforting phrase to hear. In fact, if you came from an unhealthy, combative, or abusive home, it can feel like quite the opposite. And it can be further compounded if you are LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, disabled, or just what your family would consider different. Healthy love and support are more than just words we throw around - where is the action? Family that purposefully (consciously or not) misunderstands, mistreats, and abuses us is in no way resonant with the way most of us want to live.

Every year, during Hispanic and Latinx Heritage Month, there are 30 days allocated to celebrating a culture that makes up roughly 9% of the world’s population (and 18% of the United States’). Though we’re often lumped together, the Hispanic and Latinx community are not ones that can be diluted into a monolith. Diversity and individuality remain at the core of our unique heritage and can be seen in so much of what we do—including our work in the design industry.

We tapped 11 creatives who identify as Latino, Latina, and Latinx that are actively revamping the design industry to learn how their Latinidad has influenced their work, what their hopes are for the future of design, and what their superpowers are. This monumental month is coming to a close, but we want to encourage celebrating the work of these design visionaries all year round. Read on to learn more about how these innovators are leaving their mark on the interiors realm.

The Untold Truth Of Ellen's Design Challenge

  The Untold Truth Of Ellen's Design Challenge Ellen DeGeneres' "Ellen's Design Challenge" is a competitive show where contestants design and create furniture from scratch. Here's a look behind the scenes.Even if you're a huge fan of the show, there's probably a few things you might now know about "Ellen's Design Challenge." Here's a look at the untold truth of the show. For example, have you heard that DeGeneres is not only a guest star but also a top producer on the series? (via IMDb). She gained her design know-how firsthand while flipping houses for the past 20 years (via Los Angeles Magazine).

A portrait of Verónica Ortuño, a multi-hyphenate creative based in Texas. © Photo: Benson Ellis A portrait of Verónica Ortuño, a multi-hyphenate creative based in Texas.

Verónica Ortuño

Creative director, interior designer, and founder of Casa Verónica

“Being Latinx in my industry is a radical act in itself,” explains Verónica Ortuño, the creative force behind interior design studio and brand Casa Verónica. “It directly influences my work because it is a part of me,” she explains. “I feel I’m in a fortunate position to be able to honor both backgrounds,” she says of identifying as a first-generation Mexican American. “Not only does [my work] defy expectations within my culture, but [also as] a thriving, creative person of color in America.” Influenced by her indigenous Mexican roots, folklore, and traditions, Ortuños’s portfolio showcases both primitive and modernist works.

California governor signs fast food bill into law that could raise minimum wage for workers in the state to $22 an hour by next year

  California governor signs fast food bill into law that could raise minimum wage for workers in the state to $22 an hour by next year The National Restaurant Association says the FAST Recovery Act could raise costs for California fast food restaurants by $3 billion. California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed the FAST Recovery Act, unprecedented legislation that gives fast food workers a say on hourly pay and working conditions, including giving them the power to raise the minimum wage next year to $22 an hour. AB 257 , which Newsom signed on Labor Day, creates a 10-member council of fast food workers, franchisees, franchisors, advocates for fast food employees, and representatives from the governor's office.

Though the designer’s namesake firm launched in 2017, Ortuño’s passion for interiors, architecture, and design began long before. “[It was my first client, however,] who believed in my abilities and hired me on two big projects based on my work with my store at the time, La Cruxes,” she notes of her beginnings, which led her to ultimately launch her firm. Five years later, Ortuño’s roster is currently stacked—an upcoming retail store in Austin, a residential project in Eagle Rock, and her very first solo exhibition at Dusty Gallery in Austin featuring her ceramic works, on view by appointment from October 17 through the remainder of the month.

What is your hope for the future of design?

“I hope there is more representation for, not only Latinx, but Black, Indigenous, and other designers within marginalized communities. There are so many talented folks out there with a lot to offer who are never given a fair chance or opportunity due to hierarchies within the art and design world. I would also love to see more vibrant, colorful buildings in America—I believe that would have a lasting, positive effect on our collective spirit and morale.”

The Comment Prince Charles Made After Harry’s Birth That Broke Princess Diana’s Heart

  The Comment Prince Charles Made After Harry’s Birth That Broke Princess Diana’s Heart The marriage between Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, was never easy, but this became the point of no return. The post The Comment Prince Charles Made After Harry’s Birth That Broke Princess Diana’s Heart appeared first on Reader's Digest.In the 25 years since Princess Diana's tragic death, many secrets have surfaced about her marriage to Prince Charles, who became King Charles III after Queen Elizabeth's death. One of those secrets had been revealed by Diana to her biographer, Andrew Morton, who wrote of it in his 1992 book, Diana: Her True Story, but it appears to have been largely glossed over by the public until the birth of Princess Charlotte in 2015.

Primaried Studio owner Jonathan Sanchez-Obias sitting on his throne of vintage goods. © Photo: Emmanuele Couloumy Primaried Studio owner Jonathan Sanchez-Obias sitting on his throne of vintage goods.

Jonathan Sanchez-Obias

Owner of Primaried Studio

It all began after he sold a Cassina LC3 sofa set designed by Charlotte Perriand, Le Corbusier, and Pierre Jeanneret. This was one of Jonathan Sanchez-Obias’s most “prized possessions,” and it turned a pandemic-bred side-hustle into a full-time gig. Enter Primaried Studio, a vintage furniture store located in the heart of Miami’s Little Haiti neighborhood. “The thrill of my first big sale led me to create the Instagram account and, within three months, I signed a lease,” the curator says.

Featuring everything from an 11-piece Missoni modular sofa set to a limited-edition Togo Fireside Chair and 1970s Pierre Cardin tableware, Primaried has rapidly become a Miami fan favorite—and with good reason. “I have been building up my personal library of vintage design catalogs and archival design documents throughout the years,” says Sanchez-Obias of his dedication to his craft. “It’s helped me hone in on a keen eye for design.” This eye was apparently passed down. “My family is generally very design driven,” he notes. Moreover, as Sanchez-Obias explains, his Latinx heritage has allowed for a better sense of understanding when it comes to his business. “Being raised and surrounded by creative Cuban Americans has definitely played a huge role in forming my identity and building my confidence in the local Miami design community.”

ASOS 80% Off Sale: Shop North Face Puffers for $100 Off, a $123 Topshop Blazer for $37 & More Chic Finds

  ASOS 80% Off Sale: Shop North Face Puffers for $100 Off, a $123 Topshop Blazer for $37 & More Chic Finds From chunky boots and faux fur shoulder bags to the perfect evening dress, ASOS has so many good fall pieces on sale that are selling out fast.Stop what you're doing. ASOS is having an 80% off sale for a limited time.

As for what’s next, Sanchez-Obias will be debuting a “tightly curated ‘bazaar’” at his showroom, featuring furniture by contemporary designers who look to pioneering movements in design history as inspiration. He is also working on a much-anticipated furniture collection alongside friend Chaz Capobianco that will launch in early 2023.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to pass along to other Latinx designers and artists that are either thinking about getting into the design industry or are just starting out?

“Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. There’s so much space for Latinx creatives in the design industry, especially here in Miami where the design field grows so much every year.”

A portrait of Maison Trouvaille founder Erick Garcia. © Photo courtesy of Maison Trouvaille A portrait of Maison Trouvaille founder Erick Garcia.

Erick Garcia

Founder and principal designer at Maison Trouvaille

Believe it or not, Erick Garcia’s passion for dining and entertaining is what sparked his interest in the world of interiors. The founder and principal designer of Maison Trouvaille had his heart set on interior design school after hosting his fair share of gatherings for friends and family. “I’ve always loved creating beautiful spaces to entertain,” he recalls. “My guests would often ask for help with their own spaces after visiting, which lead me to the realization that I could make a career out of it…. The rest is history.”

Kitchen of the Week: An English Country Kitchen for a Vegan Family, Vegetable Processing Plant Included

  Kitchen of the Week: An English Country Kitchen for a Vegan Family, Vegetable Processing Plant Included What does a vegan culinary setup look like? In the case of this project for a young family of six, it takes the guise of a craftsman-made, English country-house kitchen—with some tailor-made details for washing and storing vegetables, doing a lot of prepping and cooking, and sending meals outside. The owners—Dan runs a tech company […]The owners—Dan runs a tech company and Lorraine is a teacher—left London behind for East Sussex in 2018 to grow a lot of their own food. They live in a historic structure known as the Mill House that was converted from two farm cottages back in 1897, and were in the fortunate position of being able to start from scratch in this part of the house.

Working with some of LA’s brightest young talents, including Marianna Hewitt, Jen Atkin, and Desi Perkins, to name a few, Garcia and his now-recognizable style simultaneously capture ease, comfort, and luxury. “My goal is to always create spaces that feel like a vacation,” he says of his way of injecting his Mexican culture into his work. “I pull so much inspiration from my culture and apply not only visual references from the architecture, materials, and finishes, but also from the principles and values…. [It] nurtures the idea of bringing people together.”

Garcia’s upcoming work can be spotted from coast to coast. “We have two commercial projects in the works, one in Santa Monica and the other in New York,” he says of shared office spaces that will be “something a bit different from our norm.”

What is your hope for the future of design?

“In the current climate, that lead times change and items become more readily available. We, as designers, always strive to get our clients’ projects completed in a timely manner, so this would be absolutely amazing and so helpful.”

The architect and interior designer Lula Galeano on site at the Maria Cher project that she designed. © Photo: Adrianna Glaviano The architect and interior designer Lula Galeano on site at the Maria Cher project that she designed.

Lula Galeano

Architect, interior designer, and founder of Studio Galeón

“Nothing that would be too obtrusive” is how the Latinx architect and interior designer Lula Galeano explains her gravitation towards natural materials and simple forms. The South American creative credits her childhood and upbringing in Patagonia for her affinity towards simplicity and vastness.

Inside Our Fifth Annual Whole Home in Atlanta

  Inside Our Fifth Annual Whole Home in Atlanta We've been through this project before, but we've never done it quite like this.For our fifth annual Whole Home project, we tried something new: Instead of building a house from the ground up, we found an historic Atlanta home in need of some TLC. Then, we asked a team of forward-thinking designers to bring it back to its former glory with modern family living in mind.

As a self-proclaimed shape-shifter, every project at Studio Galeón is a reflection of her ability to synthesize, compromise, and produce. “I understand what the project needs and don’t want to ‘push’ for my vision above all.” With her first rug collection and a small furniture line landing in the near future, Galeón and her team have so much on the horizon.

What’s a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to pass along to other Latinx designers and artists that are either thinking about getting into the design industry or are just starting out?

“Don’t try to be anyone else. Use your heritage in your favor. Go back home and learn what people have been doing there for ages. Learn about techniques, materials, and ways of creating. Also talk to others in the industry. Reach out to whoever you admire and ask all of the questions.”

A portrait of Tricia Benitez Beanum, the creative force behind Pop Up Home and Unrepd. © Photo: Maxine Goynes and Jordan van Weyden of Equal Parts Agency A portrait of Tricia Benitez Beanum, the creative force behind Pop Up Home and Unrepd.

Tricia Benitez Beanum

Founder and creative director of Pop Up Home and Unrepd

Starting out as a to-the-trade pop-up, Pop Up Home has grown from a monthly treat to one of LA’s most sought-after design shops. “My mother was an interior designer and store owner, so in a way I’ve always been connected to design,” recalls Tricia Benitez Beanum. The creative director is also the brains behind the brand’s sister company Unrepd, a space for emerging artists with a focus on people of color, women, and the LGBTQIA+ community, cofounded by fellow Puerto Rican American Sarah Manitlla Griffin.

After getting her start in estate sales, Benitez Beanum began to garner attention for her one of a kind eye. “[Pop Up Home] started as a place where people could come and find the best of the best vintage,” she quips of her sold out sales. “And then I would start over again.” Now headquartered in a Hollywood brick-and-mortar (a permanent flagship store is coming to Los Angeles in January, which will end the store’s infamous run as a pop-up), Pop Up Home’s can be viewed and shopped by all.

This Media Room Is Proof That a Family-Friendly Space Can Be Luxe, Too

  This Media Room Is Proof That a Family-Friendly Space Can Be Luxe, Too Keia McSwain created a space that's both luxe and family-friendly.That multifunctionality set the stage for her media room in the 2022 Whole Home. McSwain's scheme for this long, narrow space started with a poster from her father’s favorite movie, Across 110th Street, featuring deep greens and orange. Unwilling to compromise coolness, McSwain wrapped the entire space in a luxe, stitched-hide chevron wallcovering from Arte and added a tortoiseshell gold glass pedestal table (for perching one’s drink) at the room’s entrance. “The overall vibe,” she says, “is about warmth and fellowship.

“I bring my whole self to everything that I do, which includes being a Latinx woman,” Benitez Beanum explains. “For me, Latinx culture is largely about family and community, and building community is a huge part of my job. I worked alone for a very long time, but the magic really started when I built a family around my business.”

What’s a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to pass along to other Latinx designers and artists that are either thinking about getting into the design industry or are just starting out?

“I’d like other Latinx designers and artists to know that their unique perspectives are not only good enough, [they] are absolutely necessary in this space. There’s no map to follow as a creative entrepreneur, but trusting in and relying on your talent and really honing your own aesthetic is how you’ll eventually break through.”

The Black Home founder Neffi Walker isn’t afraid of bringing contrast into interior spaces. © Photo: The Black Home The Black Home founder Neffi Walker isn’t afraid of bringing contrast into interior spaces.

Neffi Walker

Founder and lead designer of The Black Home

“I move with intention in every environment,” says Neffi Walker, founder and lead designer of The Black Home, an interior design firm she founded in 2011. Known for using dark tones as the focal point of many of her designs, Walker felt called to start her business after moving into a new home and feeling tired of bright white environments. “My superpower is understanding my clients’ needs and translating how they organically live inside their space through design and functionality,” she says.

Crediting her mother for her attention to detail, Walker consistently taps into her Afro-Latina roots as a source of inspiration. “From the pots and plates we used to the hammocks I slept in during summers on the island, I got an understanding of the spirit of the people and I infuse that feeling into most of my projects,” she notes of visiting Puerto Rico as a child.

Walker is currently working on crafting a “zen space” at Republic Records in New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood as well as a bridal suite for Nneka Alexander, owner of Brides by Nona in Marietta, Georgia. Next up for the designer is reimagining the home of NBA star Kyrie Irving and his partner, Marlene Wilkerson.

What is your hope for the future of design?

“My hope for future design is for more Black and brown designer representation to showcase how beautiful we are as a people in this space.”

Bougie Woogie cofounders Jazmín Feige and Matias Gonzalez striking a pose in their studio. © Photo: Katja Stückrath Bougie Woogie cofounders Jazmín Feige and Matias Gonzalez striking a pose in their studio.

Jazmín Feige and Matias Gonzalez

Industrial designers and cofounders of Bougie Woogie

“If you see a Bougie Woogie piece, you know it’s ours,” say Jazmín Fiege and Matias Gonzalez, the Argentinean duo behind Bougie Woogie Studio. Their notable style, boasting wiggly edges and bright colors, is easily recognizable and has, not shockingly, made its way into the homes of young design lovers everywhere.

Using great design backed by innovation, the industrial designers deem themselves problem solvers. “We’re really attached to the functional side of design with a creative input,” they note. “Books fall if you don’t hold them, so we design bookends.” The brand’s core ethos is equally simple. “Anytime someone asks us about our background, we’re proud to say that we come from Argentina. The passion for everything an Argentinian does has no comparison—you can see that in many fields of work.”

With a sustainable mindset, Gonzalez and Feige are weaving intentionality back into the design industry. “We need to be smart and responsible for what we bring to this world that’s already packed with things,” they say.

What is your hope for the future of design?

“We hope that all the new materials that are emerging from deep research and testing continue to appear and shape what will be the next chapter of design. We also look forward to the creation of new classics that will last a very long time and that will also contribute to the sustainable mindset that we should all adopt.”

A headshot of designer Abel Cárcamo with one of his objects. © Photo: Pablo Figueroa A headshot of designer Abel Cárcamo with one of his objects.

Abel Cárcamo

Furniture and object designer

Born and raised in Santiago, Chile, Abel Cárcamo has a passion for his craft that was bred from “the idea of creating pieces that can not only be useful, but also provide character and a sense of well-being,” the Latino designer explains. Cárcamo developed his personal technique, which pushes the boundaries set by the traditional craftspeople that predate him, by visiting various artisans specializing in wood, ceramics, and metal. “It’s how I found my own identity as a designer and was able to begin experimenting,” he says.

Putting his ego aside, Cárcamo notes, has been the key to his success. “Never pretending to be something I’m not has always been very important for my development,” he continues. “We’re all people first, then creators, and we must be constantly learning to acquire new knowledge.” His Latinx culture, moreover, has played an equally crucial role in his journey.

“It’s the basis of my work. I try to reinterpret concepts and take them as far as possible throughout the work,” he says. “My way of doing that is by creating pieces that are timeless.” Cárcamo’s boundless designs can soon be seen in an upcoming collection with IKEA Latin America.

What is your hope for the future of design?

“Hopefully we can find a balance between the industrial and the artisanal. I think that, somehow, through my work, I try to maintain this balance so that we can see beyond a simple object and rather see a complete story.”

A portrait of Analuisa Corrigan, a ceramic artist based in Los Angeles. © Photo: Victor Llorente A portrait of Analuisa Corrigan, a ceramic artist based in Los Angeles.

Analuisa Corrigan

Ceramic artist

Patience and detachment are the name of the game for ceramic artist Analuisa Corrigan. “I’ve always been an impatient individual and working with clay has challenged that,” she says of her love for the “complicated yet rewarding” material that catapulted her into the design industry.

Growing up in San Diego, just a short drive away from her family in Mexico, Corrigan draws both inspiration and respite from this half Mexican upbringing. “My most recent show at Stroll Garden Gallery included a ceramic rendition of a living room,” she says, explaining that her work was influenced by her great-aunt’s home in Tijuana. “I tried to emulate that space’s details and energy—comfortable, fragile, and beautiful, yet covered in cold, clear vinyl.”

Old-world materials and shades can be seen throughout Corrigan’s work, particularly within her collection of lighting. Currently, the young artist is designing larger bespoke pieces for M.A.H. Gallery in London as well as putting together a limited collection of homeware for the holidays. “You simply cannot rush the ceramic process or push it past its limits,” she says. “It’s forced me to become comfortable with losing something I’ve given hours of emotional and physical labor to, to be grateful for the process, and to do it better the next time. I think that can be applied to so many other aspects of life.”

What’s a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to pass along to other Latinx designers and artists that are either thinking about getting into the design industry or are just starting out?

“Something I wish I had figured out sooner was that being personable and networking was just as important as creating the actual work. I used to shoot off millions of emails a day, reaching out to design firms, artists, retail spaces, etc., introducing myself and my work. Although only one out of 100 people would respond, it taught me to be persistent when it came to believing in myself and my work.”

A headshot of Christine Espinal, the creative genius behind some of Lichen’s best-selling designs. © Photo: Christine Espinal A headshot of Christine Espinal, the creative genius behind some of Lichen’s best-selling designs.

Christine Espinal

Spatial designer

“I’ve been very empathetic of my surrounding environments since a young age. I was even aware of digital [ones] and how I could design them through games like The Sims,” says Christine Espinal, a spatial designer at Lichen. Her desire to create bloomed from an urge to recreate feelings of home. As she recalls, “My dad was always working on things around the house…[making] it a home. [It’s] something that makes you feel comfortable and safe.”

Epsinal’s approach to crafting environments is reminiscent of solving a puzzle or, as she says, playing Tetris. “It feels second nature to me now,” she jokes about her sixth sense. So while the Latinx designer can’t yet share too many details on her future projects, one thing’s for sure—there will not be a lack of fun. “My style has an element of playfulness that comes from these experiences and the joy felt,” Epsinal tells us of spending summers playing dominoes in the Dominican Republic with her grandparents. It’s a reference she made not so subtly in the benches she designed for Mellany Sanchez. “I see the playful shape of the frame as a reflection of my values and who I am inside.”

What’s a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to pass along to other Latinx designers and artists that are either thinking about getting into the design industry or are just starting out?

“My family always told me design isn’t a real job…but it is. You’ve got to stick with what makes you [feel] happy and fulfilled. Design for me is everywhere and everything. Everything you see. Everything you touch. So when it comes to making things that can be seen and felt, how could that not be a real job?”

A selfie of Studio Guapo founder Matt Pecina. © Photo: Matt Pecina A selfie of Studio Guapo founder Matt Pecina.

Matt Pecina

Furniture designer and founder of Studio Guapo

“I like to think of myself as a design communicator,” says Matt Pecina, furniture designer and founder of Studio Guapo. After dropping out of art school and working in furniture retail, he began to gain a better understanding of the NYC design landscape. It’s after he left, however, that the Mexican American creative began to find his personal aesthetic.

“I believe furniture and spatial design is the next frontier of the greater ‘streetwear’ movement,” says the Latinx designer. “When I was younger and working in retail, it did not seem possible to start a furniture brand that served the communities I was a part of. Today, now that streetwear has revolutionized the fashion industry, it feels possible to weave together a furniture-brand studio that considers streetwear, street art, hip-hop, punk, and my cultural identity as a Mexican American all in one place.”

With a unique skill in creating work that connects with both the design community as well as a younger street audience—two circles that in the past did not often intersect—the Studio Guapo founder uses his innate curiosity, talent, and culture to shift the conversation around design. And soon the public will be able to see an extension of the fruits of labor via a series of renderings and visuals he calls The Shapes We Make/The Shapes We Take. The collaboration, done with fellow Mexican American artist Alec Perez, will take us through a “space odyssey through time and reality.”

What’s a lesson you’ve learned that you’d like to pass along to other Latinx designers and artists that are either thinking about getting into the design industry or are just starting out?

“I believe our ability to communicate is our greatest superpower. I used to feel like I was not Mexican enough or not American enough, but what I’ve come to realize is that it’s that space in between that makes us special. Our history and culture has prepared us to cross boundaries and translate across visual language. If you can harness that power, you will be unstoppable.”

This Media Room Is Proof That a Family-Friendly Space Can Be Luxe, Too .
Keia McSwain created a space that's both luxe and family-friendly.That multifunctionality set the stage for her media room in the 2022 Whole Home. McSwain's scheme for this long, narrow space started with a poster from her father’s favorite movie, Across 110th Street, featuring deep greens and orange. Unwilling to compromise coolness, McSwain wrapped the entire space in a luxe, stitched-hide chevron wallcovering from Arte and added a tortoiseshell gold glass pedestal table (for perching one’s drink) at the room’s entrance. “The overall vibe,” she says, “is about warmth and fellowship.

usr: 1
This is interesting!