A f r i c a  &  L a t i n   A m e r i c a n   r i s i n g   d e s i g n

Salone Satellite • Salone del Mobile • Milan • Italy / 2018

The term “new territories,” as evoked by Italian architect and designer Gaetano Pesce, refers to the state of making in today’s globalized society, a phenomenon that has helped to spur a confluence of art, design and craft. The exhibition New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America examines this trend in several distinct cities throughout Latin America, where some of the most pertinent new directions in arts and design are emerging today.

New Territories explores the collaborations between small manufacturing operations and craftspersons, artists, and designers, and demonstrates how the resulting work addresses not only the issues of commodification and production, but also of urbanization, displacement and sustainability. The exhibition explores a number of key themes, including: the dialogue between contemporary trends and artistic legacies in Latin American art; the use of repurposed materials in strategies of upcycling; the blending of digital and traditional skills; and the reclamation of personal and public space.

New Territories is organized by MAD’s Chief Curator Lowery Stokes Sims and Adriana Kertzer, Curatorial Assistant and Project Manager. It follows MAD’s groundbreaking 2010 exhibition The Global Africa Project, which presented new craft, design, and art that transcended nationality and regionalism in its presentation of the new nomadic paradigm of African identity. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully-illustrated, full color catalogue that will be published in separate English and Spanish editions by Turner Libros of Madrid and Mexico City.

Fernando and Humberto Campana

We felt very honoured by Marva Griffin's decision to entrust us with the selection of designers for the Latin America side of the video exhibition AFRICA LATIN AMERICA Rising Design / Design Emergente, which for all sorts of reasons has triggered a lot of emotions. First of all because, in our own minds, as children Fernando thought of himself as African and Humberto as Indigenous Indian, and we will never forget how we felt when we were chosen. It was a moment of extreme joy mixed with pride and gratitude. We believe that it is very important to support future generations.

Our design translates what Brazil means, and our Afro Latin roots are part of it. Understanding this dimension has allowed us to choose a creative system that lets us explore the working skills of our continent from a particular perspective. We have taken great care in looking into the materials used and we are happy when we see how the different qualities are woven together, incorporating natural inspiration. It has also helped us understand the morphology of what could be developed in the future. We have always seen sustainability as a fundamental means of expression and recycling as a many-layered concept. An important part of this is the awareness of the social dimension.

In terms of our experience, we wanted to channel a particular message to those we have chosen to work with. We want to create beautiful design with a powerful conscience, but we also want to be part of passing on the passion of creation, development and manual skills. No doubt the technology of the future will be able to replicate human skills with even greater precision, but this will leave a yawning gap. The passion to learn, to create, to be vulnerable, because fear will always assail you when it comes to presenting new ideas. These are the things that matter and this is what has sharpened our focus. We put a tremendous amount of thought into what we do and we wanted to give a small something back to everyone with the ability and sensitivity to share a design that is liquid. Only fluid elements can permeate and trickle into the most unexpected corners of cold hearts. It is our job to try to warm them up.