Latin America's Day of the Dead Celebration
Friday, October 31, 2014
Dia de Los Muertos is celebrated in streets, homes, communities, universities, and parades often with large festivals including activities for children and adults. The "Day of the Dead" occurs on November 1 and 2 of each year, thus coinciding with the Catholic holidays of All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day.
Dia de los Muertos or “The Day of the Dead” originated centuries ago in Mexico where it is still widely celebrated today. The blend of pre-Hispanic indigenous beliefs and Spanish Catholic beliefs are performed in honor of the dead. It is a festive, joyous time of celebration with loving rituals that are full of joy and remembrance.
People around the world are drawn to the ideas and visuals of Mexico's Day of the Dead and the holiday continually gains in popularity as more people learn about it. During this time, South Americans also embrace their textiles by leaving them out so the dead can use them as blankets to rest after a long journey. It is common belief that the deceased return to their earthly homes to visit and rejoice with their loved ones during this time of the year.They're also used as picnic blankets for another common tradition of having a picnic at their loved ones' grave site.
Dia de los Muertos is celebrated as a way of cherishing connections with the unseen world. People around the world are drawn to the ideas and visuals of Mexico's Day of the Dead and the holiday continually gains in popularity as more people learn about it.
In celebration, we just recieved some awesome Guatemalan Mayan 'Day of the Dead' iconic sculptures at Diseno! They are hand-carved and painted, making each one unique, and cherishing the Latin holidays for a lifetime.
Get the Look: A Statement Making Mud Room
Friday, October 24, 2014
- Statement-making wall accents
- Settee with a pop of color
- Pared-down Midcentury pieces
- Nature-inspired elements
This solicited look might seem complicated to pull off, but we've done the research for you and provided you with everything you need below!
Home Tour: Alejandro Sticotti’s Buenos Aires Oasis
Thursday, October 23, 2014
Alejandro Sticotti is a devoted modernist who is addicted to the “natural materials, clean spaces, less is more” approach in both his furniture and building designs. After living an accomplished life with his wife, Hernaez, the couple bought a 5,400-square-foot garden outside one of the houses they were considering. After landing the sale, they set out to fulfill a lifelong dream--designing their own dream home from scratch! Slowly, after much thought, the concept of their house came together; they were building a home floating in a garden, which was not an easy task.
“I try to use simple, honest materials. I don’t like paint or plaster; I prefer to leave things as they come, and show how things are made.”
The construction uses primarly recycled materials from the local region. This helps support the local economy and keeps sourcing costs low. Inside the home there are floors of recycled pine, walls paneled in full sheets of recycled plywood, and slats salvaged from an old house in La Boca. Sticotti provided a majority of the home's decorative flourishes including a scattering of design icons—wire Bertoia chairs and a pair of cowhide-covered butterfly chairs, invented in 1939 by three Buenos Aires designers—which are a plethora of classic products.
“Reflecting that economic and architectural climate, as well as Sticotti’s own aesthetic leanings, the finished house is very much “of Argentina,” as he says. “People always say that Buenos Aires is like a European city [because of the baroque architecture and Italian heritage], but at the same time, we have our own culture, our own materials. This house is all B.A. In a way, I was trying to find something that represents us—and what we’ve got here is leather and wood and concrete.”
This building style has set a new design direction for South America as they inspire themselves as well as the rest of the world with their efficiency, use of recycled materials, and space saving innovation, all representing the newest modern design language.
Check out the original article on Dwell as well as our Pinterest which has our favorite design articles!
Getting Experimental with Design
Thursday, October 23, 2014
New Territories refer to the state of making artistry in today’s globalized society, a phenomenon that has helped to spur a confluence of art, design, and craft. We examine and explore this trend as we travel through several South America cities.
DFC, Casual Dinnerware (2013), Orange Crush Fiberglass Wall Console (2013), Rosario Mirror (2013) Installation view at ICFF New York, 2013. Courtesy of the artist. Mexico. Photo by David Franco.
Collaborations between small manufacturing operations and craftspersons, artists, and designers demonstrate how the resulting work addresses not only the issues of commodification and production, but also of urbanization, displacement and sustainability.
“I really wanted to focus on young designers, because that’s where I saw new dialogue growing out of tradition and legacy.” -Lowery Stokes Sims
A number of key themes include 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.
Lucia Cuba, Artículo 6, from the series Artículo 6: Narratives of gender, strength and politics (2012-2014) Cotton canvas, thread, digital printing, hand & machine sewing. Courtesy of the artist. Peru. Photo by Erasmo Wong Seoane.
Come explore the exhibition "New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America," which runs from November 4 through April 6, 2015 at the Museum of Arts and Design in New York and discover the trends of South America.
Home Tour: "Latin America's Best Modern Homes"
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
Home of Ecuador based designers blending architecture into nature. Photo by .
Renovated home in San Juan, Puerto Rico. A tiles with active patterns. Photo by Raimund Koch.
Green house near coast of El Salvador captures nature at its finest. Photo by Jason Bax.
Home of photographer Reinaldo above virtually without any walls. Photo by .
Casa Deck by architect Isay Weinfeld is the perfect escape from the busy city. Photo by Matthew Williams.
Home of furniture designer Alejandro Sticotti in Buenos Aires. Photo by
In the home above, you may notice the classic BKF chair which is one of our most popular items at Diseño. They're comfortable and give a modern yet vintage vibe once you know the history behind them. See our collection of BKF chairs here with the choice of leather or hide cover seatings!
Cheers, Frank Campanale
Fun Fact: Costanera Center is Santiago’s Tallest Building
Friday, October 17, 2014
Located right in downtown Santiago, Chile, the Gran Torre Santiago building boasts all the popular stores – TopShop, Zara, Levi’s, Bobbi Brown, M.A.C., Espirit and H&M, which are all conveniently located inside the Costanera Center mall. Built in 2012, this is the tallest building in Latin America and the second tallest in the Southern Hemisphere after Australia's Q1 on the Gold Coast.
There are sixty-four floors of jewelers, bookshops, high-end fashion, electronics, department, retail, and accessories; you can even find a car yard. The structure is home to the three largest Chilean department stores Paris, Falabella, and Ripley. The parking lot is also the first in South America to use the "Find Your Car" parking technology by Park Assist making it easier to locate your car after shopping. Starbucks is outside to rejuvenate shoppers after their shopping marathon of carrying heavy bags and walking from store to store. If you’re looking for more of a meal, there are restaurants or food courts on the upper levels to satisfy your hunger. Don't really want to eat out? For patrons who love to cook, the Gran Torre Santiago even has a jumbo supermarket so you can pick up any essential groceries. If you want to turn it into an outing, there’s even a cinema, CinePlanet, often showing recent films in English. What doesn't the tallest building in Latin America have in it??
Check out the original article here!
Product of the Week: Handmade Organic Cotton Scarves made in Guatemala
Thursday, October 2, 2014
Since we’ve been traveling to South America, the transformation of reality is evident in their social, economic, and cultural changes. We want to help establish a more sustainable world by building trust and working together with indigenous people’s cooperatives that produce high quality handmade textiles. We saw clearly devoted ability, reliability, and fairness attributed to the high quality production in Guatemala, so we are sure with your help these artisans can have a secure income and make a dignified living.
During our last stay at Casa Santo Domingo, Guatemala we visited some of the local textile artists. We were offered an irresistible opportunity to watch them dye cotton and wool and they set up a gas stove and pot to give us a live demonstration of the process. The natural dyes are created for the fabric from Logwood chips that are steeped and drained for about 20 minutes. Then the large pieces of raw fabric are soaked in the natural dye and after just a few minutes, it turns to a very deep purple/black color. The raw fabrics were then left to hang for a number of hours. Once dry, it can be woven into a beautiful scarf, blanket, throw, or other textiles.
It is amazing to see the dying process in person since many Americans are far detached from the processes of production. They would be astonished, seeing the way society used to accomplish the task of fabrication before people were replaced with machinery. The quality of handmade goods remains unsurpassed and these beautiful 100% cotton scarves are surly no exception.