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Meet Juan Pablo Viedma: Crafting Futures Mexico

 © Juan Pablo Viedma

© Juan Pablo Viedma

 © Juan Pablo Viedma

© Juan Pablo Viedma

 © Juan Pablo Viedma

© Juan Pablo Viedma

 © Juan Pablo Viedma

© Juan Pablo Viedma

21 August 2017

Industrial Designer Juan Pablo Viedma is heading to Oaxaca as the British Council launches Crafting Futures Mexico.

Juan Pablo will be joining British ceramicist Billy Lloyd in Oaxaca to take part in a three-week experimental collaboration, stimulating a creative dialogue between artisans and designers from the UK and Mexico. The programme has been developed in collaboration with Oax-i-fornia and leading Mexican design curator Ana Elena Mallet. We caught up with Juan Pablo before his trip to find out more about his practice. 

Tell us a bit about yourself; your background and areas of interest.

I was born in Mexico City and lived for eight years in Santiago de Chile before returning to Mexico. I come from a very close family that enjoys spending time together and sharing food around the grill or table.

I studied Industrial Design at Universidad Ibero Americana and since then I started a brand called PACA with my friend Carlos Maldonado. The projects we develop there are driven by investigation and really strong concepts. Our main goal is to provoke dialogue between the object and the user.

Since 2013, I started Comilona with my brother and sister, which is dedicated to promoting emerging gastronomic projects in Mexico City.  We support them and encourage them to show people what's happening in the kitchens of our city. Our goal is to break the barrier between super chefs and regular food-loving people. We create an atmosphere for them to collaborate and together build a new identity for Mexican gastronomy.

What are you working on at the moment?

Currently, I'm working on a piece for the Museum of Popular Arts with a craftsman called Pablo Pajarito that uses a red clay called Barro Canelo, I'm also developing a collection for our brand PACA that hopefully will be released at the beginning of 2018.

With Comilona, we are creating new outputs to gather more projects around the country. This includes food based residencies to develop a new way of developing projects through research and practice as well as a series of collaborative pop up restaurants around Mexico.

Why did you apply for the Crafting Futures Mexico residency? What interests you in particular about the context of the project and why is it important?

I applied for the residency because I wanted to have the opportunity to work hand in hand, day and night with craftsmen and to really get to know the process from its origin. Oaxaca is the perfect place for this because it's the home for one of the best craftsman families in Mexico and the cradle for one of the most important cuisines of our country. Oaxaca has a really complex geography allowing a huge diversity of species and materials, so you can discover the most amazing food and techniques.

What are you hoping to discover or explore in this residency and how do you feel this might have an impact on your work?

Since I have a background in design and gastronomy, I always have been interested in finding new ways of putting them together, I'm looking forward to learning from their cuisine and understand the importance of certain design elements that make it possible and so delicious. I think this opportunity will change my perspective and the relation between them and to develop a new way of designing for gastronomy. I'm hoping to discover and create new dynamics around a table.

To find out more about Crafting Futures head to our website and follow us on Instagram and Twitter.