Designer of the Day: Alejandro Moyano – SURFACE

Source Credit:  Content and images from Surface Magazine by .  Read the original article - https://www.surfacemag.com/articles/alejandro-moyano-andean-designer-day/

Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.

Age: 32

Occupation: Industrial designer.

Instagram: @estudio_andean

Hometown: Quito.

Studio location: Quito.

Describe what you make: ANDEAN creates high-end furniture, home décor, and collectible design pieces inspired by the vibrant spirit of Latin America. We work in close collaboration with Ecuadorian artisans and manufacturers, bringing together modern techniques and the wisdom of ancestral crafts to create elegant, contemporary pieces. 

Our mission is simple yet profound: to preserve and celebrate the rich heritage of The Andes by reinterpreting its iconography and traditional crafts; to elevate Andean culture and set a global notion for “equatorial” design. Latin talent is characterized by our ability to create opportunities through the limitations of our environments and we are no different. I love that our manufacturing processes are always contextually defined and that artisans leave indelible traces of heritage and soul in every piece we make. 

The most important thing you’ve designed to date: It’s hard to choose! I’ll say the ÍCONOS Collection because it really is an ethnographic exploration of the symbols that define Ecuadorian identity. Every element in this limited edition, whether functional or sculptural, is an abstraction of Andean iconography and archetypes. It was also the first time we worked with volcanic stone and hand-blown glass, which together with brass, are materials very representative of the Andean region.

Describe the problem your work solves: ANDEAN addresses the need for bringing together modern industrial design and ancestral craftsmanship. By fostering a collaboration between these two worlds, we honor the expertise of skilled artisans and local fabricators to transform the vibrancy of our region’s heritage into functional pieces of contemporary design. 

We aspire to become a platform that serves designers, manufacturers, artisans, and anyone else dedicated to advancing “equatorial” design. We want to push beyond conventional boundaries and showcase the boundless potential of Equatorial craftsmanship and innovation, free from the constraints of passing trends.

Describe the project you are working on now: A very special collaboration with the real custodians of pre-Columbian heritage: Quito’s Museo Casa del Alabado. The pieces are an abstraction from the museum’s permanent collection; home accessories made in slipcasts and finished with a black glaze and golden accents in reverence of barro negro and symbolizing the Sun’s significance to our ancestral communities. 

We’re also in the process of developing a furniture collection that will preview during NYCxDesign and be unveiled this September—ANDEAN’s first-ever solo show—at Tuleste Factory in New York.

A new or forthcoming project we should know about: We just launched Soulful Objects, a family of smaller decorative objects that is representative of the soul and materiality of the Andes. The collection includes decorative bowls made from hand-carved volcanic stone from Ecuador’s highest dormant volcano, traditionally embroidered velvet cushions and beautiful handwoven wall tapestries. It’s ANDEAN’s first go at soft furnishing and we’re excited with the final result. Our collaborating artisans leave indelible traces of heritage and soul in every stitch, ceramic fold, and chisel mark.

What you absolutely must have in your studio: Music and art are a direct influence in our practice and always present in the studio. ANDEAN’s first two collections, Perfidia and Sitiera, are named after Bolero songs from our grandparents’ generation.

What you do when you’re not working: I like going on adventures with my partner Jil and having walks in the nature with my dog Ela just as much as I enjoy spending time with my family because time should never be taken for granted. I’m also obsessed with discovering more artisans, fabricators, and suppliers that love their material of choice and Ecuador’s material culture.

Sources of creative envy: No envy, just loads of inspirational geniuses and creativity! Designers and artists such as Gabriel Hendifar, Vincenzo De Cotiis, Héctor Esrawe, Pedro Reyes, and Drift, to name a few.

The distraction you want to eliminate: The need for recognition. Being able to follow your own path, polishing your design language and avoiding the urgency of finding an audience that appreciates and understands your vision.

Concrete or marble? Volcanic stone—noble as marble but accessible as concrete.

High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse, restored and renovated.

Remember or forget? Remember because memories are what define us.

Aliens or ghosts? Souls.

Dark or light? Chiaroscuro. 

Portrait by Chris Falcony.

Source Credit:  Content and images from Surface Magazine by .  Read the original article - https://www.surfacemag.com/articles/alejandro-moyano-andean-designer-day/