The importance of diversity in design can’t be overstated — yet it’s been well-documented that, when it comes to representation, there’s a long way to go. Thus, it’s crucial for not only those in the industry to keep hiring, supporting, and highlighting underrepresented communities, but also for those outside of it to do so as well, with both their dollars and their voices. That can start with getting acquainted with new and emerging designers within the industry. And with Latinx Heritage Month in full swing, now is as good a time as ever to explore and uplift some of the Latinx design studios creating innovative, unique, and downright beautiful work.
Not only that, their designs provide a perspective unique to each designer and their respective heritage. Take, for example, Emiliana Gonzalez and Jessie Young, Uruguay natives who founded Estudio Persona in 2014. Through their L.A.-based furniture and lighting studio, they create unexpected and modern forms inspired by the “monochromatic melancholy of their native Uruguay.” Or Claudia Suárez Ahedo, an architect and designer from Mexico, who has designed pieces such as her popular Ch’up chair — a tribute to the strong identities of Mexican women.
For more Latinx design studios making waves in the industry and the myriad ways they’re shaping it, continue on — TZR has featured six, ahead.
Carlos Anthony Lopez is the founder and designer behind Winston Studios, an L.A.-based creative agency that focuses on interior and exterior space design, art direction, landscape, and set design. Lopez himself, who is a self-taught designer, has played a hand in many of his city’s most well-known restaurants, hotels, and more, including Cafe Stella and The Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles. Lopez’s style is often colorful and contemporary — and always wildly imaginative, making everything he designs a veritable feast for the eyes.
Uruguay natives Emiliana Gonzalez and Jessie Young founded Estudio Persona in 2014 after moving to Los Angeles from Montevideo. Now, they run their L.A.-based studio and showroom together creating what’s often described as “unconventional designs” through collaboration. Their furniture and decor is inspired by natural forms, and they describe it as “a distinctly neutral and minimal take on the monochromatic melancholy of their native Uruguay.” That shows through in just one look at the designers’ work: The unexpected curves and understated colors give it a beautifully serene and sober feel.
Agnes Studio is a major up-and-comer in the design space, and it’s not hard to see why. The studio was founded in 2017 by Guatemalan designers Estefania de Ros and Gustavo Quintana-Kennedy, who dabbled in practices like graphic design and architecture before settling on designing objects. Their collections feature an interesting exploration in texture and shape, and the designers often describe their practice as the materialization of “hypothetical futures.”
Ana Buitrago is a Colombian designer who creates ceramic pieces that take inspiration from sources including her cultural background, architecture, and artists she admires. Her creations, which include lighting designs, vessels, and more, are known to explore geometry, balance, and the boundaries of sculpture, and she’s been featured in exhibitions such as the “1000 Vases” at Paris Design Week.
Abigail Marcelo Horace is the founder of Casa Marcelo, an interior design firm she started in 2017 after working as a senior interior designer at Dumais ID and Hendricks Churchill. Horace was born to Dominican and Panamanian immigrants and is a first-generation American, which she says plays a major role in how she approaches her work and is, in part, why she’s so passionate about designing functional and beautiful spaces for families.
“I want people to feel at home when working with me,” she wrote on her site. “I want them to feel secure and taken care of. I want people to be empowered by their spaces, enabling them to thrive in every other area of their lives. Because it all starts at home.”
Claudia Suárez Ahedo is an architect and designer from Mexico who currently resides in Milan, Italy. “My work is focused on the development of projects with harmonic and functional design to achieve comfort,” she explained of her work on her site. “I like to explore new forms and ideas that blur the lines between furniture and art.” One of her most notable designs is her chair titled “Ch’up,” which she created in honor of Mexican women to highlight their strong identity through its form.