Mexican design studio Mestiz has opened a showroom and workshop within a historic building in San Miguel de Allende, where its brightly hued collaborations with local craftspeople take pride of place.
The studio space is located on Pasaje Allende in the heart of the central Mexican city, renowned for its colonial-era architecture and arts scene.
Mestiz founder Daniel Valero collaborates with a variety of skilled local artisans to create furniture and homeware using ancestral crafts.
“In our studio, partnerships aren’t short-lived; they’re built to last,” he said. “We’ve nurtured long-term relationships with artisans, where learning and creating are an ongoing process.”
Pieces from Mestiz’s collection fill the interior of the studio, which occupies a remodelled stone building designed as a “wild habitat” brimming with personality.
“It was once a kitchen,” Valero explained, “and now it’s a space that respects the idea of Mexican cuisine, infusing it into our creative sanctuary.”
The studio comprises three principal spaces. In the showroom, the original wooden beams and the brick ceiling are exposed, and rough buttery plaster covers the walls.
Ledges and podiums clad in glossy tiles provide places for small items like spiky vessels and framed pictures to be displayed.
Larger furniture pieces like a triangular table and chairs with tufty backrests are arranged across the floor.
Meanwhile, textile artworks decorate the walls and huge, fibrous pink light fixtures hang overhead.
“Our creations aren’t just pieces; they’re stories,” said Valero.
“We believe in crafting designs that engage in profound dialogues with the context and history of each community we work with.”
The workshop is situated in a lean-to at the side of the building, where the rough stone walls are visible on two sides and other surfaces are left untreated.
Red-painted benches for assembling items and storing natural materials – palm, wood, wool, wicker and ceramic – are surrounded by partially completed designs.
A pink-hued storage room is also packed with products, from wicker lights suspended from the ceiling to tall totems in blue, pink and purple stood in the corners.
“Our practice is a living testament to the merging of traditions,” Valero said. “Our pieces are the embodiment of cultural syncretism, where diverse influences converge to create something entirely new.”
The rich creative spirit of San Miguel de Allende is also presented at the city’s Casa Hoyos hotel, where colourful tiles and local craft fill a former Spanish colonial manor.
Other Mexican designers continuing local traditions through their work include Fernando Laposse, who uses corn waste to create a marquetry material, and Christian Vivanco, who launched a rattan furniture collection with Balsa.
The photography is by Pepe Molina.