Harry Allen Design Diary

Mexico: Day 1

I arrived in Mexico City yesterday for the Mayan Design Workshop. I will be leading a workshop in the jungle next week, but we will start here in Mexico City with a talk at UNAM, the school sponsoring the project. I had the afternoon and evening free to roam. I love Mexico City. Its low there are some moments of real beauty. It’s relatively clean and the people are very nice. It is also a City of deep, complex culture so I made my way to the wonderful Palacio de Bellas Artes to see the Diego Rivera murals. Its an incredible building (please note the gay couple walking arm on shoulder – the Latins, surprisingly, have this figured out).

The inside of the building, finished later than the outside, is an art deco masterpiece. The world needs more murals. I liked the Riveras, but loved the Tamayos. You can see one on the second floor there. He was never on my radar, but the colors, in person, are subtle and sublime. He is a master of black.

In the evening I was invited to the home/studio of my friends at DFC. I know them from the design circuit and they are truly two of the most creative people I have ever met. Mauricio on the left is a Guatemalan industrial designer, Tony on the right is an Australian graphic designer. Together they are a total mashup.They met in NYC and came down to Mexico for access to the craft production and a more laid back lifestyle. This image does not do them justice, but that money god figure they are standing behind has cut crystal eyes.

They are in the process of setting up a factory in the City and moving their home, but the current apartment is inspirational. Tony’s office is a graphic wonder.

The glass collection in the dining room is mesmerizing in front of a stained glass window.

The ceramics collection on the coffee table in the cobalt blue living room just barely survived the tail of their new two year old dog. It contains much of their work, like the terra cotta snake cupcake on the left.

Mexico City is a feast for the senses. I’m looking forward to day two.

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