What Chairs, Toys and Plates Look Like South of the Border

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Casual Dinnerware (2013), Orange Crush Fiberglass Wall Console (2013), Rosario Mirror (2013)

A new exhibit explores how urbanization, sustainability and indigenous craft are translated into design in Latin America, surveying the creative transformation that has been occurring throughout the region since 2000.

The exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design, called “New Territories: Laboratories for Design, Craft and Art in Latin America,” features more than 75 designers and collectives in several cities. In São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for example, the works explore upcycling and repurposing, as local artists there are especially concerned with pollution and deforestation.

In Santiago, Chile, and Buenos Aires, Argentina, artists are experimenting with new ways of combining the heritage of Latin American crafts with new forms. Chilean designer Guillermo Parada's group created a pottery printer made of wood and cloth instead of metal and silicon. The idea behind that is to reflect about the digital process," he said, but "without any computers."

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Lucia Cuba, a designer from Peru, created dresses that comment on the involuntary sterilizations that happened in her country.

Her outfits have long belts that wrap-around the waist to symbolize the tying of the Fallopian tubes.  “And also the idea of being tied against your will to something or to some particular moment of your life,” she said.

The show is on view through April 6, 2015.