Establishing Bonds Across Cultures
a collaborative project
between artisans, designers, and artists in Oaxaca, Mexico
"We…take inspiration from the
visual subtleties and vernacular
of Oaxaca and Mexico, aiming to
keep traditional making alive through
contemporary design and applications."
Oax-i-fornia started in 2005 as an academic project catalyzing collaboration and exchange between artisans, designers, and artists. Directed by designer Raul Cabra, the project seeks to broaden creative opportunities for local artisans through collaborative work with multidisciplinary professionals, and thereby expand the spaces for ancestral traditions to assert themselves in a contemporary world.
The workshop of Oax-i-fornia aims to establish bonds across cultures through hands-on making, and to ultimately challenge the preconceived notions of otherness and difference in the process. By exploring new possibilities in locally sourced materials such as cotton, silk cocoons, copal wood, carrizo, and black clay, the workshop facilitates indelible creative experiences for both visitors and locals.
is an artifact that oscillates between worlds;
it is contemporary in form but grounded in tradition by technique and material. Artisans maintain ownership of the objects that arise out of the Oax-i-fornia collaborations, which not only bring their craft production into new markets, but also provide them with tools to continue working on their own and to create their own entrepreneurial spaces.