Ximena Rozo: An Interview
An industrial and textile designer, Pratt Institute alumna Ximena
Rozo brings Latin American tradition to contemporary design.
Her recent collaboration with Hilo Sagrado rendered
a beautiful collection of home textiles rich with heritage from
the Wayuu, a group of indigenous habitants in northern Colombia.
HELLO XIMENA. WOULD YOU BRIEFLY
INTRODUCE YOURSELF TO OUR READERS?
I am an industrial designer, a military spouse, and an entrepreneur. My work spans a broad spectrum - from designing interior details of the Boeing 787 passenger cabin, teaching a Master's program course on Design, Strategy, and Innovation, to developing a sustainable enterprise for the advancement of the handicraft sector in Bogota, Colombia. I have worked in R & D with 15 US patents in aircraft design.
As a military spouse, I face the challenges of constant relocations. It is this constant adjustment to new situations that inspires me to be creative, to establish networks that contribute to my personal support groups and the support of the community. As the founder of Ximena Rozo Design, a studio focused on product design, research and strategy, I center my attention on product development, where textiles become objects and handicrafts evolve into contemporary artifacts.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO
COLLABORATE WITH HILO SAGRADO?
I always believe that co-operation is a key ingredient for success. We have been partnering with established organizations that share similar values, as that contribute to implement our vision. Hilo Sagrado is part of the Ethical Fashion Forum in London that brings together pioneers and innovators around the globe who promote ethical trade and sustainable fashion. We partner with them because we share a common social mission.
YOU DESIGN A BROAD RANGE OF OBJECTS.
WHAT ARE THE SOURCES OF YOUR IDEAS?
I feel inspired by traditional transient societies, also known as nomads, because they're masters of the techniques of moving and packing efficiently. I strive to create furniture and home accessories that are not only portable and unpredictable, but also enriching the life of an urban dweller, who is driven by innovative lifestyles and imaginative scenarios.
People tend to move, and when they do, they establish new territory. This behavior influences the way mobile urbanites interact with their physical world. The focus of my designs is functionality, tactile qualities, and high-quality materials in order to create permanence rather than disposability. Products are designed to be easy-to-pack and easy-to-transport, with an emphasis on designs as vessels for emotional connections.
TRADITIONAL TECHNIQUES OR AESTHETICS THAT YOU
DEFINITELY WANT TO PRESERVE IN YOUR PRODUCTS?
I am very interested in weaving, particularly in basketry. When making baskets, a weaver transforms two-dimensional materials into three-dimensional objects using fibers; then by combining weaving patterns and techniques, they create a structural tridimensional shape. So forms evolve from 2D to 3D, as in the containers for the Hilo Sagrado Home collection.
YOU WORK WITH? HOW DID YOUR BUSINESS
IMPACT THEIR COMMUNITY?
Currently we are working with Colombian artisans with a variety of ancestral traditions that bring a unique vision to the contemporary market. Particularly the Wayuu Indigenous Tribe in the northern part of Colombia, who weave to express their culture and traditions.
We promote responsible thinking, where social and environmental impacts are part of consumer decisions. Our sustainable textile production is developed with high ethical standards that allow artisan communities to preserve their culture and identity, while generating a positive impact on society.
Interview: MINZUU Photos: XIMENA ROZO DESIGN