With the rise of mechanization in the design world, traditional crafted object are becoming relics of a relinquished handcrafted past. Despite this, Los Angeles based furniture/jewelry designer Tanya Aguiñiga dedicated herself to designing, hand dyeing, hand sewing, and hand crafting creating furniture that responds to the user’s spatial needs. Such practices result in a playful and organic modernist approach to form.
Tanya’s work is informed by border experiences: the interconnectedness of societies, the beauty in struggle and the celebration of culture. Her understanding of the dynamics of life results from a childhood spent traveling between her country of birth, the United States, and Tijuana, Mexico, the place of her upbringing. She uses furniture as ways to translate emotions into a three dimensional objects and tell stories trough color and touch. Her work encourages users to reconsider the objects they use on a daily basis by creating work that explores an objects’ unseen aspect, such as half chairs that rely on the wall to function and whose image is only complete as its shadow is cast upon the wall.
Tanya has also dedicated much of her time to using art as a vehicle for community empowerment. While studying design at San Diego State University, she began working as an educator at the San Diego Museum of Art and created collaborative installations with the Border Arts Workshop BAW/TAF, a bi-national artists’ group that engages the languages of activism and community-based public art. Through BAW/TAF she helped to build and run a community center in an impoverished area of Tijuana built on trash from the US. For the 6 years she worked there, she focused on bringing national and international attention to the community’s plight through arts only based programs.
After earning an MFA in furniture design from Rhode Island School of Design in 2005, Aguiñiga settled in Los Angeles where she continues to designs and hand makes all of her work. Still focused on her community outreach efforts, Tanya hopes to deepen her commitment to ethical design by working with traditional artisans to connect local craft traditions with a global economy. With such valiant achievements in the design world, international accolades were bound to follow.
Tanya has been an artist in residence at the Delaware Center for the Contemporary Arts and The Native Art Center in Fairbanks, Alaska. Her work has been exhibited from Mexico City to Milan and she was recently named a United States Artists Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts. Further, Tanya has been included in major international publications such as Wallpaper magazine, “Pure Design, Objects of Desire” published by Monsa Editions in Spain, and has even made the cover of American Craft magazine.posted by Intern on June 4th, 2012 in Uncategorized