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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fifty years from now: Tanya Aguiñiga

Tanya Aguiñiga
Tanya Aguiñiga (1978- ) is a Los Angeles artist who was raised in Tijuana, Mexico. She receive a bachelor's degree in furniture design from San Diego State University and an MFA in furniture design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Her work is very tactile, as well as being visually stimulating. Some pieces require looking at familiar objects in a new way. Take, for example, her Hole Table that sinks bowls and utensils into the tabletop, or her Shadow Trio pieces that are only completed when their shadow is cast on the wall. One of her designs that is seen frequently in design media these days is her version of the lowly metal folding chair, which is given a new look by her time-intensive, 30-hour hand felting process.

Aguiñiga has been a member of Border Art Workshop BAW/TAF, a bi-national artist collaborative for ten years. Through BAW/TAF she helped to build and run a community center in an impoverished area of Tijuana, which was built on trash from the United States. For the six years she worked there, she focused on bringing national and international attention to the community’s plight through arts-based programs.

Through outreach programs at the San Diego Museum of Art and at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum, Aguiñiga has worked on diversifying audiences through arts education. She has also worked for migrant rights through art installations across Mexico and the United States.

She was recently awarded a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship and was named a USA Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts. Her work has been exhibited from Mexico City to Milan and included in major international publications.

I predict that we'll hear much more from...and about...Aguiñiga in the future.


Hole Table

Hole Table close-up

Shadow Trio

Felt Chairs

Teotitlan 2

Soft Rocks

Eames Wire Chair


Eames DCM

Clay Chair

Birch Bench

Embrace Lounge

Embrace Lounge in use

Modular Lounge

Forest Roll

Forest Roll in use

Forest Roll ready for storage

And, for a bit of whimsy, take a look at these designs. They make me smile. Well, actually, the Impression Stools make me laugh out loud.


Lowrider Stool

Impression Stools

Impression Stool after use

Now, that's quite an impression, wouldn't you say?

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  1. LOL on that impression! I'm afraid my impression would be so big it wouldn't fit! Some very fun and eye popping designs. Love learning here.

    1. Yes, those stools are definitely for folks who are a little more confident that the impressions they leave will be good ones. :)

  2. Wow, those ARE impressive! First impressions count?

    1. The ones that really make the greatest impression on me are the Eames wire chair, the Zinacantan and the Eames DCM. I'd make room for any of those in my house.

  3. Fantastic work, I had seen some of it before and really love it! Thank you for bringing it back to my attention.

    1. I expect she will stay in the forefront, and we won't forget her.