Argentine designer Cristián Mohaded explores local craft in new exhibition
National Museum of Decorative Art of Buenos Aires hosts ‘Territorio Híbrido’, an exhibition by Cristián Mohaded exploring local craft techniques and featuring collaborations with international designers, from Estudio Campana to Roberto Sironi
Argentine designer Cristián Mohaded presents ‘Territorio Híbrido’ (Hybrid Territory), an exhibition at the National Museum of Decorative Art in Buenos Aires (until 6 March 2022) exploring craftsmanship techniques and endemic materials from different regions in Argentina.
More than 20 designs were produced for the exhibition, merging historical and contemporary design approaches throughout a 20-month long process. To put together this body of work, Mohaded travelled across Argentina through the provinces of Buenos Aires, Santa Fe, Córdoba, Catamarca, Santiago Del Estero, Tucumán, Salta, and Jujuy. He worked using a variety of techniques, producing handmade fabrics on a creole loom; creole ropes made from raw cow hide and sewn with fine colt-pelt stitches; carpentry made using native woods like missionary moor cedar or the fallen cardon cactus; baskets woven using simbol (a plant fibre). He also worked with minerals including mica, boreal granite, and white onyx.
The exhibition’s centrepiece is an installation titled Campo de Torres (Field of Towers), featuring large-scale columns made of stacked basket-woven shapes paying tribute to his native Catamarca. The collection includes furniture, objects, textiles, and lighting pieces gathered under the ‘Especies Híbridas’ (Hybrid Species) aegis, and placed in conversation with the museum’s spaces and a series of pieces by Argentine ceramic artist Santiago Lena. The exhibition continues with a modular outdoor installation titled Jardín de Estrellas (Garden of Stars), made of seating shaped as triangular prisms.
Mohaded also worked with local silver masters and invited a series of international designers, from Fernando and Humberto Campana to Roberto Sironi, to create sculptural matés, traditional South American drinking vessels. Titled ‘El Encuentro’ (The Encounter), the collection includes a series of vessels mixing silver and wood.
‘Mohaded has rekindled the notion of an exclusively Argentine design language at a national level,’ reads a text introducing the exhibition. ‘Through the acknowledgement of cultural diversity and productive capacities of local territories, and at an international scale, he shaped a meaningful image of essential Argentine features from a Latin American perspective integrated into a global market.’ §