Unno, a new gallery dedicated to contemporary Latin American design, makes its digital debut ahead of a physical space opening in Milan later in 2021. The gallery was founded by architect and sculptor Laura Abe Vettoretti and interior designer Maria Dolores Uribe, two creatives operating between Latin America, the USA and Italy. The pair met in Mexico City: ‘we came together as Unno after meeting in the same point of view: that Latin American Design should be portrayed to the world as pure, deep, raw, mystic and elegant,’ they say.

The gallery aims at presenting a contemporary vision for Latin American design and celebrating its creators. The debuting collection includes works by Abe Vettoretti and Uribe, contributions by Mexican designers Cesar Nuñez and Bandido Studio, as well as pieces by Brooklyn designer Ian Felton inspired by Pre-Columbian animism. 

Latin American Design Gallery Unno

The founders stress that this is ‘a gallery by and for young designers,’ hoping to reframe the traditional idea of the region’s aesthetic and steer it towards a contemporary collectible design vision – what the pair calls ‘a cultural breaking point’ achieved through ‘connecting and recapturing our transcendental roots’.

‘The perception of Latin American Design is crafty, folk-inspired and colorful,’ state the duo. ‘At Unno we want to show that there is more to that, that there is a conceptual deepness behind what we create, and that Latin American design can be elevated to the highest standards in art and design.’

Latin American Design Gallery Unno

Debuting collections reference ancient Mexican architecture, the sun’s symbolism celebrated in pre-Colombian inscriptions, pre-Hispanic architecture, Mesoamerican culture and artistic movements from Colonial Mexico. Each piece was made by local craftsmen to celebrate shapes and materials such as jade, lava, cast bronze, onyx, obsidian, brass and black marble.

‘We want to portray the intellectual assets of our represented designers as a solid sample of contemporary collectible design, distant from mere craftsmanship,’ conclude the two founders. ‘And through this project, we learned how important it is to keep our ancestral techniques alive.’ §