Looking to bring a bit of cheer to her hometown of Mérida, Mexico, at the height of the pandemic, architect Aranza García and her friends Lorena Madahuar and Natalia Ramirez launched Chuch, a design studio that features home goods, furniture, lighting, and textiles made by local craftspeople.
The vibe of Chuch—Mayan for “cute”—may be playful, but the team is serious about honoring Mexican culture and everyday life. Block Table, made of hand-carved local stone topped with glass, is a riff on the ubiquitous DIY street-side cinder block and wood-slab tables where workers stop to eat lunch.
Other works, such as the candy-colored ceramic Barro sculptures that resemble oversize pieces of a favorite chewing gum, make use of a vibrant palette. “In Mexico, everything is colorful,” says García. “We did not want to do quiet design here.

Read the full Q&A with Aranza García and Natalia Ramirez below.
Hometown: Mérida & Oaxaca, Mexico
Describe what you make in 140 characters. Objects brought to life hand in hand with local artisans. Telling stories about the context that surrounds us both physically and virtually.
What’s the last thing you designed? A newspaper stool.
Do you have a daily creative ritual? Observe everyday life. Being present and observing what is going on around us. There is always a possibility to be inspired by what surrounds you and to create a new piece with that tells a story.  Our culture and Mexican context is really important for us.
How do you procrastinate? Watching Killing Eve.
What everyday object would you like to redesign? Why? A fridge—the silver color of fridges and their boring shape. Vintage fridges were prettier and more enthusiastic.
Who are your heroes (in design, in life, in both)? In life, our parents and in design, Gaetano Pesce, Luis Barragán, Lila Bo Bardi, Shiro Kuramata, and Mario Bellini.
What skill would you most like to learn? Organization.
What is your most treasured possession? Our studio Chuch.
What’s your earliest memory of an encounter with design? Aranza: My mom is an interior designer so I grew up in the scene. She loves modern design and I remember the first time I felt something with a chair—it was  the Eames lounge chair. Natalia: It happened through different experiences related to the context in which I grew up in Oaxaca. Textile and cultural traditions that exist in different areas of the state have been a source of inspiration for my creativity, constantly nurturing and influencing my inclination towards art and design.
What contemporary design trend do you despise? Mexican Wabi Sabi.
Finish this statement: All design should… be fun.
What’s in your dream house? Aranza: a Feltri chair by Gaetano Pesce.  Natalia: My dream house would be filled with Chuch pieces, full of color and fun object combinations. It would be a big space in order to accommodate my loved ones.
How can the design world be more inclusive? I think big platforms should give more visibility to Latin American artists. This creative work is closely related to a huge artisan community and is an opportunity for us to help our people due to the political and economic context we live in.
What do you wish non-designers understood about the design industry? The numerous hours of creative process behind the scenes to achieve the final result.

You can learn more about Chuch Estudio on their Instagram.
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