This marks a historic departure for the country considering that 'Chilean Design' was the first official exhibition of Chile to debut in Italy. Paying homage to South America's vivacious and eclectic natural landscape, the designers drew on local and traditional materials such as Chile's native wood and copper. The Andes House studio utilize natural fibers produced by Chimbarongo artisans whilst the Bravo! studio focus on reviving traditional Chilean carpentry methods. This imitation of the natural favours strong elementary shapes and a play between traditional craftsmanship and technology. The aesthetics of the work are uncompromising, strong and command the space around them. Curator and designer Hernan Garfias writes,
As a new generation consolidating a local and yet global way of doing design, their assumed simplicity and humility reveal a strong conviction of being on a meaningful path of experiences, guided by the audacity to innovate from one's own self, as a country and a continent.
The plethora of designs ranged from functional pieces to more abstract, daring and speculative works. The eight showcased studios were: Bravo!, Juan Pablo Fuentes, gt2P, Macarena Pollock, Pro2, Si Studio, Jaim Telias and The Andes House.
Prominent pieces included designer Macarena Pollock's 'Gorgiera' - an intricate but practical fruit container made out of recyclable and water resistant Yupo paper. The container is inspired by the ruffled necks found in Renaissance clothing. Placed inside the durable yet elegant container is a cactus fruit from Valle del Elqui. Commenting on her work Pollack says, "At the moment, especially in design, there's a huge emphasis on re-using, recycling, renovating, and trying to make as much of a difference as possible with that."
Another notable piece is Veronica Posada's 'Ciao Vicino' collection. Posada introduces a experimental and comic touch to her work by cutting everyday objects down the middle. The wry humor infused in her work aims to ignite a dialogue between people and to make her work something to be shared and enjoyed.
That this exhibition is supported by arts and culture bodies of the Chilean government indicates an exciting future for South American design.