This Mexico City–Based Designer Just Wants His Furniture and Interiors to Make You Feel Something
When I ask the Mexico City-based designer Andrés Gutiérrez what he hopes to achieve in his work, his answer, to be honest, makes me a bit emotional: “To make people feel something… If someone has a good time, or a better day in one of the spaces I helped to design, it’s all worth it.” How could you not catch feelings? Peppering his delightfully sensory portfolio are expanses of highly saturated tiled surfaces, an interior splashed in a hue best described as ube, and oversized wooden furniture with deliciously smooth knobs begging to be touched.
Gutiérrez, who founded A-G Studio in 2012, fluctuates between interior design, furniture design, and art/objects. Right now, he’s working on a boutique hotel in Taxco, an ice cream shop in Mexico City, and a handful of lucky apartments in Oaxaca — not to mention the furniture collection we’re featuring here today, called Los Trece Cielos. In other words, Gutiérrez is busy crafting a world all his own, embracing variability. Through it all, he looks to the world around him for inspiration: “I generally get inspiration from everyday life… I’m a spectator. That’s what nurtures my creativity. I always try to stay receptive.” While he tells me he doesn’t feel married to a particular philosophy or trend, he identifies a common thread: “Most of the stuff I’m designing relates to the human understanding of our own existence and our connection with the universe.”
Each of Gutiérrez’s projects begins with extensive research, specifically into the history of a space as well as personal stories gathered from his clients. Whenever possible, he avoids convention and embraces polarity. A favorite project, Hotel Casa Hoyos in San Miguel de Allende — now one of the most recognized design hotels in Mexico, reflects this effort. “The main goal was to recreate a classic Spanish colonial manor with contemporary details. I didn’t want to settle for reinterpreting a style,” he says. Gutiérrez also worked to weave in aspects of the Hoyos family — its deep matriarchal system — as well as the past life of the house as the town’s seed and grain store. The result is an authentic yet surprising space that conveys the unique magical language of San Miguel de Allende.
Gutiérrez’s new furniture line, Los Trece Cielos, is an exploration of the Mexican worldview — or cosmovisión, which just captures it better. The collection, constructed from solid white oak, has the type of scale that feels almost sentient, calling to mind creatures of a pre-Colombian impulse. His “Gabinete Coatlicue,” a striking cabinet standing more than six feet tall, depicts the Aztec earth goddess who is a symbol of the earth as both creator and destroyer. “El jaguarcito” — a credenza — feels ready to pounce.
Though Gutiérrez promises he’s a very responsible person, he tells me he has a rebellious streak: “I love breaking rules — unravelling what we seem to know, decontextualizing materials, and changing narratives.” We are ready to see where the story goes next.