American Design Hot List 2019
New York, blacktablestudio.com
Colombian-born, Pratt-educated architect Carlos Meza founded Blacktable in 2013, partly as a fabrication studio and partly as an outlet for his furniture practice, which marries digital manufacturing technologies with handicraft to create wooden tables and cabinets with impossibly smooth curves.
What is American design to you, and what excites you about it?
American design is dynamic, adventurous, and always ready to explore and incorporate emergent technologies, materials, and fabrication processes. I’m excited about the advancements in 3-D printing, industrial robots, and bio materials, just to name a few. I like how designers here usually borrow from other leading industries like the aerospace, auto, and film industries. This generates trends that constantly call for new languages and mediums.
What are your plans and highlights for the upcoming year?
I’m looking forward to opening a new shop in the summer. I’ll be incorporating new robotic technologies and expanding the tools that allow me to further my exploration of fabrication techniques and processing materials, deepening my design practice. You’ll see more work from me in concrete tangled with wood, and other composite materials.
What inspires or informs your work in general?
As an architect, my work is mostly influenced by building techniques like wooden frame houses, brick construction, and concrete used in Brutalist architecture. Usually my design process is driven by my understanding of all the material’s qualities and constraints, and how these can be transformed, incorporating digital and analog technologies like design software and CNC machines. My design work is always centered around the expression of materials in response to functionality and an instinctual expression of shapes, proportions, symmetry, textures, and color. A great example of this is the Villanueva Public library, located in Colombia and built in 2009.
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