MDF is a platform for collectors, gallery owners, designers, curators, and critics from all over the world. Its purpose for the Mexican design scene, is for it to be know and recognized internationally. The first edition of MDF took place on May 21 to 23, 2021 in Puerto Escondido, Oaxaca.


By: Lorenza Sierra
Photos: Gerardo Maldonado and Jaime Navarro

About a month ago, I received a call from Armando Quintana, inviting me to MDF, or Mexico Design Fair. A project in which not only Carlos, Ana, Grecia and Armando, have been working for more than two years, but which also has become a large part of all the conversations I have had with Armando and Carlos. It's nice to see that someone loves what he does, hence it's easy to trust a project that is motivated by so much passion.

Time flew by and the week of the fair arrived. I landed on Thursday at 3 pm in Puerto Escondido and met one of the fair's photographers, Gerardo Maldonado. He was sitting next to me, we where waiting for our ride to the event. We got off at Zicatela to eat some shrimp and fish tacos, afterwards Armando picked us up to go see the exhibition for the first time. Heat from hell -of course, Puerto Escondido in May-, dirt and almost an hour later we arrived at Puertecito where Casa Naila is located, designed by Alfonso Quiñones and official headquarters of MDF.

They could not have chosen a better venue for this event, due to the way in which natural light penetrated, which made the pieces stand out for their contrast with the concrete. The exhibited pieces were accommodated within the different rooms of the house. Among the ones that caught my attention the most where: the incredible luminaires by Paola Jose -inspired by her father, who was an orthopedic doctor- that shone just like Paola, the chairs by Perla Castañon and Edgar Orlaineta, the jugs by TANE and the yellow cabinet by Carlos Torre Hütt.

I can't say anything about MDF other than that it was a complete success. I think every person present was impressed with Projector's fireworks installation, at least for me, it left me with goosebumps. This was enhanced by Regina Pozo's great musical selection that made everyone dance, probably even Hector Rivero Borrell, who is part of the MDF 2021 jury that recognized Liliana Ovalle, as designer of the year.

I would dare to say that the guests could not have been happier despite the long journeys from Zicatela to Casa Naila and from Casa Naila to Hotel Escondido. The food served at the Quetzalcóatl Zurita and Shalxaly Macías fair could not be more delicious. The kindness of Hugo, who was in charge of the truck in which we moved, and the gratitude of all the guests, made me more than happy on my return trip to Mexico City.

The truth is I did not expect to find the people I met. As Javier Quesada, Editorial Director of L'Officiel, said: “at this design fair I have met a lot of WONDERFUL crazy people that I can already count among my friends forever and ever”. Among them Brendan Fernandes, Paola José, Evan Moffitt, Enrique Giner, plain Patrick, Ana Lucía González and many others.

I took a lot from this fair, it convinced me that design in Mexico has a long way to go, but it is on the rise and in the eye of the hurricane. It made me question many things, including the future of the media in our country. I don't think any of us who are part of this sector think differently, print media has changed radically and the content that is commonly consumed seems to be increasingly empty. But above all I agree with Javier, I met wonderful crazy people who made me go back to my childhood and feel like I was in a camp. Songs in the van, breakfast chilaquiles, pool, talks with lots of laughter, gossip, the impudence and unprofessionalism of three people that I am not going to mention and scenes that I would not miss for anything, like Javier speaking to Brendan 24/7 in Spanish, and Brendan without understanding a single word.

I could not be more grateful to all the organizers of the fair, especially to Carlos and Armando. They put their trust in me, and made me part of the organizing team for the weekend. I am sure that there is a great future for MDF, and that it will continue to bear fruit for Mexican design in the international stage.

See you in MDF 2022!