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Tanya Aguiñiga Sees Furniture A Little Differently Than Most

Tanya Aguiñiga (b.1978) is a Los Angeles based furniture designer/maker raised in Tijuana, Mexico. Tanya’s work is informed by border experiences: the interconnectedness of societies, the beauty in struggle and the celebration of culture. She uses furniture as a way to translate emotions into a three dimensional objects and tell stories trough color and touch. Her work encourages users to reconsider the objects they use on a daily basis by creating work that explores an objects’ unseen aspect, such as half chairs that rely on the wall to function and whose image is only complete as its shadow is cast upon the wall.

Hand-felted Folding Chairs:

The Lowrider stools:

The Modular Lounge:

She has also dedicated much of her time to using art as a vehicle for community empowerment. She has been a member of Border Art Workshop BAW/TAF, a bi-national artist collaborative for ten years. Through BAW/TAF she helped to build and run a community center in an impoverished area of Tijuana built on trash from the US. For the 6 years she worked there, she focused on bringing national and international attention to the community’s plight through arts only based programs.

The P Tree:

The Hole Table:

Seating trays:

In the US, she worked on diversifying audiences through arts education at the San Diego Museum of Art and at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum through outreach programs. She has also done a great deal of work for migrant rights through art installations across Mexico and the US.

The Embrace Lounge:

Tanya is now working on ways to combine furniture design and community activism. Her formal education includes a BA in Furniture Design from San Diego State University and an MFA in Furniture Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

The Moño Table:

She was recently awarded a prestigious United States Artists Fellowship and was named a USA Target Fellow in the field of Crafts and Traditional Arts. Her work has been exhibited from Mexico City to Milan and included in major international publications such as Wallpaper magazine and “Pure Design, Objects of Desire” published by Monsa Editions in Spain.

Above: A permanent installation of her work will be part of the new Children’s Museum of San Diego as a “Texture Forest” for toddlers, scheduled to open in May 2008.

See more at her website.

Contact the artist here.

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