AD HOC: Traditional Mexican Heritage, Brilliant Contemporary Style
In 2014, Juan José Nemer and Mauricio Álvarez left their day jobs at Local de Arquitectura and launched AD HOC in Mexico City, with a mission of reforging the country’s long handmade artisan legacy.
“Our work conveys a sincere love for our country,” AD HOC writes. “We are trying to create a collaborative tribe, realizing that in Mexico what is lacking is unity among designers. We are aware that only by being united can a socially important change take place.”
Plastic products and industrial processes impacted the traditional economies of different Mexican communities, and AD HOC offers a return to form in its collaborations with craftspeople throughout the country. So far, that has taken shape in a variety of brilliantly designed tables, chairs and accessories, earning them the designation of Rising Talent at Maison&Objet Americas in 2016 and Best Furniture Design 2019 by Architectural Digest Mexico.
Though AD HOC is currently closed due to COVID-19, today we’re celebrating their output as Brand of the Day. Here is a brief tour of some highlights.
As AD HOC describes, for generations in Santa Ana Jilotzingo, craftspeople used zacatón, lechugilla and ixtle to create everyday objects. Their collaboration with Santa Ana Jilotzingo artisan Marco García Torres utilizes the materials in contemporary stools, tables and consoles. “In addition, these elements are combined with other materials, such as steel, raw iron sheets, brass and wood, to highlight the strong, imposing and, at the same time, aesthetic character of the pre-Hispanic cultures.”
To infuse these pieces with a strong tactile sense, AD HOC pays homage to the tradition of ornamental punched paper.
AD HOC partnered with Gilherme Wentz to create a line of mirrors from terrazzo and ceramic enamel steel—materials that were popular in mid-century Latin American design for their durability and cost-effectiveness.
Antelmo González hails from Santa María Rayón, and AD HOC’s eponymous collaboration with him employs a traditional cocoa whisk across a variety of applications. “Using new materials and in combination with a contemporary color palette, we attempted to renovate, revitalize and honor traditional manual activities in our country.”
A single, solid block of wood “is transformed into a beautiful piece with multiple moving detached parts, geometric shapes and color contrasts generated thanks to artisans’ great mastery and deep knowledge in the use of lathing tools.”
For these walnut pieces, Acambay craftsman Luis González hand-knits the rattan palm backs.
Images: AD HOC