Wednesday, April 04, 2007


It's like when you are taking a shower: suddenly, the phone rings (both your cell and your landline), the teapot starts to boil and whistle, 3 Jehovah's whitenesses knock on on your door, and you hear something crashing in your living room, probably the dog teared down something! Well, this week was something like that. First we had Antonio's visit, I was (or I am still) renovating our bathroom, then Roberto invited me to teach a summer course at ITESM, and my business partner Raul needed a file for a large print display to put at his office with our standers, and last but not least... I drove all around Auckland to find upholstery fabric for our new prototype (with no luck finding it). Let's see one at the time:

After his conference at UoA, Antonio went on a short trip to Rotorua and Taupo, unfortunately, those days rained like a deluge! In fact, many regions on the north island were flooded, and people on the motorways stayed on high grounds inside their cars like they were on small islands. Luckily, he came back OK and he stayed at our couch for a couple of hours before taking his next plane to Australia at 5 am!

The bathroom: Well, before we moved in, the landlady hired some cheap painters to do a quick make over and paint some bits. They used the cheapest and diluted water based paint. After just a few months we started to notice some stains below that paint. For a while we kept that mould under control, but that awful paint needed to be scratched down and repainted. So, I started about a month ago... not every day of course. First take down the old paint, then plaster, and new oil based paint. It was very hard to find oil based enamel with matt finish, I didn't want our bathroom to look like a shopping mall bathroom with glossy walls. Anyway, I am almost done with my little DIY project, and I must say that is looking good.

Here the good news: I talked with Roberto Iniguez (Head of Industrial Design Department) and it seems that we have green light with the summer course at ITESM Guadalajara. I'll be teaching a short design workshop during June. The project is quite interesting. A few weeks back, they (ITESM, DIF and the local council) opened a "sustainable" community centre in Guadalajara. This is the first of many centers that will be opened in 15 states in Mexico. The centers have small business incubators and will be also offering micro-credits, e-learning facilities for high school and some tertiary degrees, and health (therapy) clinics. The idea is to design and build a multisensory room (snoezelen) during that 5 weeks summer workshop. This is going to be interesting! I am really excited about this project. I am not familiar with psychological therapies, so it's going to be a learning experience for me too.

Then... the display at Plaza Galerias. Despite the time (or day) difference between Mexico and New Zealand, it's incredible to work "in sync" from the other side of the world: I was chatting with Raul, he needed some high resolution pics to print some banners because we was preparing the window display of our products. I already had the large prints for the trade show, so I told him we could use them to print a large fabric panel. He contacted the printers in Ciudad Guzman (it was 8pm in Mexico) while I was still on the other side on the chat (it was 2 pm in New Zealand)... so, we agreed that I was going to prepare the images, send them via ftp overnight, so they could print them early the next day and send them via courrier, so that Raul could have the display on saturday. It almost worked... the courrier had the package in Guadalajara on saturday, but they didn't deliver it until monday. Today, finally, Raul mounted the display at his office in Plaza Galerias. Galerias is a big mall, and he says that many people already started asking about the standers. I am so glad to finally see them displayed.

And last but not least: My quest in the "search of the unavailable fabric". I already have most of the pieces of the new prototype... except for the upholstery fabric. Of course that I want something with similar bright colours like the previous stander... but it's impossible to find a fabric like that here in NZ. It's a cultural issue, here upholstery fabrics have "serious" colours: grey, beige, brown, dark green, etc. Nobody would put a "sponge bob yellow" on their lounge couch! In Mexico, that wouldn't be strange at all. I mean, we just heard Antonio speak about Luis Barragan and his use of the typical mexican bright colours on some of his most notorious buildings. Anyway, I went to most of the retailers listed on the yellow pages, one by one... except for one in Mount Wellington that has recently moved out, I drove all the way there, and there's no sign that says if they closed permanenty, they are just renovating, or of they moved somewhere else. All I could find in bright colours was a woven "petate" made out of "mecate" (dried maguey rope). Problem is, that it is quite hairy... it leaves out a lot of hairs... it should be called "Donald Trump Fabric" or something like that. Anyway, it seems that I have no other option but to use that petate, just to finish the prototype. In just a couple of months we will be manufacturing the real deal in Mexico with the actual fabric anyway.

Bookmark and Share


Post a Comment

<< Home