Piazza Activation Initiative
Los Trompos (“Spinning Tops”) was co-curated by Sarah Schleuning, curator of decorative arts and design, and Virginia Shearer, the Eleanor McDonald Storza director of education. The High’s piazza activation initiative was launched to explore how engagement with art and design can extend beyond the museum’s walls through dynamic installations, enlivened by a variety of programs, art-making activities and other interactive features.
On view July 18 through Nov. 30, 2014, Mi Casa, Your Casa featured 36 three-dimensional, vibrant red frames shaped like houses installed in a large grid on the piazza. Hammocks and swings offered daytime leisure and recreation options, and the High also worked with local arts organizations and Woodruff Arts Center partners to present live performances and art-making activities in the houses. This pilot project was enjoyed by more than 100,000 visitors.
Originally planned as a two-year project, the Piazza activation program was extended through 2017 with funding from a grant to the Woodruff Arts Center from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation.
Designers in Residence
Two of the leading designers in Mexico today, Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena currently serve as designers-in-residence for the High Museum of Art. More than five years ago, they established their interdisciplinary design firm E+C. Esrawe is an award-winning industrial designer as well as a celebrated furniture, interior and product designer. Inspired by traditional Latin American design, architecture and folk art, Esrawe’s works are playful, sometimes humorous, and organic. Winner of the Bienal Iberoamericana de Diseño (2010) in the Interior Design Spaces category, Esrawe designed glassware for Nouvel Studio, with products available at Barneys New York, Saks Fifth Avenue and the Walker Art Center. Like Esrawe, Cadena also is creative director of his own firm, Cadena+Asoc. Branding. Cadena’s collaborative designs explore the boundaries between art and science. Cadena has said of design that it “is not a luxury anymore, it is a necessity. Everything around us is design and should revolve around the direct and aesthetic benefit of humans and planet earth.” To this end, his designs focus on visual concepts influenced by the world around us.