Christian Vivanco is a Mexican Designer who is renowned in the sphere of designing home accessories, lighting and furnishings for his customized daily-use products, whose concepts thrive on a functionality-based design by deeply analyzing the relationship between the product and society. This designer’s principles of practice are based on strengthening permaculture culture, revalorizing principles, local customs and values on an international platform, encouraging authenticity and cultural inclusion. Taking forward his principles, he knits his work closely with the local artisans and companies to produce products focused on functionality based on an anthropological approach. Vivanco gained fame when he became the first Latin American designer to be included in the Wallpaper magazine’s 2009 Graduate Directory of emerging young designers for his humorous approach to designing his products. Ever since, his work has been exhibited in global design capitals such as Milan, Paris, Tokyo, Barcelona and New York. This article describes some of Christian Vivanco’s creations in each of the disciplines of lighting and furnishings, respectively.

1. Lighting: Beam Table Lamp

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Beam Table Lamp_ ©designboom.com

The design of this small table lamp calls attention to its smooth rounded edges, which makes it ideally fit to be held by its user, throwing light on its materiality and mobility aspects. The designer has dealt with an interesting interplay of contrasting materials of scrap solid pine and highly saturated sheets of thermoformed MMA, merging these opaque and translucent materials to create alternate surfaces and profiles.

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Components of the beam lamp_ ©designboom.com
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Design diagram by Vivanco_ ©designboom.com

2. Lighting: Algae

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Algae by Vivanco_ ©blogspot.com

‘Algae’ is a suspension light model which was inspired by the seaweed and coral reef of the Mexican Caribbean. The fixture presents itself differently depending on the angle at which it is viewed, depicting the vivid colours and constant movement of algae underwater. The fluorescent light tube is wrapped with coloured and clear frosted acrylic sheets, respectively, producing diffused light.

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Bulb covered with double layers of acrylic sheets_ ©home-reviews.com
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Use of Algae on a table top_ ©blogspot.com

3. Lighting: Lighthouse Series

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Lighthouse_ ©design-milk.com

The translucent Perspex shades sitting on oak batons supported on laser-cut metal bases, which follow the rectangular shape of the shades, briefly describe the ‘Lighthouse’ series of lamps designed by Christian Vivanco.

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Lighthouse wall light_ ©design-milk.com
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Sketches of Lighthouse Series by Vivanco_ ©design-milk.com

4. Lighting: Alux

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Alux_ ©design-milk.com

This product is a combination of a lamp and table ideal for bedside and draws inspiration from a creature from Mayan mythology, similar to a goblin or a naughty elf named ‘Alux’.  

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The form of Alux inspired from the elf-like creature_ ©design-milk.com
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Use of Alux at bedside_ ©design-milk.com

5. Lighting: Mute Series

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Mute_ ©design-milk.com

Inspired by old medicine glass bottles, this Mute series of pendant lamps are available in different lengths. The lampshade is made out of aluminium which takes the shape of the halogen reflector that it covers, giving it an elegant appearance.

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Concept of mute inspired by glass bottles_ ©design-milk.com
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Aluminium shade of Mute_ ©design-milk.com

6. Lighting: Oblique Series

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Oblique_ ©architonic.com

Oblique can be described as a series of spotlights that resembles an inverted T and inclined swivel in form. These fixtures can be characterized by their oblique angle movements rather than the usual right-angled ones, making the direction of the spotlight more effective.

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Oblique_ ©architonic.com
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Swivelling Oblique fixture_ ©architonic.com

7. Lighting: Las Gordas

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Las Gordas by Vivanco_ ©design-milk.com

This lamp series signifies the reuse of available materials rather than creating new objects by using a combination of a plastic colander base and a translucent shade.

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Elevation of the lamp_ ©design-milk.com

8. Furniture: Felix

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Felix Chair_ ©design-milk.com

This creation of Christian Vivanco presents an armchair with two interconnected arches made of tubular steel forming a pergola, which serves to be an ideal fit for both interior and exterior spaces. It helps the user to carve a niche for themselves, giving sufficient visibility while also respecting privacy. The design, greatly inspired by the early architectural language of Mexico characterized by paraboloid structures and arches, gives the armchair a touch of classical identity while retaining its contemporary nature. Such products set a thorough example of how the concept is not just ornamental but is also functional.

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The two interconnected arches forming a pergola_ ©fubiz.com
Felix giving the user a bubble of privacy and visibility_ ©archidea.com.ua

9. Furniture: Las Nenas- a collection of chairs reflecting the cultural traditions of Mexico

Las Nenas is a collection of three Eames chairs, namely ‘the dance’, which draws its concept from the headdress used during the annual festival of Guelaguetzna in Mexico; ‘the mule’, which is a representation of the historical use of animals as a means of transport and ‘the piñata’, which bases its appearance on the piñata itself that is used in all the traditional celebrations of Mexico.

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The dance_ ©emilyforgot.blogspot.come
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Headdress used in Guelaguetzna festival in Mexico_ ©designboom.com
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The mule_ ©emilyforgot.blogspot.com
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The pinata_ ©designboom.com

10. Furniture: Guaymas

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The Guaymas Collection_ ©glocal.mx

This collection got its name after the coastal town of Guaymas in Mexico on the Sea of Cortez, describing the vibes set forth by the furniture.

Its low and relaxed proportions invite you to rest and take things easy“- Christian Vivanco

The nickel-plated steel outdoor furniture collection comprises an armchair, two lounge chairs and a table, each resting low to the ground and upholstered with net-like waterproof synthetic fabric suitable for outdoors.

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Patio furniture with a shade_ ©blog-espiritdesign.com
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Image of the Armchair showing net-like upholstery_ ©blog-espiritdesign.com

11. Furniture: Our Little White Sofa

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Our Little White Sofa_ ©blogspot.com

The main feature of this steel wire-framed sofa is its duality of use in both interior and exterior spaces with satisfying function and form.

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The steel wire-frame structure on which the couch is supported_ ©dezeen.com
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Side Elevation of the sofa_ ©dezeen.com

12. Furniture: From a lost City

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From a lost City_ ©designboom.com

The concept of this work desk cum storage unit is metaphorically compared to the informal architecture of shantytowns, using mixed materials such as OSB (oriented strand board), bamboo and polycarbonate. The designer intended to portray the simple, joy-filled life experiences of people in these towns.

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Components of the multifunctional unit_ ©designboom.com
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Conceptual diagram of the product inspired by the shantytowns_ ©designboom.com

13. Furniture: The Grass is always greener on the other side of the Fence

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The Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence_ ©inventorspot.com

The concept of this sofa is based on picket fences with the capability of being convertible to a daybed.

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The Grass is always greener on the other side of the fence_ ©inventorspot.com
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Rear View of the product_ ©inventorspot.com

14. Furniture: La Norestense

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La Norestense_ ©gessato.com

This traditional metal rocking chair of Mexico City is a symbol of community and expresses the need for human interaction, with a slight appearance change over the years that reflects the development of the community.

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La Norestense_ ©gessato.com
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La Norestense_ ©gessato.com

15. Furniture: Bajio

This collection of handmade rattan furniture made with traditional techniques employing local artisans draws inspiration from the memories of a ‘home’ and comprises chairs, tables and other products portraying local and traditional values. Transparency, lightness and simplicity form the basis of this series.

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Armchair from Bajio Collection_ ©ambientesdigital.com
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Suspended Hammock from Bajio Collection_ ©filiusdesign.com
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Barstool from Bajio Collection_ ©designboom.com

References:

  1. designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2011. christian vivanco: beam table lamp. [online] Available at: <https://www.designboom.com/design/christian-vivanco-beam-table-lamp/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  2. designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2010. christian vivanco: algae. [online] Available at: <https://www.designboom.com/design/christian-vivanco-algae/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  3. Vivanco, C. and Chaya, L., 2017. christian vivanco and los patrones design an armchair with a built-in pergola. [online] designboom | architecture & design magazine. Available at: <https://www.designboom.com/design/christian-vivanco-los-patrones-felix-armchair-10-09-2017/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  4. designboom | architecture & design magazine. 2011. christian vivanco: las nenas chairs. [online] Available at: <https://www.designboom.com/design/christian-vivanco-las-nenas-chairs/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  5. Anastasiadi, A., 2010. Lighthouse by Christian Vivanco. [online] dezeen. Available at: <https://www.dezeen.com/2010/02/26/lighthouse-by-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  6. Klein, K., 2019. Christian Vivanco designs patio furniture with simple sillhouettes. [online] dezeen. Available at: <https://www.dezeen.com/2019/10/24/guaymas-christian-vivanco-outdoor-furniture/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  7. Krzykowski, M., 2008. Our Little White Sofa by Christian Vivanco. [online] dezeen. Available at: <https://www.dezeen.com/2008/09/14/our-little-white-sofa-by-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  8. Etherington, R., 2009. From a lost City by Christian Vivanco. [online] dezeen. Available at: <https://www.dezeen.com/2009/03/07/from-a-lost-city-by-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  9. Warmann, C., 2010. The Grass is always Greener on the Other Side of the Fence by Christian Vivanco. [online] dezeen. Available at: <https://www.dezeen.com/2010/06/06/the-grass-is-always-greener-on-the-other-side-of-the-fence-by-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  10. Architonic.com. n.d. Oblique C1 Ceiling & designer furniture | Architonic. [online] Available at: <https://www.architonic.com/en/product/luz-difusion-oblique-c1-ceiling/1142709> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  11. Derringer, J., 2010. Mute by Christian Vivanco. [online] Design Milk. Available at: <https://design-milk.com/mute-by-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  12. Vivanco, C. and Katsikopoulou, M., 2020. balsa & vivanco create rattan furniture collection influenced by mexican tradition. [online] designboom | architecture & design magazine. Available at: <https://www.designboom.com/design/balsa-vivanco-rattan-furniture-mexican-tradition-10-12-2020/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  13. Williamson, C., 2011. Las Gordas by Christian Vivanco. [online] Design Milk. Available at: <https://design-milk.com/las-gordas-by-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  14. Derringer, J., 2010. Alux by Christian Vivanco. [online] Design Milk. Available at: <https://design-milk.com/alux-by-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  15. Gessato.com. n.d. La Norestense Chair by Christian Vivanco. [online] Available at: <https://www.gessato.com/la-norestense-chair-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  16. Christianvivanco.com. n.d. Christian Vivanco – Designer based in Mexico City. [online] Available at: <https://christianvivanco.com/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
  17. DESIGNAHOLIC. n.d. 3 años de adicción al diseño: Christian Vivanco – DESIGNAHOLIC. [online] Available at: <http://designaholic.mx/diseno/diseno-en-mexico/3-anos-de-adiccion-al-diseno-christian-vivanco/> [Accessed 3 April 2022].
Author

An architecture student who believes that any space can be turned into a lively environment only when it caters to its user’s needs and is extremely passionate about walking the cities on its journey in becoming sustainable and inclusive for its people.

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