Hector Esrawe Will Make You See Cardboard Differently

The prolific Mexican designer’s latest signature editions find beauty in the fragmented patterns of utilitarian cardboard.

Gear Cartela Light Sculpture and Side Tables. Photography by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco

Few are as dialed into the heritage of Mexican craftsmanship as Hector Esrawe, the industrial designer by training whose prolific talents extend to picturesque boutique hotels, limited-edition furniture, and even a beloved gallery in his home of Mexico City. His latest collection of signature editions is an ode to the rarefied master artisans who keep his country’s ancestral metalsmithing practices alive—and their ability to find beauty in the mundane. The Gear series of bronze sculptures mimic the geometry and repeating sequences of utilitarian cardboard’s honeycomb cells but are rendered in a lustrous material that presents the jagged patterns in an entirely new light. “I’m often drawn to overlooked materials, finding an interesting and intrinsic beauty in what’s often discarded,” Esrawe says. “I feel compelled by simple shapes and expressions, repurposing them into objects of new meaning.”

Encompassing side tables, freestanding lighting sculptures, and a cocktail table resembling haphazardly stacked metal rings, Gear also gives Esrawe room to experiment and get his hands dirty. To form the side patterns, he renders a fragmented and rearranged sequence that’s hand-formed and then cast in bronze or aluminum. “Within these materials, I find a trove of hidden possibilities, rethinking their nature or their personality to create objects of purpose,” he says. “My country is an endless source of inspiration and it provides the means for creation.” Catch them on view at Les Ateliers Courbet alongside his large-scale brass luminaires that resemble parabolic ribbons.

Gear Side Tables. Photography by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco
Gear Coffee Table. Photography by Alejandro Ramirez Orozco

“Héctor Esrawe: Transmutation” will be on view at Les Ateliers Courbet (134 10th Ave, New York) until April 25.

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