First Symposium of Tropical Design at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art

The 1st Symposium of Tropical Design [Simposio Internacional de Diseño Tropical] will take place on December 10-12 at the Puerto Rico Museum of Art (MAPR) at 229 De Diego Avenue in Santurce, Puerto Rico.

The symposium will spur a theoretical discussion on what constitutes tropical design. Roberto Lucena, president of the School of Designers and Interior Decorators of Puerto Rico (CODDI), explains that, “Part of the creation of this symposium was the need for a definition,” adding that no one had articulated what tropical design means and encompasses.

There will be panels and workshops directed by well-known designers— Roberto Feo (Spain), Stephen Burks (United States), Marva Griffin (Venezuela/Italy), Nathaniel Fúster (Puerto Rico), and Tony Moxham (Mexico)— who will bring the discussions full circle from theory to practice.

Roberto Feo, who studied sociology and social anthropology at the Complutense University of Madrid and holds an MA in Furniture Design from the Royal College of Art in London, emphasizes the role of culture in the designs: “Our work has always reflected an interest in the role of objects in our lives.” Speaking of how our interpretations of the world are translated into the development of objects, he adds that “this research leads us to approach design as a core activity in the development of our culture.” Considering how design applies to the island, Feo explains that it must respond to the needs and cultural practices of people.

For schedule, tickets, and more information, you may call (787) 754-8304 ot see

For full article (in Spanish), photo of design by Roberto Feo and Rosario Hurtado (El Último Grito), see

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