Industrial Design at San Juan’s School of Visual Arts

El Nuevo Día recently published an article on professors of industrial design who teach at the School of Visual Arts in San Juan, Puerto Rico. In “Estamos diseñando diseñadores” [We are designing designers], Eileen Rivera Esquilín interviewed Marxz Rosado, Vladimir García, Alfredo Montalvo, and Iván Pérez. The article also featured works by industrial design students from their exhibition which closes on February 25.

Alfredo Montalvo, the chair of the department and one of its founders, along with Nelly Toledo, states that the program is “designing designers.” Artist and sculptor Marxz Rosado, states, “Industrial design is a profession, is an opportunity to develop furniture and [other] products. This is a great time for Puerto Rico and emerging artists from here [. . .]. We have the technical and conceptual capacity.” He adds that “Students are prepared to work with ceramics, wood, porcelain, plastic compounds, and metals. It is matter of personal taste, skills, or language that they acquire. Yes, we expect them to experiment with everything with all.”

Meanwhile, Vladimir García, an architect who teaches furniture design, explains that the pieces in the student exhibit are just a sampling of products made by students throughout the semester. “We see prototypes of innovative, creative, and elegant pieces. The students have created [objects ranging] from chairs and desks, to backpacks and board games.” He says that although wood is the most readily available material, they expect the students to be able to work with any material and not specialize in only one. Iván Pérez is in charge of digital design at various levels, leading the students from the planning and representation stage, to the construction of products.

The four instructors also work for Architecture for Humanity, which is dedicated to creating housing for people in need in cases of disasters. Pérez explains that you do not have to be an architect to participate; designers are sorely needed. “In the case of Haiti, after the earthquake that struck a little more than a month ago, wheelchairs are needed. We are creating a wheelchair accompanied by a practical manual for its construction.” To do this, they are communicating with doctors and local people to see what surplus materials they may have on hand for building the chairs.

For full article (in Spanish), see

Photo shows pieces by Carla Colón, Jonathan González, Jo Ángel Casanova, José Ralat, Tatiana Donate, and Glorivee Alicea.

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