A conversation with designer and artist Rebeca Méndez and Christina De León, Associate Curator of Latino Design at Cooper Hewitt focuses on the process of organizing the installation Rebeca Méndez Selects, an exploration on humanity’s complex relationship with the natural world and our ties with other species. The exhibition is framed by the Spanish accounts of Moctezuma’s extensive private aviary housed in Tenochtitlan, which contained thousands of birds from across the Americas. Included in the exhibition is a selection of bird specimens from the National Museum of Natural History alongside objects from Cooper Hewitt’s collection spanning multiple centuries.
Founder of Rebeca Méndez Design in 1996, Méndez dedicates at least half of her design work to pro bono and social causes. A multidisciplinary designer and artist, Méndez also founded Counterforce Lab, a research and fieldwork studio at UCLA using art and design to develop and execute projects addressing climate change. Méndez is the recipient of Cooper Hewitt’s 2012 National Design Award in Communication Design.
Rebeca Méndez Selects is made possible by the Marks Family Foundation Endowment Fund and received federal support from the Latino Initiatives Pool, administered by the Smithsonian Latino Center.