How can we positively affect our local environments by designing with readily available materials that are representative of — and in symbiosis with — the specific places we live?

We need to rethink how we manufacture and transport materials and products around the world. The recent pandemic has highlighted flaws in our global supply chain. The ongoing climate emergency has revealed further issues with the way we manufacture and transport materials and products around the world. There is an urgent need for design to prioritise the application of abundant biomaterials unique to their regions.

Who are they looking for?

Our friends SPACE10, a Copenhagen-based research & design lab supported by IKEA, have teamed up with Ma-tt-er to host a six-week residency for up to five designers based in Mexico from 28 February to 9 April 2022. Applications are now open and the deadline is 3 February 2022. Through design research and experimentation, residents will build upon their existing knowledge to identify and investigate possibilities for a local biomaterial of their own choice. They could be naturally occurring or reinvented uses for waste in a manner that makes sense for the local environment. Could the by-product of tequila production, the Sargassum seaweed piling up on the shores, or corn husk become tomorrow’s materials?

Photo — Niklas Adrian Vindelev

SPACE10 is looking for designers with proven industry experience in one or more of the following fields: product design, material design, material research or science, storytelling through materials who challenge the status quo. Residents will be awarded a freelance contract with a honorarium of €4,000 in total per resident/team for a period of six weeks. As well as a tools and materials budget of up to €2,000 — dependent on project scope, to be decided with SPACE10 facilitators.

SPACE10 in Mexico City

This exciting residency will be in conjunction with SPACE10’s own two-week open pop-up in Mexico City at LOOT, an exhibition space in Roma Norte. They will be using this opportunity to create a platform to gather diverse perspectives through talks, exhibitions, and events surrounding the theme ‘Beyond Human-Centered Design’. This includes interactive experiences, hackathons, and art installations that will help rethink and reimagine how design and technology can build better conditions for a more desirable future.

Members of the residency will then get to conclude SPACE10’s pop-up with a presentation of physical prototypes that will hopefully have been developed, showcasing the future vision and potential local impact of the selected material. There will also be an opportunity for residents with outstanding projects to extend their residency by a month.

All residents will also participate in weekly digital sessions with SPACE10, and receive mentorship and guidance from the amazing material translator Seetal Solanki from Ma-tt-er for the duration of the residency, as well as access to relevant Space10 members.

To SPACE10 & beyond

Beyond the two-week pop-up in Mexico City, SPACE10 is currently conducting on-ground research in Latin America surrounding the essentials for a better everyday life as well as working with new partners and collaborators. Over the years, SPACE10 has popped up in cities including New York, London, Shanghai, Nairobi, and most recently Delhi. The Mexico City pop-up will serve as a platform to bring people together, as well as a place to challenge ideas, learn, and through conversations, together unfold new design approaches that can help solve real problems with real people.

The pop-up will be open from March 26, 2022 until April 9, 2022, with daily programming at LOOT, located at Guanajuato 227, Roma Nte. For more information on the program, please visit To apply for the residency, please visit