The Insights into a Crossover Design Studio with Héctor Esrawe

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Not doing things ‘by the book’ is definitely the mantra for Héctor Esrawe. And so far, it has proven very fruitful. His innovative designs and anti cookie cutter ideas propelled the opening of his own design studio even before graduating college. From the onset, Héctor Esrawe has received tremendous recognition and numerous awards for his true crossover design office. With many projects under his belt, he continues to spend his time developing furniture and creating interior design solutions for bars, restaurants, hotels, offices, residential and commercial spaces.

MiND Magazine uncovers the insightful views of Héctor Esrawe on the culture of Mexico City, his dynamic studio success, and his personal feelings on interior design in this one of a kind interview.


“Our philosophy is based in process and collaboration.”

Can you tell us a little about your design background? What inspired you to focus on and study Industrial Design?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: I’ve been working for the last 25 years designing furniture and interiors. Since I was young, I felt attracted to objects, how they were built and their mechanics. I also felt interested in how these objects are related to the space that contains them.


Right after college, you started to work independently. Why was this and what was the motivation behind starting your own studio?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: Actually, I started to work on a design studio two years before I finished college. There I understood how a design studio works and I decide to walk my own path. For sure the beginning was pretty rough and at that time in Mexico, there was no culture around the benefits and importance of a design process. I was really young when I started and I made a lot of mistakes!

What is the dynamic of your studio? How does your team work together?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: Our philosophy is based in process and collaboration. We work with many disciplines depending the type of project. Our team is used to working with other studios in many different typologies. Our methodology allows us to work for clients with a wide diversity of projects. In our team, we have industrial designers, architects, interior designers, graphic designers, engineers and administrators – besides the advisers and specialists for specific projects.

What has been some of your most significant projects to date?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: It is a hard question, since we have worked with different clients and every one of them with different typologies, but in order to give you an answer I will select three of them: Cielito Querido Cafe in collaboration with Ignacio Cadena, The museography for the exhibition Picasso-Duncan at the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico and the restaurant Tori Tori in collaboration with Michel Rojkind.

“A new generation of designers, who are more oriented, more mature, and more capable”

How do you see the design scene in Mexico? What are the benefits of working in Mexico City?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: There is a new generation of designers, who are more oriented, more mature, and more capable – with a lot of things to talk about. We have a rich culture and ancient and creative tradition.


The Casa Del Agua project is an extremely interesting concept. Can you tell us a little more about designing that project and what is was like, working with that brand?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: We were really excited about that project from the beginning. The concept of having rain water for drink collected on a roof top, Water “from the neighborhood to the neighborhood” – that idea dazzled us. The water is captured on the roof of the store, it goes through a filtration process and then re-mineralized and harmonized, it looks like alchemy and we wanted to reflect that on the interiors. We created (in collaboration with Ignacio Cadena) the interiors and the brand.

“The biggest mistake is to tell the clients what they want to hear.”

How does your studio so seamlessly combine furniture design and interior design? Why combine both crafts?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: Actually, it is an obsession, as I told you before. When I started to design furniture, I realized that it is completely linked to the interior. I can’t see them as two different things – the furniture has a natural relation with the space. I started to work, study and understand that relation which is why I became involved also into the interior design profession.


What do you think is the biggest mistake that interior designers make when designing a space or working with clients?

HÉCTOR ESRAWE: The biggest mistake is to tell the clients what they want to hear. We always tell our clients that we don’t work for them; we don’t do what they like. We do what the project needs, which is a completely different approach.