MARCELA COMPEAN of DOSCUARENTA
Originally from and now working out of CDMX, Marcela is the creative behind Doscuarenta - a multidisciplinary design studio doing some exceptional work. Leading a mixed group of designers to manifest spaces that evoke elevated experiences, Marcela boasts 15+ years of professional experience in both Interior Architecture and Industrial Design. She has resolved to explore the Intersection of Industrial Design and Interior Architecture through a heightened level of detail and a keen sense of creative expression. Marcella spent her formative years in Chicago and working in Paris but always longed to come back to Mexico to work professionally.
Her approach blends the fundamentals with Parisian romance, rigid line, and a unique POV on the form, pulling from all of the places she’s traveled and worked professionally. After years of working as an Interior Architect, there was an intentional pivot for a dive deeper into Industrial Design. Marcela was in search of a renewed approach to conceptual design. Finding architecture was too technically limited, this pivot allowed her to apprentice under Hector Esrawe during a period of time described as - “ when I learned how to design.” It felt natural and Marcela found freedom functioning in what she loved to do, pushing the intersection of objects & space.
Today, leading the charge at Doscuarenta, Marcela is endeavoring a variety of hybrid projects, private residences, public spaces, and restaurants that all blend Interior Architecture + Furniture design methods. You’ll find Doscuarenta’s work spread throughout Mexico from the remote Northern Mexican coastlines to the Western edges of Mexico City.
“We never get bored, there’s no copy & paste, we’re unpacking materiality form and discovery as a flowing & evolving journey.”
Marcela describes her process as an ever-evolving creative and conceptual journey, and she’s just along for the ride, recalling the formally trained technical aptitude whenever called for. We’re so excited to share Marcela’s OBJECT story, for a quick dive into her day-to-day, and some notes on embracing a natural flow. We’re looking forward to the impact Doscuarenta will undoubtedly have in the coming months & years.
Eucalyptus Tables - Diseño Mobiliario Colección 2022
I'm pretty detached from objects and this question posed a challenge for me. I don't have something super precious that comes to mind and I've moved so many times that I've learned to not get so attached to things, to people yes, but things not so much. For this prompt, I’d like to use the two tables I've designed that are part of my new RAW collection. The design of these objects and the objects have unlocked a new meaning for me.
They have a sure function but what’s more, they have a conceptually driven intention. They are part of a residential project that was getting to be technically overwhelming and focusing on these gave my mind a place to reprogram - from that point the project sort of just flowed from out from the tables. They are simple organic structures and have become increasingly meaningful throughout the process of their creation. Flowing forms that undulate naturally intersect each other. I've learned to be flexible with people, the process, and the material itself. Remaining honest and impartial. I focused on the material A LOT for these.
The wood is from the Eucalyptus tree and I embraced the perfect imperfections. It’s a hard and rough material salvaged raw from the rainforest. It offers, a beautiful deep and rich brown color with little linear marble light & dark undertones uncovered as you start to work the material. It took a lot of work to get rounded shapes out of this material, it’s rigid and unforgiving. Striations appear around the curves - and you learn to let things happen where the curves happen.
These tables are part of the larger RAW collection, they inspired the entire collection. The notion was to embrace the natural properties of raw elements and learn to work with them, using methods performed by hand. There are erosions, and irregularities nothing's perfect, and we're working with the challenges seeking simplicity. It yields an honest and emotional form that just flows.
A huge lesson emerged and not just for creation, but for life - If you let it go a little bit everything comes back together in the way it’s meant to.
Tell us about a time it was hard to be yourself, or when being yourself led to a breakthrough?
This too was a challenging question and it’s hard to cite a specific instance. This is challenged on a daily basis when you work in a collaborative context, and If I'm being honest I haven't mastered this yet. Especially navigating the ins and outs of client management as a creative.
I'm very direct and not always “pc”, It can be difficult for others, with each of us having to manage expectations and find the threshold of when & where to push back. Sympathetic to the fact that I'm operating a paid service I still have to find a balance between client opinions and holding the line creatively.
Being yourself means trusting yourself. This harkens back to embracing what’s natural. When I'm not forcing anything I'm more comfortable and I find people respect this - it’s mutual respect and it lets working together just flow. When I'm overly concerned about opinions, saying or doing the wrong thing, or trying to appease opposing tastes, it’s unnatural - the project suffers and it’s not the way to go. Stay True - to the work - to communication - listen and learn - But remain true to your soul, respecting others while trusting yourself.
WHAT’S SOMETHING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT MARCELA THAT YOU’D WANT EVERYONE TO HEAR?
Again, I’m not sure I have the right response to this question. In my professional day-to-day, I’m outspoken and I’m always in a social mode to captivate through a variety of tools for project success. My clients and teams see an inspiring socialite and this helps both myself & them fall in love with the soul of our projects. But, I’m fairly introverted and I don’t desire the spotlight. I prefer reflective time alone and intimate 1x1 conversations. The times I enjoy most are by myself at home with my dog Louis. It’s of the little moments that matter, the everyday delights at home.
I’m a loner and a homebody, so retreats to my sanctuary are most valued. Second, to this, I take pleasure in traveling alone. Have that chance to be open and meet new people along the way. I get immersed in new and changing contexts. Especially retreats to nature to get energized taking in the simple wonders like a beautiful sunset with all of the dancing reflections in the water.
Marcela Compeán is a Mexican born, Industrial Design graduate from Universidad Anáhuac in Mexico City, with a postgraduate degree in Space Design and Product Design from Creápole École du Design in Paris. With more than 15 years of experience in residential, commercial and hotel projects she designs from a creative concept developing it to its maximum expression. (Insert about text here)
As DOSCUARENTA’s Creative Director, she leads a team dedicated to the highest level of detail to exceed expectations and tell stories through every design. With creativity and discipline, she transforms every project and creates a lifestyle.