Clara Porset, pioneer of furniture design

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The international architect and designer Clara Porset left an important legacy which has been resumed for two decades in the award that recognizes the talent of Mexican designers.

Its about Clara Porse Awardt, which this 2023 reached its 20th edition and whose cThe call is launched jointly by the National Autonomous University of Mexico, through the Faculty of Architecture, and the Industrial Design Research Center. Its objective is to recognize, make visible, promote and enhance the talent of Mexican designers, in compliance with the Clara Porset Dumas' commitment to supporting students of Industrial Design and related careers.

In the formulation of this year's call A group of prominent designers from the country participated with the intention of achieving a more inclusive approach and providing opportunities for participation by university students from all over the Republic, says Ana Paula García y Colomé, industrial design researcher at UNAM and consultant in service design and user experience.

The specialist declared to MILENIO that The challenge facing the award is that design is evolving beyond a utilitarian object and is present in all areas of life. For this reason, the award has included six categories, each of them with a single prize of 40 thousand pesos.

García y Colomé won this recognition in 2002and in 2015 she was invited as a jury; This year he was present at the creation of the call.

Clara Porset (Clara Porset Archive)

His iconic works

Porset (Cuba, 1895-Mexico, 1981) had a clear political ideology which allowed him a vision to design everything from peasant furniture to emblematic project furniture for housing complexes, private residences or public buildings,

“She was a pioneer in industrial design, specifically furniture design, as well as the interior architecture of our country and Latin America,” says Adrián Moncada, member of the Executive Council of the Clara Porset Chair of the MUAC University Museum of Contemporary Art.

A specialist in the work of the designer and architect, he states that Her figure goes a long way because she was a woman ahead of her time, with the ability to produce projects and pieces as a team and with a business structure.

To talk about the artist, he comments, we must talk about two of her icons: Totonaca armchair and armchair.

“The seat we call Butaque is not original to her, it is a design that she investigated, which she traced until she found its origin, and she found that the antecedent is New Spain, with an origin focused on pre-Hispanic seats. She later dedicated herself to exploring different textiles, fabrics and other finishes; Likewise, she explored the topic of ergonomics, how to make it more comfortable, easier to build and more efficient, which is why I think it is her signature piece.”

Work by Clara Porset (Clara Porset Archive)
Work by Clara Porset (Clara Porset Archive)

However, he says that other cThose familiar with Porset's work also love the creator's Totonaca Armchair. It is a sculptural carpentry object with a shape that comes from research that she and her husband, the muralist Xavier Guerrero, developed throughout their lives.

There is a reference to some pre-Hispanic Totonac figurines that are basically the inspiration for that armchair: “and that she made as gifts, so it was not marketed like Butaque.”

Given the importance of his work, The extraordinary chair will be released in November Clara Porset at the MUAC.


To demonstrate that the legacy of Clara Porset is still valid, this award is a national and international window which includes the following categories:

Prospective concept, configuration (appearance/form/use): design that fuses practical, aesthetic and ergonomic aspects into utilitarian objects.

Design by women for women.

Sustainability: solutions that respond to socio-environmental challenges with quality and relevance.

Social impact: designs that improve the quality of life of vulnerable communities.


Special mention IMINOX (Proposals in stainless steel).

The call expires on October 2, registration details can be consulted at:

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