Ariel Rojo

Mexico City, Mexico

Ariel Rojo was born in Mexico City in 1976. He studied industrial design and architecture between 1994 and 2002 at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM), but sees himself very much as a self-taught designer. Rojo’s grandfather, David Rojo Guerrero, was responsible for PROSA, one of the first printed circuits manufacturers in Mexico, and companies such as Atari, Telmex, Pemex, Panasonic, and Electra used his components. Fascinated by design from a young age, at 17 Rojo began designing printed circuit boards for clients such as the Federal Electricity Commission and Telmex. In 1998, at 22, he established his own studio in Mexico City, and the following year he designed the printed circuit for the state’s solid encryptor, which was used by the government of President Vicente Fox. Over the years, Rojo has also participated in several workshops and cultural exchanges at institutions such as the European Design Institute in Toronto, organized by the International Council of Societies of Industrial Design (ICSID).

Ariel Rojo Studio’s multidisciplinary projects range from urban planning to industrial design. Rojo’s inspiration is firmly rooted in improving quality of life through design solutions. Notable projects to date include being part of the team that won the 1998 national competition to rehabilitate Mexico City’s Zocalo, one of the three biggest urban squares in the world, as well as 2012’s Foco Rojo, a rug depicting an aerial view of Mexico City by night (made for Marion Friedmann Gallery). The latter work’s title translates to both red fire and alertness; according to Rojo, every red light on the canvas represents a new idea born in Mexico every minute, reinforcing the notion that “Mexico is on the verge of something new and unique.” Rojo’s clients span Latin America, the USA, Europe, and the Middle East, and the studio’s work has been presented in a variety of media and exhibitions, from the MoMA Design Store in New York to the Design Olympics in South Korea.

He lives and works in Mexico City.