Raul Cabra, Emily Jan, Rie Hirai Dion, Michele Marti, Zak Timan, Maria Magdalena Angeles Vasquez, Timoteo de Jesus Bernardino Cruz, Timoteo Bernardino Angeles | Double Barrel Lamp (floor lamp), 2009 | Carrizo, iron wire, electrical materials
Oax-i-fornia
Raul Cabra, Emily Jan, Rie Hirai Dion, Michele Marti, Zak Timan, Maria Magdalena Angeles Vasquez, Timoteo de Jesus Bernardino Cruz, Timoteo Bernardino Angeles | A Lamp for Ruth Asawa, 2009 | Carrizo, wire, electrical materials
Oax-i-fornia
Raul Cabra, Lander Cruz, Serena Franklin, Lydia Davis, Emily Jan, Sarahi Garcia | Blowfish Lamp, 2008 | Carrizo, wire, electrical materials
Oax-i-fornia
Oax-i-fornia

Oax-i-fornia

Directed by Raul Cabra

Raul Cabra: Born in Caracas, Venezuela, 1964; lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico

Additional Oax-i-fornia team members: Emily Jan, Rie Hirai Dion, Michele Marti, Zak Timan, Maria Magdalena Angeles Vasquez, Timoteo de Jesus Bernardino Cruz, Timoteo Bernardino Angeles, Lander Cruz, Serena Franklin, Lydia Davis, Emily Jan, and Sarahi Garcia

Oax-i-fornia emerged as an academic program for the California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco, its main goal being to investigate new methodologies for the use of design and creativity as tools for social change and cultural engagement. As a creative endeavor, Oax-i-fornia belongs to a class of collaborative efforts around the world, both academic and professional, where intercultural exchange shapes the productive process. It is a shared space of creative making rather than a designer-producer relationship (in which the designers design, and the artisans make). Collaborations are an experience of learning: artisans bring their mastery of craft and materials, while students bring their curiosity and experimentation—a luxury that most artisans, under commercial demands, rarely have. In this relationship, neither of the two groups is ever fully in charge of the process. It is through the concept of play that cultural differences become secondary to a joint process of “making together.” Participants must rely on their strengths as makers, knowledge, and each other, as they attempt to conquer the challenges at hand. It is precisely the nature of this shared responsibility that is at the heart of Oax-i-fornia. As a result, the objects that emerge from the collaboration oscillate between worlds, a dynamic mixture of tradition and experimentation.

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