Arturo Soto is an award winning designer with a zero-waste approach to making. Born in Mexico, he graduated from Tadao Ando’s Garza Sada Center of Arts, Design & Architecture and went on to a Masters degree at University of the Arts London. Arturo lives in London and uses Blackhorse Workshop to create his turned pieces for his brand Memories of Green. He was recently awarded the Cockpit Arts Turners Award earning him a spot in the prestigious Cockpit Arts Creative Business Incubator. We caught up with him to ask what influences his design process.
‘My biggest design influences are Dieter Rams and Sir Jonathan Paul Ive, I love their minimalist, fanatical and extremely serious approach to design. My second biggest influence is space, and the fear of its overpowering inevitability. However the biggest factor in my sudden design evolution is the workshop and its community. I cannot stress how remarkably important, how valuable it is to have so many masters and experts under the same roof. When I have a design idea and want to experiment, I know I can act without fear, because somebody will be able to advise me how best to proceed. Here my creativity, my design capabilities are limitless, and the restraints of materials, size and execution are broken. This is the place I come to when I want to bring my design to the next level.’
In July 2019, Arturo gave a talk to the British Council as part of their Crafting Futures programme, where he spoke about his practice within the London craft scene. Arturo presented his Event Horizon collection which is currently being sold in FIVE Palm Hotel Dubai and the Top Drawer Exhibition in September 2019.
The talk focused on how Arturo created a business of luxury pieces fully formed from waste and discarded pieces of wood. He also brought awareness to the way designers deal with waste and the ingenuity of design in how waste can be transformed into elegant and meaningful pieces.
‘I am very thankful to Blackhorse Workshop for its warm welcome since my first day almost one year ago. Its community is like no other; they are friendly, helpful and eager to know each other. In here, I feel calm and joyful, and it’s a very wonderful experience to see that the other members have your back. They answer any doubts or questions you may have, and don’t hesitate to stop their work and give you a couple of minutes of advice. Friends I have made in the workshop always greet me with a smile and I believe this is often underappreciated in the design process.’
Check out Arturo’s website Memories of Green for more examples of his work.