“Everything has inspiration to me, from our Mexican culture to my childhood memories.”
– Joana Valdez, founder of Joyful Objects, Yes!
Considering the bleak state of global affairs, the vibrant and eccentric work by Mexico City-based design studio Joyful Object, Yes! invites back the fun into our homes. Founded in 2021 by Joana Valdez, originally from Mérida, Yucatán, with an academic background in Industrial Design, Joyful Objects, Yes! made it its mission to create a body of work challenging the notion that design has to take itself so seriously all the time. “I want to maintain the understanding for myself and others that not everything should be nor [has] to be serious and elegant. I have always loved cheerful spaces and the philosophy of making designs that are not normal; designs that are fun and unique,” Valdez explains.
With this playful attitude, Valdez does not impose any limits on her practice rather her design philosophy fosters a high degree of creative freedom and experimentation. This is reflected in the studio’s first collection, consisting of the statement mirror, “La Celebración”, and its smaller version, “La Celebración Natural”, as well as in the latest addition, “Jolgorio”, including unique benches and stools. Throughout their oeuvre, Joyful Objects, Yes! is exploring the concept of celebration alluding to its deeper cultural significance whilst referencing contemporary design aesthetics.
At first glance, the studio’s focus on fun and joy might seem superficial, however, the concept of celebrating is deeply rooted in Mexican culture. Given Mexico’s historical context, Mesoamerican and Christian traditions as well as rituals have found a diverse cultural expression across the nation. As a result, the act of celebrating itself has become an integral part of Mexico’s national identity. “We are happy and proud people that love celebrating!“, Valdez points out. Hence, with the “Jolgorio” series, she “want[ed] to continue with the idea of the celebration, party, jolgorio … the idea of representing Mexicans.” With this intention to evoke feelings of excitement and create an atmosphere of joy, the new “Jolgorio” pieces possess similar organic shapes and pops of bold colors as found in “La Celebración”.
In line with Valdez’s vision of showcasing Mexico’s rich culture, she puts a traditional material, chuspata, center-stage, which provides a textural contrast to the lacquered wood spheres, whilst also balancing the color composition throughout the “Jolgorio” series. “The collection is [in] chuspata because it is a material that represents Mexico, [and is] easily recognizable,” Valdez explains. “Apart from the fact that the entire process [of] making the piece is amazing, from collecting the material to weaving. We also like that the color is neutral, which combines beautifully with the colored spheres.” By taking advantage of an age-old craft, the weaving of the natural fiber chuspata, Joyful Objects, Yes! also highlights the importance of craftsmanship in their work. Indeed, Valdez strongly believes that “[w]ith so much incredible workmanship and craftsmanship in Mexico, anything is possible”.
Simultaneously, the sinuous and wavy silhouettes found in both “La Celebración” and “Jolgorio” speak for a contemporary aesthetic that emphasizes organically shaped and soft forms which have been taking hold of interior design for a while now. The inspiration behind this squiggly and irregular shape that the studio has been experimenting with is “unusual kinetic forms”, according to Valdez. They also seem to mimic the shape of rippling waves, thereby creating a calming effect. By coupling this silhouette with bright and pastel colors, the pieces successfully infuse a palpable feeling of happiness into any interior space.
In this sense, the expanding oeuvre of Joyful Objects, Yes! manages to create a visual language rooted in Mexican culture whilst also capturing the Zeitgeist of the interior design world. Therefore, “La Celebración” and “Jolgorio” perfectly complement each other and as a whole, transport us to happier, more joyful times.
Joyful Objects, Yes! is a design studio in México City, founded in 2021 by Joana Valdez, an industrial designer originally from Mérida, Yucatán.
The studio explores fun and unique objects that are limited edition.