Designer transforms Mexican corn into art

03-11-2017 | |
Designer transforms mexican corn into art. Photo: Wikipedia
Designer transforms mexican corn into art. Photo: Wikipedia

A designer has turned the leaves from locally grown Mexican corn into a material that can be used for walls and furniture.

With this, Fernando Laposse won the first Future Food Design Award, which was granted during the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. In the ‘Totomoxtle’ project, Laposse works with Mexican farmers to develop new way of earnings for the local (often colourful) grown corn varieties. The aim is to reduce the waste and the income for the farmers.


Laposse, born in France but raised in Mexico, developed a new material that represents the natural, colourful variation of local corn species. The process is simple: the peeled off leaves (waste) are flattened and used as veneers. The veneer can be used for finishing walls, vases and furniture. Not only is Totomoxtle a new, durable material, Laposse hopes to create more awareness about the uncertain future of small-scale farmers and their traditional harvesting methods that must compete with large-scale food production worldwide.


The Future Food Design Awards competition challenged designers to look at food culture and the food chain. Submissions include designs that raised awareness for land use, freshwater reserves, the impact of agriculture on the climate and the use of scarce raw materials are global food security concerns. But also migration, technology and eating habits were incorporated in some of the designs.

Watch the video from the winner of the Future Food Design Awards – Fernando Laposse

Dutch Design Week 2017

According to the organisers of the competition, the Future Food Design Awards is the international incentive award to highlight innovative and disruptive designs for a sustainable food future. It was presented for the first time during the Dutch Design Week on October 26th, and is an initiative of Agri Meet Design and The Dutch Institute of Food & Design. No less than 73 projects from 24 different countries have signed up for this first edition.

Emmy Koeleman Freelance editor