platalea studio: dialogue stimulation

product photography:
Platalea Studio
text: Sofia Arredondo

                                                    Platalea Studio, the creative project established by Mexican artists Lilia Corona and Rodrigo Lobato, transcends the conventional definition of a design studio. It represents the fusion of two creative and committed minds, functioning as a crucible for diverse ideas. Platalea Studio delves into profound themes, including identity, sexuality, tradition, and the resistance against oppressive structures.

As Simon Schama once asserted, "the power of art is the power of bewildering surprise"; the creations from Platalea Studio are objects both gentle and alluring, yet simultaneously overwhelming. They unfold new perspectives, dismantling our preconceptions to rearrange our sense of reality.

“We create objects that are defined by the kindness in their forms: organic and whimsical lines and colors that conjure up a sense of lightness and humor… taking shape between myth and history, between city and countryside, between materials and bodies. Most importantly, we approach life with joy—for its own sake, and as a form of resistance” they assert, as a statement.

Platalea Studio immerses itself in an aesthetic rich with identity, where the Mexican and the ancestral seamlessly blend with the contemporary. Their exploration spans a vast and thoughtful spectrum – from the human body, femininity, or the experiences of childhood amid the utopian promises of neoliberalism. They also reclaim symbols and traditions from Mexican indigenous cultures, deconstructing the illusion of meritocracy within the capitalist system. Platalea extended their interests beyond the artistic realm, embracing social responsibility by collaborating with workshops and artisans in Mexico City, contributing to local community development.


What does activism mean to you? Do you consider yourself an activist?

platalea studio

To us, activism is rooted in actions aimed at challenging and dismantling oppressive structures - those that harm humans, animals, and nature. It's fundamentally about seeking justice and truth. 'Action' here means endeavors that provoke an awakening, leading to deep reflection and questioning, and sparking a transformative change. In our work with Platalea's pieces, while we don't necessarily see ourselves as activists, we strive to echo this spirit. Each creation aims to ignite thought and dialogue, gently nudging us to reconsider our views and actions. Sometimes, we ponder whether adopting a more radical approach could enhance the impact of our work.


What your last trip to Japan helped you to discover?

platalea studio

Our recent trip helped us discover the profound fulfillment found in their own identity, a unique blend of deep-rooted traditions, historical consciousness, and a profound spiritual heritage. In every meticulous detail of their crafts, we saw a reflection of their enduring respect for history and nature. The Japanese pursuit of beauty is not just an aesthetic choice; it is a way of thinking, deeply embedded in spiritual and historical understanding. This intertwining of the past with a progressive present reveals a culture where identity is not just preserved but celebrated in every aspect of life.

This profound sense of being, which seamlessly merges tradition with modernity, offered us a new perspective on the Japanese identity. It's a culture where every action, from the simplest to the most complex, is a reflection of a rich historical and spiritual tapestry.


The most sensual fruit?

platalea studio

Without a doubt, the most sensual fruit for us is the fig, an emblem of abundance, fertility, and sweetness that has carried countless meanings for millennia. Its significance transcends cultures and religions, endowing it with a mystique unmatched by any other fruit. The ancient goddess of love and war, Ishtar, was depicted in the form of a fig tree, while Buddha's path to enlightenment was shaded by the broad leaves of a Bodhi Tree (a species of fig), highlighting a profound connection between the fig and spiritual awakening. The fruit's unique appearance and the way figs have been portrayed in art and literature as offerings of love accentuate their allure. Moreover, the fig tree's remarkable ability to thrive and bear fruit under various conditions mirrors our capacity for adaptation and growth, adding depth to its rich tapestry of symbolism. Figs are more than just food; they are voluptuous and mystical, encapsulating the very essence of life’s enigmas and beauty.

The works of Platalea Studio transcend mere ornamentation; they challenge and dismantle oppressive structures, urging us to reconsider our perspectives and actions. Each piece serves as a provocation, aiming to stimulate dialogue. While Platalea may not label themselves as activists, their work resonates with a spirit committed to confronting injustices affecting humans, animals, and nature. For Lilia and Rodrigo, the bewildering surprise of art becomes a powerful tool for transformation and reflection.

Lilia Corona and Rodrigo Lobato crossed paths during their university years. Lilia graduated from the School of Design at the Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA) in 2018. Three years later, she earned another degree from the School of Fine Arts (ENPEG) at the National Institute of Fine Arts and Literature in Mexico City. On the other hand, Rodrigo Lobato completed his studies at the School of Design, Universidad Iberoamericana (UIA), in 2014. Their collaborative work embodies the fusion of their passionate perspectives, where individual interests gain powerful expression through Platalea Studio.

Likewise, they have participated in various exhibitions around the world, including Milan Design Week in Milan, 'Wanted Design' in New York, '1000 Vases' in Paris, as well as many more in Mexico, like Zona Maco and Design Week.