Idea+Materia is a state-of-the-art artisan development project for the State of Puebla, Mexico, lasting from July 1, 2015 to December 31, 2016. The project is improving craft techniques and modernizing product design in a broad range of materials, such as vegetable fibers, textiles, ceramics, pottery, onyx and other decorative stone art. Idea+Materia is committed to work in 25 municipalities, directly benefiting 375 artisans leaders by completion of the project. Initiated by the Governor of Puebla, Rafael Moreno Valle, and implemented in close partnership with the Poblano Ministry of Tourism, Idea+Materia is designed to raise Puebla to a position of design leadership in Mexico and worldwide. It aims to change the perception of Puebla to that of a modern state, able to compete successfully in the global marketplace. Eight Mexican and one international designer are charged with the modernization of craft products, prominent among them renowned Mexican fashion designer Carla Fernandez, Dufour Design and US designer Mimi Robinson.

Accomplishments as of March 31, 2016

  • 2 artisan leaders and 2 government functionaries from Puebla graduated from the Market Readiness Program at NYNOW
  • Idea+Materia office and local staff established in the city of Puebla
  • 19 design development workshops have been completed
  • 327 artisans benefited directly, 248 of them are women
  • 684 new products have been developed in textile, in onyx, pottery, natural palma fibers, and glass
  • Participated at NY NOW Fair in February 2016, and sold over $12,000 in wholesale orders. The best sellers were the baskets in natural palma fibers and the pottery.
  • More than 40 new US buyer linkages were made
  • A collection of product was also introduced in the Barroque International Museum in Puebla.

Project Lead in US

Monika Steinberger


Project Lead in Mexico

Maria-Eugenia Piñeda Melendez