Short descriptions of recent news and links to their websites.

Herbier Project in the Dezeen Awards 2023 Sustainability Longlist – Material Innovation Category. From over 4,800 entries from 94 countries to Dezeen Awards this year, Herbier Project is one of 93 sustainability projects that are in the running to win an award later this year in the sustainability categories.

Herbier Project is a range of fiber-based biodegradable cosmetic face masks dry-infused with plant extracts, developed with Phytosphere Swiss Lab and Viviane Fontaine Artiste Papier. Initiated at La Becque Artist Residency.

View the 15 projects in the 2023 Material Innovation Category here.

Photo credit – Jagoda Wisniewska. Badge created by Dezeen

Urgent Legacy: House of Switzerland – Milano Design Week. 17-23 April 2023. “At the Milano Design Week 2023, the Swiss design scene shows how it is dealing with pressing issues of our time. The group exhibition «Urgent Legacy» brings together emerging designers, independent studios, established brands as well as education and research institutions at the «House of Switzerland». This platform, located in Casa degli Artisti, is organised by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and Presence Switzerland in cooperation with numerous partners. […]
All exhibitors were nominated by an independent jury made up of renowned specialists (Johanna Agerman Ross/London, Valentina Ciuffi/Milan, Nolan Giles/London, Cecilie Manz/Copenhagen). The projects and design ideas involved reveal essential qualities of functional aesthetics and also contribute to the design of a more resilient and sustainable world.”

Photo credit – Image treatment: Sara Bastai / Graphic Design: Adeline Mollard

Article published in Biodesigned 11: The Research Issue. Titled Retracing the relations between plants and our wellbeing through product design, the paper looks at how product design can be involved in the development of pharmaceutical and cosmetic artifacts.
This article aims to give more insights on the design process behind Refined Remedies (made in Switzerland) and Costa Sierra Selva (made in Peru). Check out the full issue here.

Design Work Grants – Autumn 2022. Within the framework of its Autumn 2022 Design Work Grants, Pro Helvetia has selected twelve projects, among which “Biodegradable first-aid bandages” has been selected in the Concept Development category.
This project will be based on my previous research surrounding plant fibers, product sustainability and wellbeing. Shown here is an image of “Matico Project: Rethinking the Bandage/Plaster”, a conceptual approach done in collaboration with Paloma Duarte during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dezeen: Three Swiss design brands present sustainable products in San Francisco
“The three studios – YVYPaula Cermeño León and Mikafi – represent innovative design practices emerging from Switzerland.
Recognised at the international event (Swiss Design Accelerator Program) for their pioneering attitude to the design, the three brands aim to have sustainability and circular economic values at the forefront of their creative processes.” Check out the full article here.

Hochparterre Die Besten 2022 Nominee. Herbier Project, fiber-based biodegradable cosmetic face masks with plant extracts, is nominated in the Design category of Hochparterre’s The Best 2022, along with other 23 projects. 
It is possible to vote online here until Monday, December 5th.
Winners will be revealed at the award ceremony on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, at the Museum für Gestaltung Zürich.
Hochparterre is a Swiss design and architecture magazine with a high standard of design, content and language.

Biodiversity and Design: How Paula Cermeño León is Shaping Circular Economy. Swissnex’s press release about my work for the Swiss Design Accelerator.
“Biodiversity and humans’ relationship with plants is the starting point for Paula Cermeño León’s practice. In her work, she combines design tools with knowledge of different experts working with plants, such as botanists, biologists, engineers, and artists.”
Image shown: ‘Emergency Only’ stress-relieving candy from the Refined Remedies project.

Design for the Bay. Showcase event organised by Swissnex San Francisco: “Join us for an exciting networking evening with design and innovation enthusiasts and meet the three selected Swiss design studios participating in the Swiss Design Accelerator at Pier 17.”
Keynote by Claude Zellweger, Director of Design at Google, followed by talks by the three studios: Mikafi, YVY and Paula Cermeño León.
9 November 2022, 5:30pm
Swissnex, Pier 17, San Francisco

Selected for the third edition of the Swiss Design Accelerator in San Francisco, jointly organised by Swissnex in San Francisco and the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia, under the label Design Switzerland.

Taking place from November 7–November 13, 2022 in San Francisco after a one-month online preparation program, the Swiss Design Accelerator will introduce the selected Swiss-based designers to the US market with a focus on the Bay Area and its design industry.

The goal of the program is to build meaningful connections with relevant industry players and create business opportunities while acquiring skills to better operate in this specific ecosystem.

Image shown: Refined Remedies

“BIOPOLIMÉRICA: Biomaterial Methodologies from Latin America” is an event organized by LABVA, Radial Bio, ITESO, PAD Jalisco, SPACE10 and BioFabUC. Presenting Platanaceae: Banana Leaf Burn Bandages during the event’s exhibition (walk-through video here). On view at Galería Universitaria ITESO in Guadalajara, México from 15 August to 9 September, 2022

“BIOPOLIMÉRICA invita a preguntarnos: ¿Cómo queremos que se materialice el futuro de Latinoamérica? Este encuentro no busca sólo hablar de materiales, sino hablar de biopolímeros situados en un contexto, Latinoamérica, territorio tan diverso y abundante como explotado.” – LABVA

Atlas of Lost Finds presented by Unfold at Design Fest Gent. A research project initiated by Unfold Design Studio to reconstruct an ancient Peruvian vessel, to which I contributed a series of vessels in a Peru-Germany team of clay artisans (Julio Ibarrola, Andre von Martens), designers (Cindy Valdez, Paula Cermeño, Ursula Alvarez), and an archaeologist (Julio Rucabado). On view at Design Museum Gent from 22 April to 1 May, 2022.

Podcast: Detrás del Diseño. Episode 3: Biodiversity-centered design
“Detrás del Diseño” is a new podcast initiated by “Diseño Peruano“, a platform that aims at making Peruvian design and designers more visible. (Podcast in Spanish)

El nuevo podcast “Detrás del diseño” es una iniciativa de Diseño Peruano, una plataforma que busca visibilizar la profesión del diseño en el Perú. En el episodio 3 hablo sobre el Diseño centrado en la Biodiversidad, que ha sido la base de mis proyectos recientes.

ProART 2021 Winner. Awarded for Pharmacopoeia: A design-based research into the relations between plants and our wellbeing. Through this award, PUCP looks to distinguish professors who asume artistic production and interpretation as a medium of professional development and who also incentivize creativity through their academic commitment. (LinkedIn post)

Mediante este Premio, el Vicerrectorado de Investigación (VRI-PUCP) busca distinguir a aquellos profesores que asumen la producción e interpretación artística como un medio de desarrollo profesional y que, a la vez, alientan la creatividad en su compromiso académico.

The Designs of Our Worlds: A conversation between three design schools (2nd edition)
(Speaker and co-organizer)
Online event by the Industrial Design Program at PUCP (Lima), Pratt Institute (New York) and ENSCI Les Ateliers (Paris).
In its 2nd edition, the three schools will come together and share their approaches and practices in pursuit of a meaningful exchange of critical thought surrounding the themes of “diversity, inclusion, decolonization, and the pluriverse, in design culture”, from three different geographies and cultural legacies.
15 November, 2021 (11am Lima Time) via Zoom and Facebook Live

Paper presentation: “Retracing the relations between plants and our wellbeing through product design”. Biodesign Working Group at Cumulus 2021 Conference (Guayaquil, Ecuador)
co-organized by Biodesigned / Biodesign Challenge. Upcoming publication.
9 November, 2021

AIRTIME – Swiss Design TV
“AIRTIME” is a news show format produced for viewing on the screen broadcast via channel, highlighting the work of 14 protagonists of design that call attention to their wanted subjects. Presented by Wanted Design with the support of the Swiss Federal Office of Culture Swiss Design Awards, Consulate General of Switzerland in New York, and Swissnex.
Curated, moderated, and scripted by Matylda Krzykowski. Filmed and produced by Tristesse. Visual Identity by Dual Room.
Available online from 20 September to 30 October. Available offline at Halle 3 for the Swiss Design Awards 2021 in Basel, Switzerland, until
September 26.

CADi 2021: Transformaciones
Latin American Academic Conference of Design, organised by the Design Programs at PUCP. Member of the organising committee and Moderator for the Design + Nature Panel. Invited Panelists: Eldy Lázaro (CU Atlas PhD Student), Alejandro Weiss (Co-founder of LABVA) and Angela Dotor (Biotextile researcher at UTADEO).
15-19 September, 2021

El Sabor del Futuro 2021
Challenges and opportunities for the sustainability of the food system and the value chain of Peruvian gastronomy. (Event in Spanish)
Moderating a talk by Blanca del Noval from Basque Culinary Lab [Gastronomía sostenible: nuevos materiales, descartes, desperdicios e innovación]
15-18 June 2021, 10am (LIMA)
Organized by Gastronomía PUCP with La Revolución, Innóvate Perú, Ministerio de la Producción, PUCA Perú, PNUD Perú
Via Facebook

The Designs of Our Worlds: A conversation between three design schools
(Participating as event moderator)
Online event hosted by the Industrial Design Program at PUCP. Guest schools: Pratt Institute (New York) and ENSCI Les Ateliers (Paris).
14 June, 2021 via Zoom and Facebook Live. View event recording here.

Design in an Age of Crisis: London Design Biennale
Physical Exhibition designed by Pentagram and Dallas Pierce Quintero.
Presenting [Matico Project: Rethinking the bandage/plaster]
1-27 June, 2021 at Somerset House, London, UK

Design Dialogues: Design & Digital Network, in conversation with Unfold & guests (Anita Ekman, Stacy Jo Scott, Cindy Valdez & Paula Cermeño). Speaking about the Atlas of Lost Finds. Moderated by Amandine David.
Hosted by Design Museum Gent and School of Arts Gent
22 March, 2021, 8PM (Brussels) / 2PM (Lima)

Matico Project: Rethinking the bandage/plaster.
Design in an Age of Crisis: Health Category (Online Gallery)
Expert pick by Co-chair Alice Rawsthorn
London Design Biennale & Chatham House, 2021
In collaboration with Paloma Duarte Soldevilla, CEO of Misha Rastrera

Panel Diseño y Naturaleza
Paneles de Diseño y Desarrollo Latinoamericano
Congreso Académico de Diseño – CADi 2020: Reemergencias
September, 2020

TU/YO con el MALI
con Ricardo Geldres, Javier Rubio, Luis Ortiz de Zevallos y Paula Cermeño León. Moderado por Paulo Dam
XXV Subasta de Diseño, Museo de Arte de Lima
September, 2020

Pharmacopoeia + Herbier Project
End-of-Year Open Studio
La Becque, La Tour-de-Peilz, Switzerland
December, 2019

Panel Bio-diseño
Conferencia de Diseño y Desarrollo Latinoamericano
CADI: Congreso Académico de Diseño
November, 2019

Workbays Village
Vitra x ÉCAL at Fire Station by Zaha Hadid
Vitra Campus, Weil am Rhein, Germany
October, 2019

Costa Sierra Selva
Dissertation: Design of wellbeing products based on local (Peruvian) medicinal plants
PUCP, Lima, Perú
September, 2019

AA Nanotourism Visiting School Symposium
Speakers: Paulo Dam (PUCP), Virgilio Martínez (Central Restaurante), Verónica Tabja (Mater Iniciativa), Paula Cermeño (PUCP)
Mentors: Aljoša Dekleva, Rafael Freyre, Jakob Travnik
MIL Centro, Moray, Cusco, Perú
July, 2019

Conference presentation: ¿El futuro del diseño puede ser biodiverso? (Can the future of design be biodiverse?)
FORMA 2019: Congreso Internacional de Diseño de la Habana
Havana, Cuba
May, 2019