José de la O

Founder & Director

delaO design studio

An accomplished industrial designer with a master's degree in Conceptual Design from the Design Academy Eindhoven. José leads delaO design studio, an award winning creative agency based in Mexico City specialized in design-driven research. His studio has collaborated with companies like Spotify, Space10, Google, BBVA, and What Design Can Do, among others; and always with an epistemological lens, exploring the societal role of design and envisioning the future interplay between technology and society..
As a dedicated full-time professor at the School of Architecture, Art and Design at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico City, Jose actively promotes design education and knowledge. His academic pursuits have fostered collaborations with prestigious entities such as The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum and Ikea’s Home Smart division, alongside various NGOs and institutions. His academic journey continues as a PhD Design Research Candidate at RMIT.
Celebrated for his contributions to design, de la O received the first prize at the 10th Design Biennale in Mexico and was honored as the Designer of the Year in 2022 by MDF and Rimowa. In 2023, he earned The National Design Award by Diseña Mexico for the "Disonancia Mexicana" exhibition. De la O's expertise extends to product design, where he has partnered with prominent global firms like Philips Design in the Netherlands, Space10 in Denmark, and Mirai Innovation Lab in Japan. His portfolio spans lighting, furniture, and household products, showcasing his prowess in advanced industrial design. His designs have been showcased internationally, gracing prestigious platforms such as the Milan Design Fair, Dutch Design Week, The Future Perfect in New York, Taipei Design Museum, Shanghai Museum of Glass, Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, the Museum of Decorative Arts in Berlin, Museo de Arte Moderno in Mexico City, and the Palm Springs Art Museum, among others.

Design for the Post-Colonial: Integrating Emotional and Cultural Aspects into Contemporary Design Practice

In contemporary design practice, there is often a heavy reliance on rational, Cartesian methods, emphasizing functionality while neglecting the profound emotional and cultural depths. This approach overlooks what are termed as “post-colonial needs,” underscoring the urgency to integrate perspectives and approaches that have been marginalized or underestimated in the traditional design narrative.
In this talk, José de la O will present a series of case studies from his academic and professional journey that illuminate this concept. These examples will encompass a diverse range from research projects and interaction design to product design, all contextualized within his doctoral research. These cases will not only propose alternatives to conventional design methodologies but also provoke other designers to critically reassess and expand their own practices. José’s presentation aims to inspire a more inclusive and comprehensive approach to design, where emotional and cultural dimensions are considered crucial to crafting impactful and meaningful designs.


These cool companies helped Design Matters to come alive