SANTIAGO – Chile Today visited the 12th annual Más Deco Market in Cultural Estación Mapocho in the center of Santiago. Organized by the newspaper La Tercera, which publishes Más Deco magazine, the market ran from Thursday, Apr. 25 to Sunday, Apr. 28. With over 100 exhibitors presenting their design, gastronomy, and home décor, those looking to add something new to their living or work space could surely find at least one or two items of interest.
The market was held at the beautiful Estación Mapocho Cultural Center, a former train station converted to a cultural center in 1994 after rail traffic was diverted to Alameda Station. The renovated station, which is often the venue for such markets and cultural events, was buzzing with activity this weekend as over 100 exhibitors were onsite. The cost of admission was CLP $6,000 for adults, with a reduced price of CLP $1,000 for anyone that arrived by bicycle.
The entrance to the market was decorated with art stands, where local artists presented their most recent work. This year, Samsung had a large presence at the market, as they were demonstrating and promoting their concept of connected living, where all Samsung devices in the home could be controlled by a smartphone, table, or voice commands. The idea itself, although seemingly convenient, brings to mind nightmare visions of the homicidal Ultrahouse 300, which fell in love with Marge in The Simpsons, “Treehouse of Horror XII” (Season 13, Episode 1).
The exhibited items themselves were an eclectic collection of Chilean handcrafted home goods, such as woven rugs, wood products, blankets, and pottery; and modern home solutions, such as minimalistic furniture or novel design ideas; as well as, random offerings of Eastern art, such as Turkish lamps and jewelry.
Many of the items were not in and of themselves novel, as much as standard decorating fair found in countless modern furniture and home retailers. Nevertheless, some innovative concepts of note were Muro Verde Vivo, a company that creates succulent gardens living inside picture frames, and Bili Box, a company that supplies live grass in a wooden box especially formulated to act as a toilet for apartment dwelling pets. The Más Deco market also ran 15 workshops on everything from smartphone photography to watercolor painting.
This year, the market also collaborated with a contest called “Dutch Design Made in Chile, a luminary for the residence of the Dutch Ambassador,” which was organized by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Chile in cooperation with the School of Architecture, Design and Urban Studies of the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and the sponsorship of Signify. The idea of the project was to unite the creativity of Chilean design with Dutch functionality. The winner was the office of Krause Chavarri, with its work, “Ropa Tendida SHHH,” a white man’s shirt hoisted upon a tall dark metal lamp stand and illuminated.
Some exhibitors focused on gastronomy. These included sellers of wine, honey and spreads, bakers and the increasingly popular artisan hummus maker, Babar. Weary shoppers also found refreshments at the outdoor food-truck market which featured outdoor seating and live music.
The Más Deco Market is touted as the most important design and decoration market by its organizer, La Tercera, and, while it is a nice market, it leaves one wishing to see more innovative design and décor ideas consistent with the event’s title. Nonetheless, it is still worth a visit, if not for the purpose of redecorating your home, then for enjoying a somewhat different weekend activity.
Born in Ukraine but raised in Canada since a young age, Kateryna Kurdyuk has since acquired a Masters of Media Studies and Communication from University of Melbourne in Australia and worked in the education field in Dubai, UAE. While currently working as an English Professor in Santiago, Chile, Kateryna is using her extensive experience living and travelling abroad to contribute as a writer to the emerging independent English-language media in Chile.