Studio Xaquixe, interpreted from the Zapotec language to mean “at the base of the mountain,” is a glass blowing studio located in Oaxaca, one of the poorest and most marginalized states in Mexico. Xaquixe uses a holistic approach to making glass art to inspire, catalyze, and co-create for the benefit of the local community and eco-system.
Strategic design plays an integral role in enabling Xaquixe to achieve their goals. The studio provides a wide variety of products designed with quality and intent, from decorative and functional production glass to large-scale artist collaborations.
Though its beauty, precision, and functionality are unchallenged, glass is rarely lauded for its environmental sustainability. Studio Xaquixe challenges this notion and is setting a different standard for the glass industry. Committed to reducing its energy consumption by 35%, Studio Xaquixe aims to counteract the environmental destruction currently faced by Mexico. The studio creates all of its products with “formulated glass,” a mix of 95% recycled glass and as little as 3 to 5% raw material.
The recycling of materials has greater implications with regard to the local community. Xaquixe purchases glass “waste” from small bottling businesses and waste vendors from villages within the area. By creating economic incentive for recycling, Xaquixe has spurred an increase in recycling practices within local communities and provided a place for environmentally conscious individuals with no centralized location for recycling to bring materials. The glass is then melted down to produce Xaquixe’s various product lines and designs.
Since its inception, Xaquixe’s mission has been to engage the local community as working partners in the glass making process. The studio hires and trains local people from surrounding villages that are among the most marginalized indigenous groups in Mexico. The studio fosters understanding and appreciation of glass as a medium and art form and is committed to developing their production team’s skill sets and knowledge of equipment, techniques and production processes.
With all the buzz on Triple Bottom Line business practices and strategic design for strategic advantage, it’s worth recognizing those whose mission has always been Triple Bottom Line by inception, design and purpose. Studio Xaquixe fuses design, environmental sustainability, and community development with fire and glass.