A fascination with the built environment, the objects that populate it, and how strongly they all influence human behavior are the driving forces behind my designs.
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From an early age I was introduced into the world of art and design by my mother, a sculptor, and encouraged to always be creative; now I cannot visualize a world without design in it. I observe the objects around us, try to understand them to see if they fulfill their purpose, and if there is a possibility to improve them and how. I believe that objects are equivalent to endless possibilities of form, function and use. I am a multidisciplinary designer and my goal is to make life easier for as many people as possible with innovative design.
My body of work is shaped by my journey across different design disciplines: architecture, interior, furniture and product. A journey that I started with the
purpose of feeding a constant hunger for knowledge and the goal of becoming a well-rounded designer. From Architecture school comes an approach to design following the Vitruvian Virtues of Architecture: Utilitas, Firmitas, Venustas. The principle states that design should keep a balance between durability, utility and beauty. From Design school comes a newly found
appreciation for details, materials and manufacturing processes.
My name is Maria-Alejandra Icaza Paredes, I am an Architect and a Designer. Currently working as a multidisciplinary designer for Luis Pons Design Lab. I design interiors, furniture, products, and art installations for the residential and hospitality sectors.
A few years back, I also founded MAIPdesigns, a design studio that is mainly centered in the design of furniture and products; sometimes interiors and art installations. Designs from the studio can be found for purchase at Etsy, click here to visit the shop.
In 2012 I completed a Course in Interior Design at the Florence Design Academy in Florence, Italy. After that I returned to my home country, Panama, where I did a Bachelor of Architecture at the Escuela de Arquitectura y Diseño de América Latina y el Caribe ISTHMUS. During this time I interned at the Oficina del Casco Antiguo and the Dirección Nacional del Patrimonio Histórico del INAC, here I developed a sensitivity for historical heritage and understands how to approach its re-purpose or remodeling.
I also did an internship at the Panama Green Building Council where I researched about the energy consumption of the office and how it was lowered due to the use of certain sustainable practices like solar power, motion and daylight sensors. I presented these findings alongside the CEO of Panama Green Building Council, Roberto Forte, at the Foro Internacional y Expo Ciudades Sostenibles 2016. Also in 2016, I got accredited as LEED Green Associate.
In 2017 I presented my thesis project, a proposal for a Center of Education in Panama that follows education practices of the XXI century with flexible spaces where interaction among students and the building itself are all learning opportunities. Thanks to this, I got involved in the project for a Public School that was built in Chiriqui, Panama.
In 2019 I graduated from two Masters of Art from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Furniture and Industrial Design.