Paula Cermeño Leon (PE, 1989)
Residency period: July-December 2019
Having focused most of my recent work on bringing together product design and plants, the first half of my residency at La Becque consisted of an expansive exploration of local plants and their historical relation with wellbeing, medicine and cosmetics. This consisted of searching through historical documents as well as collecting plants at La Becque whose potential applications were interesting. Pharmacopoeia is a book I developed in collaboration with photographer Jagoda Wisniewska which documents my research process and findings at La Becque.
These explorations made way for the development of the Herbier Project: a family of compostable cosmetic patches infused with plants from La Becque. The patches can be dry-packaged and re-humidified with water in order to activate the infused serum. The serums were formulated with cosmetic developers from Phytosphere Swiss Lab, while the patch materials were developed with artist and paper expert Viviane Fontaine. A small batch of these patches was made and presented at the end of my residency.
After a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design at PUCP in Lima and a year as an exchange student at ESAD in Saint-Etienne, Paula Cermeño León obtained her Master’s degree in Product Design at ECAL, doing personal projects and for clients such as Vitra, Victorinox and e15. Biodiversity and our relationship with plants is the starting point for many of her works, for which she combines the tools of design with her knowledge of nature. Currently, she is Professor and Head of the Industrial Design in the Art and Design Faculty at PUCP in Lima.
Photography by Jagoda Wisniewska
Collaborators: Sarah Schneider and Geneviève Marie-Sainte from PhytoArk / Phytosphere Swiss Lab; Viviane Fontaine, Paper Artist.