C22 H20 013

We are very pleased and proud to share that Bi Yuu was commissioned by New York’s Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum to design a piece that has become part of their permanent collection. 

The piece is currently part of the “Nature by Design” exhibition, which reveals the connections between design and the natural world, as well as how they are currently converging.

Concept of the piece:

“The beauty of a living thing is not the atoms that go into it, but the way those atoms are put together.”

-Carl Sagan

This piece is titled “C22H20O13,” which is the chemical formula for carminic acid, better known as the active ingredient in the cochineal pigment.

The designer Marisol Centeno, who is also the creative director of Bi Yuu, was inspired by the origin of materials and the beauty of colors in their purest language: chemistry.

Through an in-depth investigation of the molecular structures that create color, she has metaphorically represented this chemical process in a tapestry composed of different reactions produced by the cochineal pigment, displaying all the possibilities of carminic acid.

The tapestry’s design uses intersections of color to narrate the movement of the molecular structures of carminic acid as it changes its alkalinity and acidity. These variations in its pH allow the cochineal pigment to take on different colorations, such as red, orange and violet.

The Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum is one of the world’s most important design museum and it’s a great honor to be a part of its permanent collection.

To visit the exhibition, consult the official page of the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum.

Sizes: 80 x 164 cm

Material: 60% Alpaca, 40% silk. Metal thread applications.

Hand-woven tapestry in pedal loom, with embroidery applications

Dyed: Cochineal

Design: Marisol Centeno

Design studio assistant: Luisa Esponda

Development: Artisan Leticia Gutierrez, and Marisol Centeno. 

Weave: Leticia Gutiérrez

Embroidery: Leticia Gutiérrez, Paola Mendonza and Dolores Sosa.

Dyed and color tests: Leticia Gutiérrez, Artisan Lorenzo Bautista, Luisa Esponda and Marisol Centeno.