CADA’s team is a group of Designers, Ethnographers, Anthropologists, and Artisans that hand in hand work to make this project a reality. With a creative mindset, high-level craftsmanship, and passion towards cultural heritage, CADA grows everyday.

Carman Malvar CADA Founder

Carmen Malvar (Founder / Director of CADA Foundation)

Design Researcher and Practitioner

Carmen Malvar is Doctor in Social Design and member of the international GIS research group for Retail and Service Futures as part of the Design Research Society (DRS) with 20 years of experience on leading team work based on design practice. Her research and practice are guided by the commitment to the development and implementation of strategies, products, services and sustainable business models that support conditions for change and serve as vectors of transformation in underserved communities with the goal of fostering social inclusion through interactions between culture, commerce and identity within the global economy. Carmen has worked on projects developed with indigenous communities in the highlands of Mexico and searching the social and ecological impact of global industries and their back stage production, designing and implementing strategies where their production process and distribution chain shares the concern with stakeholders and the community. She is the founder of CADA. Carmen works regularly as a consultant and speaker for various institutions, local governments, foundations and academia and she is a collaborator of UNESCO Chair for Sustainability in Barcelona.

Ana Paula

Ana Paula Fuentes (Executive Director of CADA Foundation)

Social Entrepreneur  / Design Practitioner

She holds a Bachelor´s Degree in Textile Design from Universidad Iberoamericana with postgraduate studies in Knit and Fashion Knitwear Design at the Escuela Superior de Imagen y Diseño de Barcelona. She completed a Certificate in Social Design Entrepreneurship by Pratt Insitute, New York City. She has worked in Barcelona, Spain and Mexico City designing fashion knitwear collections for Knit-Knit, Dover, Vitos and Escorpion. Co-founder of the experimental “11011 studio” in Oaxaca City where she collaborated with more than twenty contemporary artists in exhibitions, performances, installations and concerts. She was also founder of “artesana”, a new craft products market network for Mexico. From 2006-2012 Ana Paula was the Founder Director of the Textile Museum of Oaxaca (Museo Textil de Oaxaca), a non-profit organization associated with the Alfredo Harp Helu Foundation

She had worked for the Mexican non-profit, El Camino de los Altos, an association composed by 130 Mayan weavers in the highlands of Chiapas and a group of eight French designers who worked together on the creation of a unique textile collection combining contemporary design and Mayan heritage. Ana Paula developed a marketing and promotion plan and served as community liaison for the cooperative La Flor de Xochistlahuaca, formed by 35 Amuzgo weavers in a project funded by the Rubin Foundation. Currently she works for Traditions Mexico, a company that offers a delectable menu of rare and unique cultural tour opportunities focusing on the master skills of artisans and their rich, backcactus world in the little-known, culturally diverse lands of Oaxaca and Chiapas, Mexico.

Julie Roberts

Partnership and Development Manager

Australian-born Julie Roberts first arrived in Oaxaca in April 2014, acting on the recommendation of a Mexico City taxi driver. It was the best recommendation she’s ever had. Within 48 hours she was in love with the city, the culture, the people, the beauty and the energy of the place. Since that first visit she has returned regularly, and in 2018 she began bringing art, design and architecture students from Australian universities, to share with them the history, culture and complex art and design traditions and innovations, of Mexico. She also challenges the students to explore questions of identity and how these are manifest and expressed through artifacts.

Working initially as a curator and gallery director in London (UK), Melbourne (Australia) and Auckland (NZ) Julie has a PhD in Visual Culture and has for many years been an academic and educator in the fields of art, design and social innovation. She brings to the CADA Foundation her extensive experience in partnership building and a commitment to facilitating the work of the Foundation in bringing the material culture of Mexico into the global market in a manner that respects and maintains the cultural heritage of the people and the place.

Judith Romero

Judith Romero

Photographer and Editorial Designer

Photographer and editorial designer, lives and works in Oaxaca since 1995. She is co-founder and director of the photo gallery Resplandor, in Oaxaca, Mexico, since 2015. Her photographic work explores, from a feminist perspective, aspects linked to the body, the identities and the decisions (policies) that women assume when faced with social mandates. She documents and constructs in different scenarios and contexts, images that evoke their complex realities and imaginaries. Some of her photographs have been intervened by textile designers, managing to interweave the creative techniques of photography and textiles. Her training has involved various workshops and diploma courses in photography and digital printing that he has taken at the San Agustin Center for the Arts (CASA) and at the Manuel Álvarez Bravo Photographic Center (CFMAB). In addition to the edition and design of magazines and art books. Her recent project “Other Women” – about the decision not to have children – started in 2014 and is currently working with women from different backgrounds (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Mexico, United States, France, Spain and Poland) . Through the images and testimonies collected, she makes visible the subjectivities of other women: those not celebrated on May 10; those who, by their own decision, decided not to follow the social mandate that makes the (good) woman synonymous with mother. This documentary project has been exhibited at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca (MACO); at the Museum of Mexican Women Artists (MUMA); Art House Diego Rivera in Puerto Montt and the Gronefot Gallery and the National Library, in Santiago, Chile.

Maddalena Forcella

Maddalena Forcella

Facilitator/ Textile Designer and Practitioner

Her career begins as restorer in Roma´s archeological areas and she arrives in Mexico in 1987. She is a textile designer from the Universidad Iberoamericana in Mexico City, Mexico. En San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, she founds a textile workshop with Mayan weavers, pioneering the introduction of new designs and contemporary sensibility in the production of textiles with traditional techniques. She has exchanged experiences and knowledge with weavers from different indigenous groups, teaching classes and qualifying courses mainly in Chiapas and Oaxaca both for government institutions (Fondo Nacional para el desarrollo de la artesanía FONART; Programa Nacional de Culturas Populares e Indígenas, Conabio) and civic groups and associations in México and Guatemala. She has taught at Universidad Iberoamericana and at the Centro de Diseño, Cine y Televisión in México City. She has cooperated with several companies in the design and production of artisan objects (Artefacto, Arroz con Leche S.A. in México, Iris Von Arnim in Hamburgo, Germany). She has also headed the craftsmanship development department of the Museo Na Bolom, in San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas. She is a founding member of the Mayan weavers and designers association “El Camino de los altos”

At the moment she is developing her own collection of textile accessories at, teaches courses on textile techniques for teaching institutions like the Centro de Las Artes of San Agustín, Oaxaca ( and cooperates with indigenous weavers on product development. She dedicates her time to artistic creation, has participated in several textile art exhibitions and cooperated in different installations.

Laura Margarita Quiróz Ruiz (Lita)

Design Practitioner/ Documentarian

Design Engineer, Laura has worked in research for the “Centro de Diseño de Oaxaca” and for the “Universidad Tecnológica de la Mixteca”.  She has directed documentary audios and videos such as “ÑAA KIKU ISAA Y KIKU SAMA”,  “MUJERES TEJIENDO NUESTRA CULTURA”, “WOMEN WEAVING OUR CULTURE” that shows the production process and design elements of traditional textile works of San Pablo de Tijaltepec. She has produced documentary videos about the crafts in Oaxaca as a tool for inter-cultural dialogue from community perspective.

Kythzia Barrera

Kythzia Barrera

Facilitator/ Industrial Design Practitioner

Industrial Designer, founder of Innovando la Tradición (2008) and Colectivo 1050º.  (2009), both successful organizations that support the development of pottery communities in Oaxaca, México. Kythzia’s work strengthens the bridges between art-craft-design to foster social and human changes, with a focus on sustainability. Honesty and open disclosure from the conventional and privileged designer positions shapes the essential part of Kythzia’s creative leadership as Head of Innovating Tradition and CEO of Colectivo 1050º. She holds a Bachelor´s Degree in Industrial Design from Universidad Iberoamericana, Santa Fe, 2001. Master in Social and Sustainable Design by the Design Academie, Eindhoven,in 2004. She completed a Postgraduate course in Ceramics by the School of Art and Design, Helsinki, 2007, and also a Crafts and Design postgraduate course at Kyoto Institute of Technology, 2011. She is a Sustainable Design professor at UIA, Santa Fe, México.

Diego Mier y Teran Gimenez Cacho

Diego Mier y Terán Giménez Cacho

    Graphic Designer/ Practitioner

Diego is a Graphic designer; he completed a Type design Master’s degree at KABK, Netherlands. Interested in the social and ethical dimension of design, and its power for change. He has taught in different universities in México and ran the Utopia workshop at the Universidad Iberoamericana. He is the founding co-director of Innovando la Tradición, a non-profit organization to re-think and re-value the traditional pottery of Oaxaca. He is a member of Colectivo 1050º, a brand that commercializes high-quality ceramic products produced by local artisans and designers through collaborative processes. In the EstudioFrutas y Verduras he works in graphic and editorial design.

Omar Federico Fernández Lesur

Omar Federico Fernández Lesur

Architect/ Design Practitioner

Architect from the Universidad Iberoamericana, México City, he designs and builds architecture and furniture integral projects, and participates in several social programs such as Santa María Yavesía’s furniture workshop, and the LAB U.C. group. Among his completed building works we can point out the restaurant El Che Gaucho in Oaxaca, Casa Cedro y Casa LEG, in México City. As for his furniture work, Casa Bahía, in Quintana Roo, Estudio Casa Lluvia and Departamento VKZ in México City also stand out. He was a member of the restoration team in the former Convento de Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Oaxaca, as well as in the restoration of the Capilla Abierta in Teposcolula and the structural restoration of the Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán in Yanhuitlán. His teaching experience includes work at Casa san Agustín Etlain Oaxaca, Centro de Diseño Cine y Televisión, México City, Cátedra Oscar Hagerman, in the Universidad Iberoamericana at Puebla y la Universidad Mesoamericana, at Oaxaca.

Luis Joel Morales Escobedo

Luis Joel Morales Escobedo

Anthropologist/ Ethnographer

Luis is an Anthropologist and the former head of CECATI No. 133 Training Center (Centro de Capacitación para el trabajo) in San Cristóbal de las Casas, Chiapas. Mexico a project with a vision directly linked to James Metcalf and Ana Peciller who established an important artist colony and school, the Adolfo Best Maugard School of Arts and Crafts, dedicated to the promotion of traditional coppersmith techniques in Santa Clara del Cobre, Michoacán, in 1973 Luis works in the recognition of the Craft at the Altos de Chiapas Region. He studies the viability of the livestock and agricultural production on the basis of its socio-economic relation. He has worked, since the 1970s in capacitating workers in several of the Chiapas state communities. He also has scripted and produced documentaries like Chai’ kin and Chac Dios de la lluvia in Tenejapa.

Rut Martin

Rut Martín

Design Ethnographer/ Market Researcher

B.Sc degree in Architecture from UIC Barcelona, Rut has worked in multiple private and public projects and collaborated in a Socio-Urbanistic project in Vietnam. She  studied Marketing and Social media and graduated her Master’s degree in Retail design and branding from ELISAVA in 2013. Rut has developed Retail Research projects for Brands as SONY, Brand books for international franchising, restaurants, store design and Pop Up stores. She coordinates the Technology module of the Retail Design Master degree in ELISAVA, Barcelona school for design and engineering. She also coordinates training courses for companies. She is the co-founder of MøøR Design Studio; a collaborative design team linked to Retail Design and new retail formats, digital events and Pop Up stores. She also collaborates with Atelier Malvar&Tusch in NYC and in the CADA foundation developing research, documenting data and designing infographics for the platform.

John Bruce

John Bruce

Filmmaker/ Design Ethnographer/ Strategist

John Bruce is an Assistant Professor of Strategic Design and Management at the School of Design Strategies at Parsons. His teaching and professional practice involve empathy, ethnography, and creative intervention. He is co-founder and senior strategist at Forward Mapworks, a whole-systems consultancy, providing insight and design for ventures and movements operating in complex ecosystems. He also co-founded the design and architecture firm Super-Interesting. John’s work in a variety of media formats explores possibilities for modes of immersive experience, engagement, and exchange. He studied painting and installation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, and sustainable systems at Pinchot in Seattle.

John is a Fellow at the Graduate Institute for Design Ethnography and Social Thought, at The New School.


Rosalía Bautista García

Artisan / Collective Ñaa Ñanga

Born in San Pablo Tijaltepec, Rosalia is one of the youngest women who work on Tijaltepec embroidering. She learned the embroidery technique at the age of twelve, with the instruction of her mother. Rosalia recalls that during her childhood, women in her community embroidered parts to produce blouses they used as school uniform. Consistently during her spare time, or when traveling, she likes to embroider.

María del Carmen Castillo Cisneros

Social Anthropologist

She is a research professor in Social Anthropology at the National Institute of Anthropology and History (Centro INAH-Oaxaca). She belongs to the National System of Researchers (SIN). PhD in Social Anthropology from the University of Barcelona. Her PhD thesis on Mixe ritualism received the Fray Bernardino de Sahagún Award for the best thesis in Social Anthropology 2015. Since 2001 she has worked with indigenous peoples in the state of Oaxaca, highlighting his work with Tacuate, Mixe, Mixtec and Zapotec peoples.

Currently, together with Leopoldo Trejo, she coordinates the Oaxaca team of the National Ethnography Program of the Indigenous Regions of Mexico. She directs the Cuadernos del Sur Magazine,, chairs the Advisory Board of the UDLAP School of Social Sciences and is a member of two international research groups: Multilevel governance of cultural diversity in a comparative perspective: EU- Latin America (GOVDIV) and Thematic Network of Interdisciplinary Studies on Vulnerability, Social Construction of Risk and Natural and Biological Threats


Sebastiana García Bautisa

Artisan / Collective Ñaa Ñanga

Born in San Pablo Tijaltepec, Sebastiana remembers her childhood with great joy and affection, when her older sister taught her the embroider technique of “pickup shirring” at the age of ten. At first, it was hard because it is a difficult technique and requires a lot of dedication and time. It took her more than four years to improve the technique and only because she constantly practiced it. Today is one of the best embroiderers in the art; her embroidering pieces highlight a great quality in texture and composition.


Natividad Garcia Bautista

Artisan / Collective Ñaa Ñanga

Born in San Pablo Tijaltepec, Natividad is a woman who expresses a lot of creativity in the garments she produces. She is a master of the embroidery technique commonly called “pickup shirring”. She is very careful in presenting the traditional blouses of Tijaltepec, in the same way as she makes them with high quality and great imagination.

Jonas Adams

Editor / Sociologist

Jonas received his bachelor’s degree in sociology with honors from Hobart College in upstate New York. He is currently enrolled at the University at Buffalo as a PhD candidate with sociological interests in urban space and change, social design, cultural production, and race and ethnic relations. In 2022, Jonas served as an editor to the written portion of a CADA project collaborating with indigenous communities in Oaxaca, Mexico.