Juan Fernando Hidalgo

He stands in his office, surrounded by architectural plans of his latest project and in his hand is a piece of totora. He looks down at the plant stem and smiles to himself as he thinks of the years he has spent studying and working with this extraordinary plant.

Over the years, Juan has completed many landmark properties in his home town of Cuenca, throughout Ecuador and South America. He has also spent much time creating an exciting range of furniture made from totora which he has exhibited with great success at the Maison & Objet Show in Paris. The French love his innovative and contemporary styles and his clever design ideas. The Malleable Table is the perfect example! This attractive square table has vertical totora reeds tightly packed in the frame to create the table surface. Place a bottle or wine glass on the surface and the reeds under each are pushed down leaving the surrounding reeds to hold the bottle and glass in place – no more spills! When you want the reeds back in their normal position, simply turn a handle for them to be realigned.

Hidalgo has also regularly exhibited both in South America and Paris and in 2014 Hildago Cordero was presented with an award by UNESCO for ‘excellence in crafts of the Andean countries’

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