Associate Principal and Office Leader Jaime de la Garza weighs in on designing for both Latinx/Hispanic and American cultures
What makes the Mexico City office unique?
Jaime de la Garza: What makes us unique is that we’re able to bring an authentic understanding of the Mexican market with the support of our U.S.-based teams. We have about 23 people here working closely with the New York, Dallas, Seattle and Los Angeles offices on a range of projects for clients such as a sustainable car company and a global coffee chain.
How does cultural diversity in the office affect our work?
Jaime: There are many Mexican and Central American immigrants throughout the U.S. The diversity we provide in our work in Mexico City can help us reach those most intimately while also reaching many other communities along the way. Texas, for example, is so large that you’re going to have different cultures throughout the state. In California, the same principle remains, though San Diego and Los Angeles reflect more Mexican flavors. At the same time, San Francisco and Sacramento have a larger international Hispanic influence due to the agriculture industry. In Seattle, the Mexican population is booming due to construction. However, there are distinct differences here in Mexico, and one of the biggest challenges is trying to help our American clients understand that.
We all speak English, but sometimes cultural communication is more complex than simply spoken language.
Any retailer coming into this market needs to adapt, so we help them navigate those differences.
What’s the importance of designing to celebrate and remember culture?
Jaime: In Mexico City, we’re immersed in the Spanish and Mexican heritage and design every day, so we don’t think about having a specific Latinx and Hispanic History Month the same way you do in the U.S. We’re always proud to celebrate the Latinx and Hispanic community and how we have contributed – in design as well as in so many other areas – to the American way of life over the last 245 years.
Jaime de la Garza is an Associate Principal and Office Leader of CRTKL’s Mexico City office. He has a broad background in conceptual and architectural design, and construction and development in the healthcare, corporate, retail, educational and residential markets. He executes different types of research, innovates techniques and project development into his design process, and sets productive and substantial targets and goals. Jaime’s well-rounded background also includes a focus on master planning, program management and sustainability.