Jorge Manes Rubio. TED Summit 2016, Banff, Alberta, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED

Jorge Mañes Rubio is a sort of sociohistorical alchemist. When he travels, he absorbs what he sees and hears, and uses it as raw material to “reimagine what could be instead.” He graduated in Design Products from the Royal College of Art London in 2010, where he confirmed his indefatigable desire to travel beyond the usual scopes of design. In 2015 he was awarded the S&R Foundation Washington Award and in 2018 he became a TED Senior Fellow. He’s also member of the Advanced Concepts Team at the European Space Agency. As an artist Rubio has been a guest lecturer at several international conferences and his work is regularly exhibited in galleries, museums and art centres worldwide such as National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art Seoul, V&A London, Royal Academy of Arts London, Design Museum London, Museum of Contemporary Design and Applied Arts Lausanne, Het Nieuwe Instituut in Rotterdam and Power Station of Art Shanghai. 

“I’m interested in altering our notion of reality, mixing historical facts with made up artefacts and stories. I strongly believe that by reimagining the unseen or forgotten around us, we can build alternative worlds, and in this utopian process we will manage to see beyond our own limitations and articulate new social scenarios. When people stop discerning the boundaries between what’s possible and what’s not, that’s when the true journey begins.”

“There is a nebulous factor that successful artists and Jorge Mañes Rubio have. This factor is a relentless, yet stylish, drive to accomplish something significant, to make a difference, to fulfil a vision—in a big way. It’s inexorable. Jorge recontextualizes the common and overlooked in our society and reveals it to us in a way that makes us know more about what we thought we already understood. And he does it with a warmth or humor that includes us—not excludes or demeans. There’s a compassionate, shared, embracing energy to his art. It draws us in, makes us more aware and more human.”              

Paul Klein, Klein Artist Works Chicago.