Growing up in Bogotá, Colombia, Mariana’s mother owned a bookstore called “La Caja de Herramientas,” which translates to “The Toolbox.” She enjoyed having this place as a respite from the dynamic and complex city outside, and still finds herself most inspired when she is immersed in the magical worlds of Latin American literature written in her native Spanish.
Her upbringing in Colombia provided the building blocks for Mariana to create her own “toolbox” to find solutions to some of today’s most pressing design questions. A student of architecture and economics with a master’s degree in design strategy, Mariana applies a human-centered approach to every project, and she strives to create work that responds to fundamental needs of security, connection, and community. She believes that being a designer is about being fully human, which means being comfortable with chaos and paradox, and questioning everything.
As the leader of the New York studio design strategies team, Mariana researches, collaborates, and distills project needs into one clear narrative. She feels most fulfilled when data gathering leads to synthesis, dots are connected, and information creates action. Mariana’s work becomes master plans, workplace strategies, and toolkits that provide clarity and purpose.