Azucena Romá is a designer, researcher, and artist based in New Orleans and New York. An always curious, empathetic, and compulsive maker she believes that following a human-centered design process is the backbone to experiences that have an impact on individual, societal, and global scales.
Recently, she earned her MFA in Interaction Design at the School of Visual Arts where her thesis explored ways to facilitate planning and dialogue in the End-of-Life space. She also successfully funded a Kickstarter project Recuerdos: Momento Mori; a enamel pin project to serve as a visible marker and conversation starter connecting people who've experienced loss.
As a visual artist, she has exhibited at SCOPE Miami Beach, Prospect 3+, the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival and was named one of "20 New Orleans Artists You Should Know" by Complex.com
Vice News, Wired, Forbes, Motherboard, RedBull, Complex
The New York Times, The Central Park Conservancy, New York Department of Transportation
School of Visual Arts, MFA Interaction Design
Loyola New Orleans, BA Graphic Design
University New Orleans, BA Sociology
University New Orleans, BA Communication Arts
Print & Design Narrative,
Loyola New Orleans 2014-2016
Typography for Web, StartUp Institute 2017
Azucena Romá, a Latin American visual artist, creates site specific work with dyed sawdust, flowers and found materials. Romá reinterprets traditional folk art techniques, specifically the Alfombras de Aserrín associated with Mayan culture in her parents' native country of Guatemala, using typography and pattern making. The richly colored ephemeral works, most often displayed in public and community spaces, are subject to the impact of the environment. The work is temporal and fleeting, revived through personal memory and effaced by time. The long and meticulous process of creating patterns in public spaces, juxtaposed by the impermanence of sawdust as an art medium, contextualizes notions of change, transience, eventual decay and death.
Further subtleties within Romá’s work can be traced back to her personal narrative, one directly influenced by cultural heritage and nationality. Through both process and medium, Romá is examining deeper questions of personal identity and sense of place, reflecting upon the relationship of a first generation immigrant to that of their ancestral origins. Romá’s proclivity to fold traditional methods of making Alfombras into her contemporary art practice is a creative hybridity that ensures a future for familial traditions that would otherwise appear lost. By consciously morphing and weaving traditions of bequeathed folk culture into her practice, Romá reveals a new story; one that is identifiable as her own.