Colombian architect turned textile designer, Jorge Lizarazo, has spent 20 years creating distinctive textiles by combining unique and unexpected fibers. The Hechizoo founder talks to Rebeca Vaisman, reflecting on his creative approach and the inspiring advice he's never forgotten.



Jorge Lizarazo's beach house in Colombia 


“When you find it, love gives you tickles inside, right? Well, I think you get that same feeling when you encounter the future of your life,” says Jorge Lizarazo. This is how the Colombian textile designer felt seeing the results of his first weavings of metal strands with natural fibers: the way the textile vibrated and caught the light; the character of the copper intertwined with noble and textured raw materials; the certainty of holding his creative purpose in his own hands. Lizarazo has been enamored ever since.

“It has been a beautiful career, but full of sacrifices. Back then nobody thought I could weave. Who would’ve known?” he asks, sitting at his desk in Hechizoo, the renowned atelier he founded almost 24 years ago in Bogota. He gave it an accurate name, for “hechizo” is Spanish for “spell”, and woven magic appears to be conjured here, between the looms, the infinite tapestries and rugs, and the larders of material.


 Textile designer Jorge Lizarazo pictured at home in Bogota


Born in 1968 in Armenia – a town in the coffee belt of Colombia – but raised in Bogota, Jorge Lizarazo moved to France in his 20s, as a novice architect. He apprenticed at the studio of Spanish architect, Santiago Calatrava, before joining Italian architect, Massimiliano Fuksas, where he was put in charge of the materials room. This proved crucial for Lizarazo, who was immersed in glass, porcelain, aluminum, iron, wood, stone, “and everything you can imagine!”, he enthusiastically recalls.

“When Massimiliano needed a material or came up with something genius that he had to concretize, I ended up in the meeting room proposing this or that material,” he recounts. He was also the recipient of shrewd advice: “Massimiliano once told me that the world is made for [he who] dares to do different. I never forgot those words”.

Returning to Colombia in the late 90s, he found himself designing high end residential projects, but soon became restless. “I was bored by traditional and commercial architecture. The world needed a new way of living and in Colombia, at that time, we kept living in the same structured way, in the past."


 Jorge Lizarazo's beach house in Colombia 


Lizarazo took to interior design as a way of exploring more daring spaces, and approached other design disciplines, in particular, traditional Colombian crafts. This introduced him to Liliana Jaramillo, one of Colombia's main references in contemporary weaving. Together, they designed and produced Lizarazo's first textile collection.

Inspired by French Impressionism, he wanted to create textiles where colors and forms appeared by the juxtaposition of each thread, almost stroke by stroke. As a last touch, he recalled Fuksas' studio, where every material was at hand, and decided to add metal strands to the weave, imbuing it with yet another dimension.

Lizarazo wanted his textiles to be distinctive, and unique. His studio, Hechizoo, started by using four main materials: fique (a vegetal fiber which Colombian coffee sacks are made of); cumare (a palm species); yare (an Amazonian vegetal fiber); and copperToday, the studio works with over 2500 kinds of threads.


  Jorge Lizarazo's beach house in Colombia 


“I have become a collector of fibers of the world,” he says. Indeed, describing his textiles does feel like reciting an incantation: horsehair with silk and metal; crystal and vegetal fibers from the Amazon and the Andes; natural linen entangled with gold; silver and copper threads. The combinations are diverse and inspired, and always underpinned by an additional layer: the ability to transform with light.

Naturally, Lizarazo's talents have been appreciated far and wide. Since he launched Hechizoo, the studio has produced work for clients including Dior, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Fendi, and architects Peter Marino and Herzog & de Meuron, while his textiles are in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museum of Arts and Design.

Lizarazo is still represented internationally by the first person to trust his creative vision, fellow Colombian, Cristina Grajales, in whose New York gallery Hechizoo will present a solo show, Original Sin, in February 2024.

Hechizoo interior projects and textiles © Jorge Lizarazo


In what used to be a series of warehouses in a working-class neighborhood to the South of Bogota, Hechizoo now employs 70 weavers. It is a busy workshop, but has retained space for gardens and calm. “It is an oasis, a beautiful place," Jorge says, "somewhere I happily go every day, right into the heart of the most authentic Bogota”.

In Lizarazo's homes, in Bogota and on the Colombian coast, you'll always find mixed textures, plants, animals (he’s a dog lover), and human warmth. He collects lamps, but is fascinated by 'gloominess'; his personal spaces must be devoted to rest and relaxation. He also knows how to find a place for every object that seduces him.

In his living room, he has a Hechizoo rug: it was a commission, but the client changed his mind. And Jorge Lizarazo couldn’t have been happier, he loves having it, contemplating it. For him, beauty is complexity and enjoyment.


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