Jorge Mañes Rubio

Jorge Mañes Rubio




Jorge Mañes Rubio is an award-winning Spanish artist based in Amsterdam. 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 2014 he obtained the prestigious TED fellowship. Rubio has been a guest lecturer at several international conferences such as TED2014 Vancouver, TEDxMadrid, FRAME Amsterdam and DDW Eindhoven. His work has been exhibited in galleries, museums and art centres in Spain, Italy, France, UK, The Netherlands, USA, Canada, Japan, India, China and South Korea.

“My work explores the unseen. Forgotten places and stories inspire me to create artworks that reimagine and revive these sites as attention-worthy destinations, shining light on social, political or environmental issues from an alternative perspective. I want to challenge the notion of authenticity in our global society, questioning our perception of heritage, culture and consumption.”

“My practice revolves around research-driven methodologies and specific political-social interventions, creating fictional narratives, visual explorations and immersive installations, engaging with local resources and using different medias to achieve the greatest social impact with my work.”

“I’m interested in distorting our notion of reality, mixing historical facts and data together with made up evidence and artefacts. 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 real and what’s not, that’s when the real journey begins.”

“This mission has taken me to illegally manufacturing souvenirs on top of the Eiffel tower, or cycling along the Camino de Santiago with a bike and a portable rotational moulding machine, translating experiences into objects. In 2013 I travelled along the Yangtze River documenting the huge environmental and humanitarian impact created by the Three Gorges Dam Project. I conceived a series of symbols that documented and recognised entire cities that have no name or don’t appear on maps anymore. In 2014 in Amsterdam I created a new national identity: the Republic of Columbusplein. A micro-nation that offered creative solutions to promote intercultural integration and improve the quality of life of the residents of one of the city's most vulnerable neighbourhoods. More recently, I spent several months in Japan creating a fictional Space Program that dealt with lunar meteorites, interplanetary utopias, galactic cosmic rays and the colonisation of celestial bodies.”

There is a nebulous factor that successful artists and Jorge Manes Rubio have. This factor is a relentless, yet stylish, drive to accomplish something significant, to make a difference, to fulfill 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.



2015 S&R Foundation Washington Award (2016)

  • S&R Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports talented individuals with high aspirations in the arts, sciences and social entrepreneurship, announced the winners of the 2015 S&R Foundation Washington Award. The four recipients will be officially honored at the S&R Washington Awards Gala on Saturday, June 4 at Evermay in Washington, DC.

TED Fellow (2014)

  • The prestigious Ted Fellows program handpicks world-changing innovators from around the globe and brings them to the TED stage to raise international awareness of their remarkable work.

2nd Prize Your Street International Design Contest Eindhoven (2012)

  • Street Food Lighting, 2nd Prize Your Street International Design Contest. Organised by Design Indaba, Capital D and Premsela, Nederlands Instituut voor Design en Mode.

First Prize Play in the City Award (2012)

  • Play in the City Award by Infinit and ElDuende Magazine. First prize for ‘Play, Set & Match’.

Best Artwork, Sculpture & Installation Design (2010)

  • Evolution Award by SONY Spain. ‘Useless’ by Jorge Mañes Rubio for Best Artwork, Sculpture & Installation Design.





  • Street Food Lighting at the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, South Korea.
  • Design Museum Dharavi at Spring House Amsterdam, The Netherlands. 
  • Artist in Residence at the European Space Agency, Noordwijk, The Netherlands. 
  • Talk at the S&R Foundation Washington Awards Gala, Washington, USA. 
  • Design Museum Dharavi, Mumbai, India.


  • Streetlights at ArtDeli, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Buona Fortuna at Pinacoteca Provinziale di Salerno, Italy.
  • Lecture at Japan Cultural Exchange, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Buona Fortuna at Initial Gallery, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Mission: U-TOPIA at AIAV Japan.


  • TEDX talk at TEDxMADRID, Spain.
  • Normal Pool Level at Floating Cinema, London, UK.
  • Normal Pool Level at Centre for Contemporary Chinese Art CFCCA, Manchester, UK.
  • Street Food Lighting at Roman Susan Gallery, Chicago, USA.
  • Street Food Lighting at Tad Gallery, Denton, Texas, USA.
  • Lecture at Timescapes, Milan, Italy. 
  • TED talk at TED2014, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Lecture at Ninety Minutes of Frame, Amsterdam, the Netherlands.
  • Street Food Lighting at Functional Dissonance, Festival Bo:m, Seoul, South Korea.
  • Street Food Lighting at NighTime Dreamreal, PSA Power Station of Art Shanghai, China.
  • Ultreia, the Nomad Factory at Mastering Design Exhibition, MUDAC, Musée de Design et d’Arts Appliqués Contemporains, Lausanne, Switzerland.


  • Street Food Lighting at the Dutch Design Week, Eindhoven, the Netherlands.
  • Nauru at Matadero Madrid, Spain.
  • Street Food Lighting at Matadero Madrid, Spain.
  • Normal Pool Level at LASEDE, COAM, Madrid, Spain.
  • Beyond Design At Instituto HUNE, Madrid, Spain.
  • Lightworks a design workshop at Universidad Nebrija, Madrid.
  • Normal Pool Level at 501 Contemporary Art Centre, Chongqing, China.


  • Ultreia, the Nomad Factory, at the 25 Années d’Itinéraires Culturels du Conseil de l’Europe, Luxembourg.
  • Street Food Lighting at the Designhuis, Eindhoven, The Netherlands. 
  • Undesigned at the DDW Eindhoven, The Netherlands.
  • Ultreia, the Nomad Factory, at the Spazio per le Arti Contemporanee del Broletto di Pavia, Italy.
  • Useless at Foster Care 2012, Salone del Mobile, Milano.
  • Samplify, nothing has been done yet, a design workshop at Universidad Nebrija, Madrid. 


  • A.B.C.D.E. An open discussion on design process, at Studio X Mumbai, India.
  • UP, a new design movement, at Westergasfabriek, Amsterdam.
  • Fantastical Investments, at Droog Amsterdam.
  • Ultreia, the Nomad Factory, at ‘.thisplace’ exhibition organised by the A+A Centro Pubblico per l’Arte Contemporanea di Venezia.
  • Ultreia, the Nomad Factory at RCA Intent, Salone del Mobile, Milano, Italy, 2011.
  • Souvenir Engineering, a design workshop at Universidad Nebrija, Madrid. 
  • Useless at ArtMadrid 2011, Spain.
  • Born Again at SalaB The Emerging Art Jam, Barcelona, Spain, 2011.


  • Shanghai Express at Sleepwalkers Film Festival, Tallin, Estonia.
  • Ultreia, the Nomad Factory at Latin America’s Second Design Biennial, Madrid, Spain.
  • Shanghai Express at the 5th International Streaming Film Festival, The Hague, The Netherlands.
  • Shanghai Express at Torun Film Festival, Torun, Poland.
  • Ultreia, The Eiffel Factory and Shanghai Express at Liquid Cities Calgary, Canada.
  • PechaKucha Valencia.
  • Ultreia, the Nomad Factory, at Royal College of Art, London.


  • The Eiffel Factory at Royal College of Art, London.
  • Design Odyssey at Colab, Syracuse University, NY.
  • Jeunes Pousses at Tools Galerie, Paris.
  • Desigm at the Salone del Mobile, Milano.
  • Low Cost Design at Casapasarela, Madrid.
  • Useless at Econciencia, Madrid.
  • Park, Set & Match at Royal College of Art, London.


  • Dear Hunter at Casapasarela Madrid.
  • AABKA at the Salone del Mobile, Milano.
  • Playroom at IED Madrid.


Barry Jenkins

Barry Jenkins