Mexico's rich history may be most visibly distilled into tchotchkes for tourists, but a growing local community of designers is using it for more sophisticated inspiration. This month, the Museum of Modern Art in New York celebrates the new work with its 10th Destination: Design series. These are some highlights.
 Pirueta Table
Multicolored wooden tops are a childhood staple in Mexico, so designers Paulina Gonzalez-Ortega and Andres Ocejo employed the top toy craftsmen to create this playful design. "The combination of an old technique and fresh material creates opportunities," says curator Ana Elena Mallet. ($750)
 Spiked Molcajete Bowl
The three-footed bowl "is one of the most characteristic objects of pre-Hispanic Mexico," says Perla Valtierra, who swapped traditional volcanic rock for a textured, glazed stone. ($150)
 Mini Muux Mortar and Pestle
Any successful batch of guacamole or gazpacho starts with a good mortar and pestle. Cedar comes together with volcanic stone in this updated version; the pieces join to create a space to store herbs and spices. ($125)
 Acapulco Chair
Rather than alter the shape of this classic Mexican design, Jorge Akele used new materials—galvanized steel and PVC string—to give it a modern feel and make it weather-resistant. ($195)
 Canasta Glass Bowl
Inspired by traditional baskets, Emiliano Godoy used existing molds to create this futuristic bowl, which can be carried by the top handle. "It cut out the environmental impact of making new molds," he says. ($250)
Products available at momastore.org.
A version of this article appeared in the May 2012 issue of Fast Company magazine.