Los Trompos - CODAworx

Los Trompos

Submitted by Esrawe + Cadena

Client: High Museum of Art

Location: Atlanta, GA, United States

Completion date: 2015

Artwork budget: $240,000

Project Team


Ignacio Cadena

Cadena + Asociados Concept Design ®


Hector Esrawe



As a blank canvas for community engagement and programming, “Los Trompos” draws its inspiration from the form of a spinning top, a toy popular with children around the world. The project features more than 30 three-dimensional, larger-than-life tops in a variety of colors and shapes, which are installed throughout the piazza. The colorful surfaces of each “top” are created in part by fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican Artisans. By working together, visitors may spin the tops on their bases as they interact with the structures.


We are inspired by ordinary objects that surround us. We are influenced by our context and our every day activities which allow us to visit and share with different cultures and different individuals. We are inspired by history, art, music, architecture, books and the city itself. We firmly believe that these are the goals of design: To weave and generate interactions, human connections and emotions, to relate to users, and to enhance and translate our inheritance and skills into new expressions.


On April 24, 2015, the High Museum of Art unveiled the second large-scale, interactive design installation by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena on The Woodruff Arts Center’s Carroll Slater Sifly Piazza. The site-specific work, titled “Los Trompos” (“The Spinning Tops”), continues a multi-year initiative to activate the outdoor space and engage visitors in a meaningful art experience upon entering the campus of The Woodruff Arts Center (of which the Museum is a partner). The installation builds on the success of 2014’s “Mi Casa, Your Casa” commission, for which Esrawe and Cadena dotted the piazza with three-dimensional open frames shaped like houses that invited visitor interaction. Originally planned as a two-year project, the Piazza activation program is extended through 2017 with funding from a recent grant to The Woodruff Arts Center from the Lettie Pate Evans Foundation. “Los Trompos” creates a destination outside the Museum where patrons can enjoy recreation, social interaction, performances, art-making activities and special events co-organized with local partner institutions.

Additional Information

The High commissioned them to design the first two installations for the project, building on a partnership established in 2013 with the designers for the exhibition “Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting.” The design team created two contemporary readable spaces within the galleries. Based on visitor reactions to those installations, the High asked the designers to return to create a new intervention for its piazza space, which resulted in their creation of “Mi Casa, Your Casa.” On view July 18 through Nov. 30, 2014, It featured 36 three-dimensional, vibrant red frames shaped like houses.