Rebeca Mendéz

“Méndez has committed to diversity and inclusion, and she is a role model for aspiring young women designers across Latin America.”

–           UCLA, Design Media Arts, 2022,


Rebeca Méndez was born in Mexico City in 1962. She immigrated to California, United States, in 1980. There, Rebeca graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Design from the Art Center College of Design, Pasadena, California, in 1984. She also earned her MFA at that same college in 1996. In that year, the artist founded Rebeca Méndez Design, a multidisciplinary studio focusing on design for art, architecture, cultural clients, and nonprofit organizations.


“Méndez’s diverse works are driven by her interest in perception and embodied experience, and they develop within science, design, and art through immersive installations, public art, sound, video, photography, book arts, and drawing, with focus on posthumanism, eco-feminism, indigeneity, and environmental justice.”

–           UCLA, Design Media Arts, 2022,


Rebeca’s design research and practice focus on brand strategy and design, architectural immersive spaces, experience design, and book design. Méndez has led large teams and designed award-winning global brands, including IBM and Motorola. She also designed intimate and exquisitely crafted books for cultural clients, including Bill Viola for the Whitney Museum. In her studio, she has created projects for clients such as Morphosis Architects, Gehry Partners, The Getty Center, MOCA, Guggenheim Berlin, and SFMOMA.


Moreover, other professional experiences that Méndez has gained are her appointment as a senior partner/creative director of Brand Integration Group (BIG) for Ogilvy & Mather, Los Angeles (2000–2003). At BIG, Méndez led global branding projects for clients like IBM, AT&T Wireless, Trend Micro, and Motorola. Additionally, she joined Wieden+Kennedy as art director to work on the Microsoft account to develop, the concept, and design of the Microsoft Store (1998–1999).


Apart from private and corporal work, the designer has done permanent public art commissions. For example, Méndez was commissioned by the University of Cincinnati Recreation Center various times to paint various murals (2005-2006, 2017-present). Additionally, she did: two murals for the Metro Art Crenshaw/LAX project; the January 8 Memorial design for the January 8 Memorial Foundation, Tucson, Arizona; Los Angeles County Arts Commission for three commissions.


Throughout her career, Méndez has received awards and recognitions for her contributions to the art and communication design fields. Some awards she has received are the CODA award in Public Spaces (2021), the Medal of AIGA (2017), and the 2012 National Design Award in Communication Design, bestowed by The White House and the Cooper-Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum to honor lasting achievement in American design. Moreover, she received recognition from the Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, California (2022–24); as well as the honorary doctorate from Art Center College of Design (2019).


Additionally, the artist has exhibited in significant institutions like solo exhibitions at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum, Nevada Art Museum, El Paso Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oaxaca, Mexico, and Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach. She has also participated in group exhibitions at the Gangwon Triennale 2021, 55th Venice Biennial, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, El Paso Museum of Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.


Currently, Rebeca Méndez is a professor and the chair of the Design Media Arts department at the University of California, Los Angeles. She is known for helping redesign and reassessment her alma mater’s visual and cultural identity (1989–1995). There, the artist also is the founder and director of the CounterForce Lab: a research and fieldwork studio that encourages designers to engage with the global crisis and environmental injustice.