Founder and Director, CounterForce Lab
UCLA, Design Media Arts
Rebeca Méndez is an artist, designer, and professor and chair at UCLA, Design Media Arts, where she is founder and director of the CounterForce Lab, a research and fieldwork studio that harnesses the power of art and design to engage with the reality of global ecological crisis and its ties to environmental injustice. Her research and practice investigates design and media art in public space, critical approaches to public identities and landscape, and artistic projects based on field investigation methods. Méndez’s diverse works develop within science, design and art through immersive installations, sound, video, photography, book arts, and drawing, with focus on post-humanism, eco-feminism, indigeneity, and environmental justice. She has received significant recognition including an honorary doctorate from Art Center College of Design (2019), The Sally and Don Lucas Artists Residency Program, Montalvo Arts Center, Saratoga, California (2021-23); inclusion into the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (2019), inclusion in the One Club Creative Hall of Fame (2017); 2017 Medal of AIGA, and the 2012 National Design Award in Communication Design. Solo exhibitions: San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Hammer Museum, Nevada Art Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Oaxaca, Mexico. Group exhibitions: 55th Venice Biennial, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, El Paso Museum of Art, and the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum. Méndez is known for her career-long commitment to ‘design and art as a social force,’ and her interests and initiatives are a bridge between art, design and science, and demonstrate a commitment to the environment and a sustainable future.