Photo: Brian Wancho

International Public Art Installation ‘Los Trompos’ Coming to Downtown Iowa City for the Summer


– Ped Mall Welcomes Interactive Art Installation with Larger-than-Life Spinning Tops –


(Iowa City, IA) – June 14, 2023 – The Iowa City Downtown District announced the arrival of the international participatory public art installation, Los Trompos by Esrawe + Cadena, to Downtown Iowa City for 6 weeks this summer. The opening of the installation will coincide with the Downtown Block Party on Saturday, June 22nd. Los Trompos is powered by Creos, an art production company from Montreal that is bringing its third installation to Downtown Iowa City and invites visitors to relax, hang out, and play in the heart of downtown. 

Los Trompos, which means “spinning tops” in Spanish, is a mesmerizing interactive installation that includes larger-than-life, three-dimensional spinning tops in a variety of vibrant colors and shapes. The colorful surfaces of each top are crafted using fabric woven in a traditional Mexican style, stretched over the modules to accommodate several people at once. These sculptures function as both artwork and rotating platforms, serving as gathering places for relaxation, social interaction, and entertainment. By collaborating to create momentum, visitors can spin the tops from their bases, bringing Los Trompos to life through interaction and teamwork.

This will be the third interactive placemaking public art installation from Creos to visit Downtown Iowa City. The Iowa City Downtown District, Think Iowa City and the City of Iowa City continue to see the value and draw for these experience-based traveling art installations.  “The Iowa City Downtown District has long been committed to enriching our community through diverse public art installations. By partnering with Creos, we successfully brought the Loop and Mi Casa, Your Casa 2.0 to downtown, which generated significant excitement and engagement,” said Iowa City Downtown District Executive Director, Betsy Potter. “These installations in 2021 and 2022 energized the Pedestrian Mall, creating vibrant spaces for residents and visitors alike. We are confident that Los Trompos will continue this tradition, inviting the community to experience downtown Iowa City in a fun and creatively engaging way.”

The concept behind Los Trompos draws from traditional toys, their colorful expression, and the craftsmanship of Mexican artisans. The creators aimed to celebrate these traditions and skills, transforming them into contemporary symbols. First commissioned by the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Los Trompos has since traveled across the country, engaging multiple communities, with its next stop in Downtown Iowa City for a six-week installation this summer.

Los Trompos was created by Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, two Latin American artists. “We are inspired by ordinary objects that surround us. We are influenced by our context and our everyday 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,” said creators Hector Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena.

The five structures will be installed in the Pedestrian Mall on June 21st with the official opening on June 22nd, they will be accessible any time of day until August 5th. 

ABOUT THE CREATORS OF LOS TROMPOS | Hector Esrawe & Ignacio Cadena

Héctor Esrawe is a prolific furniture and interior designer, architect, academic and entrepreneur, living and working in Mexico City. He has founded his multidisciplinary design studio in 2003, which aims to develop integral design solutions. Esrawe Studio breaths of dedication, passion and persistence, focusing on fine details and quality, pushing boundaries and taking on new challenges.

Ignacio Cadena is the owner and creative director of CADENA CONCEPTS®, a multidisciplinary firm with more than 20 years of experience imagining astounding solutions where design, innovation, and creativity become real tools for transformation.

Esrawe + Cadena, with over 25 years of experience and an extensive and diverse list of clients and projects in Mexico, North, Central and South America, is more than a highly creative strategic design firm; We think of ourselves as a real multidisciplinary workshop that brings together design expertise, market experience, solid research, analysis and good old-fashioned creative talent. A Conceptual Laboratory offering total – Emotional Design – solutions through visual strategies for effective and unique product positioning and holistic design solutions. Learn more.

Creos’ mission is to democratize public art by traveling with these installations in order to increase their influence all over the world by transforming public spaces into must-see destinations! Recognized as an international leader in its field, Creos acts as an active liaison between managers, developers, creators, and distributors of public art around the world. Learn more.