Los Trompos

March 22, 2017 - October 1, 2017

Girl turning giant top

Los Trompos is a large-scale, interactive installation of much-larger-than-life spinning tops (trompos) in a variety of colors and shapes. The tops have created a playful destination for recreation and social interaction on the terrace in front of the Ackland Art Museum.

Designed by contemporary Mexican designers Héctor Esrawe and Ignacio Cadena, Los Trompos are inspired by spinning tops, the children’s toys that are popular around the world. The colorful surfaces of Esrawe and Cadena’s tops are made of fabric woven in a traditional style by Mexican artisans.

By working together, visitors may spin the large tops on their bases, adding motion and dynamism to the installation. Enlivening a very public but previously little-used space, Los Trompos will enable engagement with art and design beyond the Museum’s walls.

Public Talk: Designer Ignacio Cadena on Los Trompos

Thursday, 14 September, 4:00 PMAerial view of giant tops on grass
Free and open to the public

Join us for a public talk by Ignacio Cadena, co-designer of Los Trompos, the colorful, kinetic, larger-than-life spinning tops that have activated the Ackland’s facade and other locations across the UNC-Chapel Hill campus throughout the spring and summer.

Ignacio Cadena’s collaborative designs explore the boundaries between art and science. His work is a result of collaborations and explorations in different fields: installation, painting, graphic design, photography, sculpture, film, video, marketing, architecture, and industrial design. Cadena´s work has been published and recognized around the globe in multiple disciplines.


See Los Trompos in action at UNC via Instagram!

Los Trompos is presented in partnership with Arts Everywhere at UNC-Chapel Hill, a campus-wide arts initiative established by UNC’s Chancellor Carol L. Folt.

Los Trompos installation designed by Esrawe + Cadena, first commissioned by the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, and now made for the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Image Credit: Photos by Abel Klainbaum.