Valeria Rivera Deneke

Valeria is a Masters of Architecture Candidate at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her Bachelor's of Science in Architecture Degree from the University of Virginia in 2013. Between UVa and MIT, Valeria worked as a Designer at DesignLAB Architects in Boston for one year, and as Project Coordinator at EMC Arquitectura in El Salvador for two years. While at EMC Arquitectura, Valeria lead the new modular design system project in El Salvador, "el qbo." El qbo was born as a solution to address an alternative to construction for clients in El Salvador. In response to the compilation of political unrest in the country, there was a significant impact in how people were investing internally. Therefore, by providing high quality materials, eliminating overhead, and guaranteeing a quick turnaround (six weeks), el qbo offers the country’s first pre-fabricated construction solution.

Maintaining a great curiosity for furniture design, Valeria launched her own furniture design line, lu-k chair, while in El Salvador. Valeria was inspired by the particular craft of local artisans. Being a third-world country, large scale manufacturing in furniture is not readily available – making hand-craft an essential skillset. El Salvador is also home to beautiful natural materials such as wood, cotton, and leather. Therefore, Valeria wanted to celebrate the delicate craft of local artisans and beautiful native materials, through design.