Mario Ballesteros named his new Mexico City gallery Ballista, after an ancient type of missile launcher — an apt metaphor for a “platform for functional art and radical homeware” that burst onto the scene this February with a strong vision for the future of Mexican design. Among the more extreme domestic pieces selected for the inaugural show were Victor Barragán’s poured-concrete coffee table (complete with four intimidating pointed cones jutting from the surface) and Aldo Álvarez Tostado’s sculptural BDSM set, which features suspended pieces of obsidian, horsehair, and piteado embroidery. Ballista is only the latest venue for Ballesteros, a prolific curator, editor, academic, and now gallerist, who was previously director and chief curator of Archivo Diseño y Arquitectura, a community-oriented space that exhibits and rethinks Mexican design. Dividing his time between Mexico City and San Miguel Allende, Ballesteros works both nationally — he is also a cofounder of Salón COSA, a nomadic contemporary-objects art fair that showcases Mexican artists and designers — and internationally, curating ambassador exhibitions abroad (most recently at Friedman Benda in New York). Two fundamental questions drive his practice: how can architecture and design be made more accessible? And what is Mexican design beyond the clichés?