Budapest at night. Summer 2012
It takes a thousand words
A photography professor once told us you could look at a photo and think the guy in it is raging and screaming, but he in fact was just sneezing. We can describe a photo in a thousand words, more or less, if you want, but what kind of words are they?
People are fascinated by creativity. I humbly think it is the easiest aspect of any design project. You dream and enjoy the work while solving the puzzle, you love doing it. Passing on the “creation” to your client and having them understand it, brave it and take it seriously is what’s truly hard.
Yes, we are pretty versed visually, but not being able to choose those thousand words correctly will make or break a project. Speech is the basic tool of communication and being able navigate between the right amounts of the rational and the subjective is very, very hard.
Barcelona - 2012.
“I am finally in control of my geometries, so please don’t mess them up” - Things you would like contractors to understand.
Photo of sculpture at Cloisters, NYC. Summer, 2012.
Like cantilevered structures, we expect masses where there aren’t any. We stop and wonder. Our mind forces us to stop and wonder. It’s a good exercise. Thank you.
Costa Brava - 2012
The connections to both freedom and creativity lie just beneath the surface of this commandment (e.i. keeping the Sabbath): leisure is appropriate to a free people, and this people so recently free find themselves quickly establishing this quiet weekly celebration of their freedom; leisure is the necessary ground to creativity, and a free people are free to imitate the creativity of God.
The Gifts of the Jews - Thomas Cahill.
Here is one of the apartment units at the 1845-1851 Adam Clayton Powell development (Harlem) I worked on while at Curated. I hadn’t gotten involved past the design phase and never saw it built. It was such a great surprise to find this photo online.
We were looking for design details to freshen up the space while paying respect to the age of the building. We added a herringbone tile backsplash, black hardware and cabinets in a subtle but serious off white.
The units in this building had such nice layouts. Two to three bedroom apartments with very decent size rooms, high ceilings, natural sunlight. You don’t find many like these in NYC.
I found this fresco on the vaulted ceiling of one of the many covered walkways of Padova. For an instant I was shaken, a bit breathless and in awe. Shining stars in a warm and decaying palette, it spoke of space, time and magic.
As above, so below.
Space “design” is ethereal. Our canvas is imaginary and three-dimensional, our mind learns to envision compositions of light, color, texture and proportion. We think of them for months, we test little bits and adjust, until they come to life as we had somewhat imagined. Ordinary and overlooked, spaces become lively and enriching experiences.
That moment, when we finally see a space come together can shake you the way this fresco shook me. If we could only make these heart-felt experiences happen more often! Just like when we look at the stars, there is order but also plenty of magic.
Fresco at Oratory of St George. Padua, Italy.
When primitive man looked up at the heavens, he saw a vast cavalcade of divine figures regularly passing before his eyes - the cosmic drama, breathtaking in its internal order and predictability. Thomas Cahill - The gifts of the jews.
Italy, I look up to you!
Walking down the streets of Treviso, Padova and Venice filled my heart with hope. Chain stores, uniformity and the reminder of grey and endless working hours is not the only way for industry or a country to thrive. We fought with hundreds of cargo trucks in the Autostrada, we ran into the Stefanel factory and walked through streets filled with small shops offering all kinds of high quality local products, all of them beautifully designed and displayed.
How graceful are those older ladies with their linen outfits, nice hairdos and big sunglasses, and how gorgeous those men in perfectly tailored suits and leather portfolios riding their bikes around? The traces of old painted plaster throughout the city of Treviso, each carrying a different pattern, are a reminder that all the “modern things” I was admiring didn’t just happen.
There was an older gentleman that showed us around a beautiful little church in Treviso. He had lived in Argentina for a while but moved back home, he missed Italy too much. He was a photographer and before we left he gave us a couple of postcards. He was a happy man, just like all the people we talked to. He put his heart in his daily tasks, just like everyone else did.
Italy spoke of joy.
La Dolce Vita, Joie de Vivre - How do we say things like these in english?
Thank you Giannina for showing me around Veneto, and I’m sorry we weren’t able to make it to the cemetery!