Into The Sun
Week one in BCN, a brutalist mosque, the state of fashion, and why Janeane Garafolo is still the best
It’s been a week and a half since we moved to Barcelona, and so far, so good. So far, we have the essentials for living. A makeshift couch made from floor cushions, a vintage table that seats 8 or more (for eventual dinner parties), a big, cozy bed, some bookshelves with no books, and a hand full of plants we bought from the market down the street. There’s something refreshing about getting to start anew, and not only physically, but mentally as well. We lived in our last apartment for over 8 years and it had begun to feel… tired? Like it had stopped being the place it used to be, I was no longer the person I used to be. I think it’s healthy to understand when something good has run its course.
Now, I’m doing my best to use this move as a reset on my life. Reset is maybe too strong of a word, let’s say a refresh. I’ve been trying to be more introspective, trying to understand who I was so I can better shape who I want to be. Eat, pray, love, and all that shit. So far, it’s honestly been going well (he writes a week and a half into it lol). I’m definitely going to be more active with this Substack, I have many ideas for this space. Kyle and I are both excited to start meeting people here in Barcelona, building a community of folks who are pursuing interesting endeavors. I’m also feeling the itch to work on some side projects again, so if anyone is in need of some cool branding, hit me up!
✖ — I hadn’t seen any new work from Malika Favre in a minute, that is until it popped across my feed the other day and I was reminded again how talented she is. The image above seems to be a promo for the cover she did for Sphere magazine, which is giving me some Inception feelings. I’m still so impressed how she’s able to communicate so much information with such abstract shapes.
✖ — Design Stories (the blog of Finish Design Shop) has an interview with Rolf Hay, cofounder of HAY, the contemporary furniture brand which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. I had two thoughts while reading this piece: First, I was amused that the company’s name is also the founder’s last name, I had no idea! Second, I follow a very similar approach for designing our home. If you’ve ever been in my apartment, you know this:
“Overall, we’ve never cared so much about matching the elements together. We care more about the individual qualities of every element. Our home is not color-coordinated. Someone would say it’s a big mess because we’ve collected a lot of small objects and items from our travels. These objects are dear to us and they’re all over the place creating an enormous amount of detail. But for us they don’t need to fit together – they need to be good together.”
✖ — Fashion is in a bad place and Amanda Mull has articulated this moment clearly in her piece for The Atlantic appropriately titled, Fashion Has Abandoned Human Taste. In it she speaks about the dissolving effect fast-fashion has on fashion, watering down any good ideas that may arise with thousands of unthoughtful iterations. Shopping online has only exacerbated the issue, as she writes, “At a certain point, you are not really paying for a product, but for the hopeful experience of buying something new. Whatever dress eventually shows up at your house is largely incidental to the momentary rush of acquiring it.” — UGH!
✖ — When I think of a mosque, I imagine a highly ornate space, filled with massive arches, and beautiful details. The Punchbowl Mosque by Candalepas Associates, a stunning project located in Sydney, takes a different approach, utilizing cast concrete and wood to create a jaw-dropping space.
What really stands out is the main prayer space (above) which contains 102 off-form concrete ‘muqarnas,’ each of which has a 30mm diameter hole at its center that allows into space, illuminating it as the sun moves around from dawn prayer through mid-day and mid-afternoon prayer, prior to sunset and evening prayers.
✖ — Monocle started a new series of programming on The Urbanist highlighting the biggest names in architecture, and they've begun with Antoni Gaudí. I live a block away from La Pederera, one of Gaudí’s most famous building, and obviously, Gaudi has left his mark across all of Barcelona. This little 30 minute episode taught me a lot about his time as an architect, many of the reasons why his buildings look as they do, and that appreciation for his work really started to grow in the last few decades.
✖ — In other space planning news, Bureau Bas Smets has been selected to rethink the grounds and visitor center of Notre-Dame. The project intends to bring lots of trees and plants, greening up the landscape to help manage temperatures and unifying the public space. Features include a linear park along the Seine, offering views of the Pantheon and the Paris skyline across the water, a new visitor center where the parking garage used to be, and a fountain-type feature. I’m so excited to see how this turns out.
✖ — Really loving this new typeface Etude, inspired by the study of type design and experimental music techniques. I love how odd and quirky it is, how it’s essentially a stencil typeface, and how great it looks at all kinds of different sizes. And if this typeface is exciting to you, I’d also recommend Nizioleti by ABYME which has a similar spirit to it. Now to figure out a project where I can use these…
✖ — Growing up in the 90s I was kinda obsessed with Janeane Garafolo. I remember watching her specials on Comedy Central, enthralled with this person who really didn’t give a shit. It was a refreshing point of view from the sameness of NBC’s Thursday night lineup. Last week, a piece on why Janeane Garofalo is so great popped up, and it had me feeling quite nostalgic.
One thing the author touched on that really resonated with me is this idea of “conventional success,” which she seems to purposefully avoid. I feel somewhat of a kinship with this idea, personally having no college experience, never really having a plan for a career, though always finding interesting ways to keep enjoying my life. It’s such a good read, and now I’m going to go watch Reality Bites.
✖ — I’m really hoping the next Apple Watch, based on silly rumors I’ve been reading online, has a new form (supposedly square and flat like the newer iPhone) though I’m not holding my breath. In the meantime I’ve been drooling over these LACALIFORNIENNE watch bands. I’m a sucker for some colorful stripes and these bands make the watch look much less “tech bro” and way more “weekend in Ibiza.”
The Trend Report™ by my partner, Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick, is a sharp and insightful look at all the things going on in the world, arriving every Sunday to your inbox. Highly recommended, obviously.