Archive for July, 2013
I am very excited to be featured for the second time around on one of my favorite Travel sites, Let’s Travel Somewhere, curated and founded by the travel photographer Nisa Mayer. My first story was on Vietnam, and this time it is all about New York.
“As someone who travels for work, I write mostly about places I visit and less about the place where I have been living for the last 11 years; New York. Sometimes, it is hard to look at a place you know so well with different eyes. But New York is so dynamic and surprising that every borough, neighborhood, street or even a door, can be a great opportunity for an interesting shot. Not only does New York never sleep, it barely reclines. (which suits well my personality). That doesn’t mean you can’t kick back and relax; there are plenty places for that. But if you visit New York, here’s a word to the wise: Beside packing your camera gear, pack also your most comfortable shoes; Because Manhattanites may not nap much, but they sure do walk a lot.
As a photographer based in New York, the streets of this city have always been a great inspiration for my photography: whether it’s the architecture, the city reflections on windows, the stream of energy in the streets, the people walking in it, the titanic billboards and advertising ads, the colorful murals and the graffiti on the walls. It all inspires me.”
To see more of my New York images and read more about it, please click on this link.
And as I said in a previous post about ‘Let’s Travel Somewhere’… the size (of the images) DOES matter.
I’ve been writing about Paris quite a lot in the last couple of months since I visited the city three times in one year. I think that in one of my posts I even mentioned that I have this day – dream of living in Paris for few months, indulging in some French boulangeries, pâtisseries, fromageries.
While I continue to day dream about it, Carin Olsson, originally from Stockholm, Sweden, is actually DOING IT.
Carin is the persona behind the visually beautiful blog ‘Paris in Four Months’. She moved to Paris January 2012 for four months, mostly to learn French and to eat all the great food that Paris has to offer. She fell in love with the city, and came back to live there again a year later, January 2013. She is still not sure if she will be staying in Paris forever. ‘I’ve said to myself that I should stay as long as want to, but there are so many cities and exciting places to explore in this world before settling down. So perhaps I’ll go away for a while and then come back to Paris again, who knows?’
She shares with her readers bits and pieces of her Parisian life. If you follow her long enough (also on facebook and instagram) you will learn that she loves Fashion, Sweets (my favorite category) Store Windows and much more. Especially I am looking forward to her Weekend Reading category. She always finds these gorgeous flowers that she pictures for her Weekend Reading finds. I love looking at her big-sized images that sometimes fill up my computer screen and make me feel as I am right there, with her, in Paris.
If you are planning a trip to Paris soon, I encourage you to check Paris in Four Months. If you want to know more about Carin and how she approaches new projects and what is next for her, read below.
Thanks Carin! Can’t wait to walk with you one day in Paris.
Where are you originally from? I’m originally from Sweden. I grew up in a smaller city outside of Stockholm but during my teens I moved back into the city.
Where did you study photography? I’ve actually never studied anything in this category I’m afraid, although I would absolutely love to study photography and design in the future. Everything I’ve learnt about photography so far I have my dad and my ex-boyfriend to thank for. During many years I just watched them with a camera, in front of editing programs etc. and when I finally picked up my own camera I already had a bit of knowledge and tricks in the back of my head. I also think I taught myself a lot. I’m almost never happy with my photography which pushes me to find new ways and reach better results.
What made you want to learn it? I always had an interest for photography but it wasn’t until I made my first move to Paris that I realized how much I actually loved it. I would often spend my days walking around, exploring the city with the camera in my hand. After staring my blog and finding a way that I could share these photos I just wanted to get better and better.
If you weren’t a photographer what would you do?I unfortunately don’t think I can call myself a full-time photographer just yet but someday I hope to be able to do so. But if I couldn’t be a photographer in the future I would have loved to be an event planner. I looove organizing and planning! Or work at a magazine.
Where do you get your inspiration from? During the last year it’s been Paris. When I walk around the city I get the most inspiration. I love that I never seem to get tired of these beige, white and grey Parisian streets. Although I’m hardly the only one… Paris is extremely photogenic and very beautiful.
How would you describe ‘Your Paris’? Paris has a lot of different sides and they’re not all picture perfect and stunningly gorgeous, I’m aware of that. But I think I choose to see the prettier sides of this city. I love the history, the architecture and the romance of Paris.
What do you mostly love shooting? When I first started taking photos I focused a lot on the city itself but lately, during the last couple of months or so, I’ve really enjoyed shooting people too. I love capturing emotions and different moments, preferably when the person in front of the lens doesn’t notice the camera. Hopefully I’ll get some chance to practice this more in the future as well.
How do you usually approach a new project? It depends on the project but since I love to organize and plan and usually sit down with a pen and a pad and try to sort everything through. Time frames, places, people – everything that is a part of the project needs to be written down. I need to see things in front of me to really be able to grasp them and to organize my thoughts.
What are you working on right now? At the moment I’m working on two different articles for a Swedish magazine, both with Paris as the main subject. Hopefully I can share more once these are in print but right now all I can say is that they both involve two of my biggest passions; Paris and food.
What do you see and want next for yourself? I would love to focus more on the photography part. I feel happy and excited every time I pick up my camera and that’s how I would like to feel every minute of every day. I would also love to go a little bit more towards the fashion side of photography. Right now, that’s the most exciting for me!
Window or Aisle? Aisle for sure. I get kind of claustrophobic if I’m forced to sit in the window seat.
Resource Magazine Summer 2013 edition is out! and my second article in the series ‘Productions of the World’ is now focusing on Lisbon, Portugal. (My first one was on Tel Aviv). If you are a photographer who is interested to shoot in Lisbon, than this article will definitely help you plan it. And if you are not a photographer but still, visiting the Portuguese capital, you will find some great tips and recommendations.
Some people might refer to Portugal as the ‘foster kid of Europe’, not necessarily for its southwestern location in the continent, but mostly for its comfortable Mediterranean climate throughout the year and the warm temper of its people. These two make Portugal as a popular destination to visit, explore and travel.
The Portuguese people love to travel. Therefore it is no surprise that Lisbon, their capital, is a sophisticated, global city with endless opportunities to offer visitors and its native residents. Recently the city has started to wake up to tourism and become more alive, more tourist-friendly and a desired destination among the younger crowds.
A new generation of venues has popped up in the last couple of years, upgrading the night-life and dining scene. More chef-oriented restaurants are being opened, more bars and clubs pay attention to the design scene and more trendy fashion boutiques are spreading around. Combine this with the history, the architecture, the beaches, and the fact it is a compact city and relatively easy to navigate, and you have a great destination to visit and a diverse city to shoot in.
To read the full article, please click here.
I think almost every photographer and writer gets curious to find how their article will come out on print. Speaking for myself, I’m always eager to know how the editor will transfer my thoughts, words and images to the readers. I met Karim Rashid in the beginning of June and interviewed him both for my blog and for Style (Signon) Magazine in Israel. You can read more about how I met Karim or how did he find me here.
This is my interview with Karim, translated to Hebrew and published in Style magazine, Israel.
When I was writing my previous post about the Nhow Hotel in Berlin, I mentioned that I was always curious to know what does Karim Rashid eat for breakfast that fuels his ideas and inspiration. What I didn’t know was that a week after publishing this post, I would be sitting in Karim Rashid’s studio in Chelsea, asking him this question in person (!).
Apparently, I am not the only one who google-search her name. Karim Rashid does the same. He stumbled upon my blog and saw the pictures I took of Nhow Hotel and asked a permission to post them on his fan page. How could I refuse to such a flattering thing?
‘Don’t ask him why he wears Pink most of the time’ his lovely assistant Jessica advised me when I got to the studio. ‘It’s just because almost every journalist asks him that’, she smiled. I made a note to myself not to mention Pink clothes, but eventually, even though Karim was wearing all white, I used the Pink Clothes-thing just to break the ice.
‘Well, I believe that Real Men wear Pink’ Karim said, and in a way, he had a point. He sat on a yellow chair right under a painted portrait of his, while I was standing behind his pink (!) desk and pointed the camera at him.
As a photographer, when I am taking someone’s portrait, I always want to make that person feel comfortable and at ease (because it shows right away in the picture). Therefore, as much as I can sometimes get nervous myself, I always try to start with a small talk or a funny story to share. ‘So I really want to know what do you eat for breakfast’ I asked Karim, ‘Just to know what fuels your brain in the morning for inspiration’
‘Well, my breakfast is quite boring, I eat oatmeal and fruits, nothing special…But I get my inspiration from almost everything. Since I was a little kid I used to observe what was around me and constantly draw. The ability to look at things different than other people…you Sivan, are probably aware of it yourself because you are a photographer’
So this is how the interview started…smooth with a mutual artist bonding and a clear understanding that we both look at things different. (note: part of the interview was done on the spot, some details were added afterwards via emails)
What is your approach when you design a hotel? With hotels I design from micro to macro (from the lamp to the bed to the interior to the architecture). I love the larger experiential impact a hotel can have on people lives. With hospitality design or public space, I know that masses of people have access to my designs, and they aren’t just looking at it, they are physically immersing themselves inside my concepts. As a designer you must learn to collaborate. As you can see, I try to experiment with every project. It is not the form that is primary -It is the idea, the concept. I work with the strengths of the client, with their vision and location.
How do you start a new project? I perpetually observe and analysis and dissect everything around me in our built environments. My discipline is to absorb everything I can about a particular subject, and then I sketch for hours developing ideas and most important I think about the human experience, about the social behavior of that particular scenario. Every project is different and usually the process is also. I fill sketch books weekly, and then I bring my designs back to the studio. My team creates 3D renders of my ideas, does research with me on materials, production processes, and then we refine the concepts based on all the plethora of criteria, be it social, economic, or technological issues until my vision is realized.
Where do you get your inspiration from? I learned from a young age to be highly perceptive of our built environment. I drew constantly as a child and trained myself to see everything and to see what most people may not see. Hence when you see everything around you, then everything is inspiring and I become critical of every aspect of daily life. Also each project stems from its own inspiration. Nhow hotel Berlin was inspired by location, and by music. Berlin embodies the spirit of the underground, the dark school of electronic music, the harsh yet intellectual environment, the massiveness, and the desirous need for artistic pursuit. Semiramis was inspired by the sensual Greek Light – so romantic, so beautiful.
What is the difference in designing a hotel than any other building? I love the larger experiential impact a hotel can have on people lives. With hospitality design or public space, I know that masses of people have access to my designs, and they aren’t just looking at it, they are physically immersing themselves inside my concepts. With hotels I design from micro to macro (from the lamp to the bed to the interior to the architecture). Sometimes I design the name, the logo, and brand identity. Of course I cannot touch every experience with a condo, office, or other building and it is a longer more permeant relationship with the user. Also the interesting phenomena of hotels is that I believe one should have a temporary experience that they would never have anywhere else, so there is an opportunity to create a new inspiring experience, like theatre or entertainment, and to propel people into living in a space that stye would have never experienced at home or other places.
What are the next trends in hotel design? (in general) I prefer design that transcends fashionable trends and to work towards and searching for new vernaculars that echo out Technorganic digital world. Just the five major features of the perfect hotel – a real contemporary well designed room that is seamless (perfect lighting, perfect comfort, etc), A heightened sensory experience, sustainable construction and operations, total seamless technology, nude sunbathing deck, and a really well considered and designed gym and spa.
Do you have a favorite hotel you prefer to stay in? (not necessarily one you designed) I have stayed in so many hotels and few are really memorable. I do like Unique hotel in San Paolo – The round 2 meter porthole windows have this beautiful unconventional way of seeing the city from room view, like looking out of a big telescope, while the façade has of course some bizarre nautical semantic. The upside-down half pie clad in green copper (locally they refer to it as a watermelon slice) is really, well, unique. What is so fabulous is the end rooms have curved floors that ride up to infinity, giving this sense of nirvana. I feel like I am in heaven. The lobby is a phenomenal grandiloquent space, and the landscaping is reductive yet poetic. My friend Ruy Ohtake created a fantastic project. Hotel Unique also has a floating glass framed rooftop pool with breathtaking views of Sao Paulo.
What is your motto in life? Globalove
What is your motto in work? I think my mantra is to inspire people through my design and my words
What drives you forward? (not necessarily work related) I have so many things I want to do like own a fashion clothing line, open an organic café, design a private house, design more buildings, design an electric car, etc.
Who and what inspires you? Is there someone in specific? Everything and everyone inspires me. I see beauty in everything!
What kind of advice will you give a young designer? Talent and hard work is the way to succeed.I learned that design is not about a form or shape, but it is a cultural critique, a cultural shaper, a faction of social, political, and economic life. Design is a lifetime experience so learn to learn, and work for others to get as many experiences as you can. Diligence and perseverance is a necessity.
Looking back at your career, would you do something different? I would have found my true self sooner.
If you weren’t a designer… what would you be? When I was a child I wanted to be a mathematician if I was not a designer, but now I would consider being a musician or a motivational speaker or a stand up comic – haha
What do you wish for yourself for the future? I have so much I want to do. I want to design an electric car, low-income housing, a museum, more hotels, art galleries, a fashion line under my name, an eyeglass line, a shoe line, etc. I think every artist, designer, always wants to contribute something to culture and make an original mark.