Combining your passion for travel and design can be a great starting point for shaping up your portfolio.
My suggestion? Once a year, go to a place you’ve never been before and draw inspiration from there for your next projects. You’ll learn to see things differently through travel, and add a cultural edge to your home.
My latest travels took me to Spain, a country filled with quintessential charm and bold architecture.
First stop, Alhambra de Granada, a palace/fortress, dating back to the 13th century, located in Andalusia, which stands today as a testament of the influence Moorish art and design had in the country.
The name Alhambra originates from the Arabic words ‘qalat-al-hamra’ meaning ‘red castle’. The name refers to the reddish tones of the interiors produced by the flames of the torches illuminating the otherwise white space.
The main attractions, still visible today, are the fortress and the Nasrid palaces. 7 palaces completed the complex, although only 3 remain today.
The Alhambra gave me a glimpse of Islamic architecture, and its rich ornamentation (minimalistic on the outside, but very elaborate on the inside), luxe details and mysterious essence inspired me to create my new line of accessories. One of the most recurrent themes I found was the irregularity of shapes and extensive craftwork. The combination of geometric shapes, light and color is something I’ve incorporated in my own work.
Next stop, The Mezquita arches of Cordoba. Cordoba, once the capital of Moorish Spain, has a world of heritage and the best of Islamic design. This church, adorned with columns of marble, onyx and granite, is nothing short of grandiose. Layers of culture adorn what is now a catholic church, seamlessly blending the ornamentation of medieval Islamic architecture with gothic elements brought forth by the Catholics.
The mosque portion boasts horseshoe arches, cascading columns with Greco-Roman type design (collected from Roman remains in Cordoba). The Catholic influence steps in with elaborate pointed arches and stained glass windows. My design take? Mix, mix, mix! Different cultures blend beautifully. The trick is knowing where one influence ends and the other begins.