Sunday, March 25, 2007

Designers beware: Travels.

I come from what is called a “third world country”, from a middle class family always struggling to make ends meet and I used to think that my world was so small…

And then I decided I wanted to become a designer, a non-profitable profession in the eyes not only of my parents, but of many people. During my years in college I saw how design had changed history, how it impacted our culture and our reality. Still, I couldn’t fit in my head the idea of being able to see more, to expand my own space. It seemed like something unreachable.

It was when I started working for a multinational company that my world slowly began to grow, my vision expanded and I wanted to see more. I was being exposed to people from every corner of the Earth. I became ever more curious and I suddenly realized that I had been limiting myself for all those years, always thinking that money or background were an issue.

The company started sending me on trips to Perú, Mexico and the US and I jumped at the opportunity to stay a few days longer on each trip, to experience the culture and see the art and history of the places I visited.

My world was becoming larger and larger…

In one of my trips to Perú I visited Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley of the Incas. It was amazing. As a designer I was very interested in seeing the architecture, art, the aesthetics, the formal solutions.

Did you know that the Incas built their houses without any substance holding the bricks (if you can call them that) together? The “bricks” were designed to fit together… mere geometrics and mathematical calculations, and guess what, those walls are still standing today, hundreds of years after they were built.

Plus, the energy of the place, the history, the culture, it will wash all over you. If you can, go. It’s rather cheap and it’ll be a wonderful experience.

I also visited Mexico which I found so interesting. Mexicans have such a rich and ancient culture. It was incredible to see the Aztec ruins visible through the modern buildings. To understand how this culture has mixed their native influences with the modern currents to create something unique.

I was particularly amazed to see the works of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo and many other Mexican artists that paved the way to today’s Latin American art. You can see their influence in many art manifestations like architecture and fashion.

Last year I was fortunate enough to go to New York. I mean, it doesn’t get any more global than that, right? Visiting places like the Met and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, all the different cultures of the world gathered in one place. All their aesthetic solutions to the same problems, their vision of the world, of their past and their future.

By now you must be wondering where I’m going with all this…

Well, here are some points I think young designers need to ponder:

1. If you think money is an issue, it’s not. I got loans, I saved, I found a way. Now I don’t see any destination as impossible.

2. Wherever you are, there’s still so much for you to see. Whatever you’ve been told, or you’ve believed, there’s a whole big giganting world out there for you to experience. Go seek knowledge!

3. Creativity is like a well… in order to draw from it, you need to fill it first. Find things that move you, that touch all your senses, experience, feed your own visual culture, taste new flavors, listen to new languages, live like other people do. It’s only going to make your work that much better and your life much more fulfilled.

You’re young, do it now. Don’t wait any longer, today is your chance! Such beauty waiting for you to discover it! And if you’re not so young, it’s never too late. I’ve now made it a priority to travel at least once a year. I’ve visited Ecuador, Perú, Brazil, Mexico and several cities in the US. What’s next? Who knows? Europe, the Far East… I haven’t decided what my destination will be this year, but I’m sure it’s going to blow my mind!

All the best!


Qumang said...

Hi, love to read you blog. Keep it up!

Carolina Ayerbe said...

Hi, Qumang! I do intend to keep up the work! ;-) Thank you for your support, please keep dropping by!