How do designers and architects spend their holidays? Do they even take holidays? Or do they use the summer for intensive work? Do they look for inspiration, distraction, leisure, etc.? In our summer edition of Office.Info, we took a quick survey among the designers and architects who work with Bene.
Every year I spend part of the summer in my favourite stomping ground, the Dolomites. I was born in Lienz and continue to return to the Alps to refresh myself, for example by mountain biking or visiting the Hohe Tauern National Park, which rises steeply towards East Tyrol. Professionally, I travel so much that I really enjoy sitting in a garden with my relatives in Lienz and drinking a cup of coffee in peace, maintaining my relationship with my hometown and the people who live there.
I also really enjoy conquering the alpine world with my children, bringing them closer to nature. And not least, the area offers beautiful excursions for cultural events and sunbathing, for example in Friaul or South Tyrol.
Nada Nasrallah & Christian Horner
Soda Designers, Vienna
Our best ideas arise in a relaxed atmosphere, often while remembering interesting places and unexpected situations. Nevertheless, holiday is holiday. We would rather have a holiday atmosphere in our everyday work, rather than a work atmosphere in our holiday - see the picture.
Ortner & Ortner Baukunst, Vienna / Berlin / Cologne / Rostov a. D.
Architects and designers are on holiday throughout the year. In the best profession around, can you even separate work and leisure time?
Where should you spend all this time? Relaxing in the European metropolises, now and again looking out over the Mediterranean.
Sailing and surfing, food and family, silence and noise, activity and inactivity - Italy and Cornwall.
Is that enough?
One of my breaks this summer will be to the famous Chesil bank in Dorset. A shingle beach about 27km long. It backs on to Jurassic sand stone cliffs which are littered with fossils. The beach has shingle that varies from a pea size stone or less at one end to grapefruit size lumps at the other produced by ancient unique weather storms. Smugglers used the different stone sizes at night to evaluate exactly where they had landed.
Holiday: I try to find time in the summer to restore the balance between the many little things in our familiar coexistence.
For me, this means, in everything I do, a little less speed, less pressure to perform, and less concentration. More time and attention for each other, and also for my own neglected desires and needs.
This includes design; but without orders, without customers, without budget or deadline - and without the computer.
I spend this time partly at home, and partly at the dunes in Denmark.
I go to Norway with my family, with my wife Rikke Ladegaard and my 10 year old daughter Agnes. There I can recharge my batteries. In Norway my father lives in a mountain area called Hardangervidda, 920 m above sea level, so the temperature is most often 7-8 degrees colder than in sea level. The last 40 km to his house has no roads, so we go by boat in the summer and with a snow scooter in the winter time. We often go touring on the mountain and catch fish for dinner in the lakes around. It’s mostly trout we catch here. The nearest city is 60 km away so it’s a good idea to fill up boxes with basic food. I like the fact that the only noise here is the birds in the trees and wind in the trees, but also the expansiveness of nature around. When we come from the city, sometimes it takes a while to settle into this environment. It’s exactly the opposite from living in the city.
After that I will go with my family to our summer house north of Copenhagen for the rest of the summer. The landscape is totally different there, flat and many tall conifers, plus the sea is there with the nice Danish beaches.
Designer and architect, Vienna
Why not work where other people go on holiday?
Why not work and live as if you were on holiday?
We’ve fulfilled this dream with our house. Our address is in the 14th district of Vienna. Hard to believe, when you look at the photo. We - my wife and I, both studied architecture - designed our house ourselves and have lived here for almost three years. Our need for "distance" in our leisure time has decreased rapidly since then...
B4K – Bureau4Dimensions Krob, Heiden (Switzerland)
Yes, I take holidays. In order to stay in balance, I go with my family to Sylt on the North Sea. We have the mountains year-round in the Appenzellerland region, and as a native North Frisian, I need to spend the summer in the flatlands, with the ocean and its waves. Our holidays are absolutely dedicated to family time: kite-surfing with my boys, sunbathing, swimming, going walking on the beach with the dog, drinking a nice glass of wine with my wife, and not talking about work. We enjoy the complete absence of clients and design, and afterwards we are able to get back into work again.
Although designers are always working, you can also say that they are always on holiday, pursuing their passions. But this summer is bringing me a bit closer to the "classic holiday". Not just in terms of location, but also what I'm going to do there. Completing the "Jet Ski" project for an Italian manufacturer requires spending a lot of time on the Italian coast – not exactly a drawback, given the current temperatures.