As the rhythm of our hectic urban lives continues to speed up, we are increasingly compelled to leave it all behind and escape far into the quiet depths of nature. In great contrast with the claustrophobic metropolitan environments most of us live in, the photographs featured in The Great Wide Open depict wondrous sites that will take you on a visual journey through faraway lands from Canada to Lesotho, as seen by those who have climbed that mountain and surfed that wave.
More and more people are yearning to live in harmony with nature. Yet they don’t want to give up their homes in the city or make radical changes to their lives. Instead, they are creating their very own retreats in nature. The furniture, décor, and feel of these highly individual structures offer their owners an exceptional, yet convenient way of escaping from their urban routines. The right concept is more important than a lot of space.
Water is life. In every culture it represents purity, revitalization, and relaxation. Rituals of wellness inspire a sense of calm and self-awareness within our increasingly chaotic world. Oasis showcases a stunning selection of baths, spas, retreats, and other relaxing getaways that not only cater to our personal well-being, but also creatively push the frontiers of hospitality, interior design, and architecture.
If the goal were to build a house in which everyone would like to live, the architect would likely be Italian, the engineer maybe German, the gardener probably British, and the craftspeople either Swiss or Japanese. The interior designer of that house, though, should—beyond any doubt—be from Scandinavia.
For the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again.
The last few decades were dominated by the urban, the digital, and the sleek as well as a notable esteem for speed and consumption. Today, a growing countermovement is advocating for a sustainable and more responsible way of dealing with our environment and bringing nature back to our cities. My Green City celebrates this turnaround as well as the way of life and creativity of the designers, artists, architects, activists, and passionate laypeople involved.
Wonderwall’s bold unconstrained approach brings conventional visual branding into question and infuses new life into existing concepts while respecting traditional design philosophies. Founded by Masamichi Katayama in 2000, the Tokyo-based firm has worked extensively around the globe, developing design concepts that touch the subconscious of the occupant of each individual space.
Multitalented graphic artist, Andrew Groves, is also a passionate surfer and deeply involved in the surfing scene. The designer has a special focus on surfing and outdoor lifestyles; his illustrations have graced the pages of publications like the New York Times, Huck Magazine, the New Yorker, GQ, Wired, and the Guardian. In 2011, he founded Miscellaneous Adventures, a project for which he hand-carves practical objects from wood.