Monday, 12 November 2007

Redesigning the Costa...

To discover a proper design magazine in the Costa Del Sol is a breathe of fresh air. I am sick and tired of pseudo-fashion, pseudo-design publications, 99 percent of which are plain ads of tacky restaurants and bloody properties where no one dares to buy anyway. So when I saw a stack of the new MODERN DESIGN MAGAZINE in our building's cafeteria, I was so glad that at last, a kick ass magazine about kick ass architecture and design has been born!

Don't get me wrong though. The province of Malaga has a rich and diverse architecture that dates back to the numerous culture and civilizations that passed this historical part of Spain.
Moorish inspired houses and buildings dominated the architectural scene. It is quite unsurprising though since the whole province was under Moorish hands until the end of the 15th century. Under this occupation, historians called the era the "Golden Age" not only in architectural aspect but because in this era, Malaga grew to a rich merchant area, in fact, one of the biggest in the Iberian Peninsula. The best example of the best of Moorish architecture is the Gibralfaro Castle and the world renowned Alhambra Palace in Granada.
Most buildings and palaces are made by bricks which undoubtedly stood the test of times ; with fabulous intricate designs innate to Arab design. You can also see traces of Roman occupation though the Roman Theatre in the centre of the city as well as Gothic,Renaissance and Baroque architecture.

However, the 60's and the 70's were witness to the province's fall in architecture. With the mushroom business of hotels, hostels, and cheap accommodations for tourists, the area was populated with seedy, tacky concrete buildings which sadly, are still existing up until today. Like this:Anyway, going back to what I am raving about. Modern Design Magazine is breed of its own. Their website says, " It was conceived for one simple reason; the need for culture found here on the coast. It's a magazine that brings the most recent and cutting edge design to it's readers, as well as all the latest concepts and information surrounding the architecture, interior design and art worlds. Our magazine contains various articles about contemporary design and it's different origins and influences. Modern Design invites it's readers to adapt themselves, and change themselves, if necessary, to their ever changing environment; to keep up with today's world, so to speak."

I think the idea behind the magazine is brilliant although not a lot of retirees and pensioners who have settled in this area agree. The coast has a slow pace of live and that's what they came here for. I too, would love to live in place with history and culture but definitely not surrounded by rotting buildings from the 60's and the 70's, thank you very much.

Modern Design is an intelligent publication which features not only design and architecture but they also showcase masterminds like professional photographer Albert Watson, whose works graced VOGUE, Rolling Stones and Time magazine covers, Daniel Libeskind, the man chosen by the World Trade Center Commission to re-design Ground Zero; and up coming talents such as this month's feature, Brazilian designer Bruno 9li (real name although I bet nobody knows how to pronounce it) who was a participant to the 2006 International Outdoor Urban Art Exhibition in Barcelona.Two rather good looking men are the brains behind the publication---Michael Earl, American, Editor, architect and professor and the owner of Earle Diseño, a design and construction company in the Costa Del Sol; and Luis Gallardo, the magazine's director.

The magazine is free so look out for copies in your office. I bet you've got stacks hiding somewhere.

And for the ladies, if you think that the magazine is just about buildings and weird architectural designs, think again. They also have a fashion section! You heard it right. This month they feature Lanvin! Lanvin? Lanvin! I wish these guys are still single! Ladies check out their website and don't forget to send your CV's. :)



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