LOOKING THROUGH THE CAM: HOW WE LIVE Interview with Marcia Prentice
We interviewed international architectural photographer Marcia Prentice, author of "How we live", after a book signing at 180 ° SHOP, a few months ago.
After her travel touring more than 20 cities around the world in 3 months and photographing the homes of creatives in each city, Marcia shares with our readers her experience about this perfect marriage between design and architecture, one of a kind intimate photoshooting with her cam as a window to look in through.
180. - Tell us what inspired this book.
MP.- The book started as an idea 3 years ago. I had just returned from Rome, Italy, which was my first time outside my country (the United States). I was 30 years old discovering for the first time how much of the world there is to explore. I had seen a lot of design where I live in Los Angeles, but I wanted to experience design around the world. I was also curious to know how it would be to live and work outside my country and how the local culture, politics, economics, etc. affect how a designer or artist interacts with their environment.
180 - How did you choose the cities, houses and intimate spaces that you share in your book?
MP.-l wanted to have a mix of the well-known design cities such as London, Milan and New York City alongside cities with strong contrasts such as Mumbai, Mexico City and Beirut. Each of the cities presents a unique environment for inspiring an artist's work. The chaotic energy of Mumbai and Mexico City drives creativity while the presence of so many great artists, galleries, and architecture in cities such as London and New York City is also an inspiration.
180 - Do you find any similarities or constants in the way that designers and artists live in different cities worldwide?
MP.-I was surprised to find design so global and find some of the modern furniture design classics in different homes around the world. Also, all of the designers and artists featured in the book incorporated their work into their home in one way or another. Their home becomes a “think tank” in a way.
180 - What was your biggest challenge in making this book?
MP.-The entire project was self-financed, so the biggest challenge was trying to manage my architecture photography career in Los Angeles while using my earned money to take trips around the world to finish my book. The entire project took almost 3 years, so I had to stay very focused and inspired to keep going all the way to completion.
180 - What was your greatest satisfaction in making How We Live?
MP.-The greatest satisfaction from making this beautiful project was meeting such open, honest, and curious people around the world. I really saw how trusting people can be when I contacted complete strangers to photograph their homes and I was met with so much positive reinforcement.
180 - Will you share with us an anecdote or memorable experience from your travels during the making of your book?
MP.- My heart is full with so many memorable experiences. One experience in particular stands out in my mind. I had never been in the Middle East before I visited Beirut. I was a bit nervous because of the US travel advisors for Lebanon. However, when I arrived I was greeted with such warmth from the Lebanese people in Beirut. Not in one moment did I feel scared or bored - the city and people are absolutely fascinating!
180 - Why did you choose two Mexican cities to portray in your book - Mexico City and Guadalajara?
MP.- Mexico and the United States were the only countries featured in the book where two cities/homes are represented. I portrayed two cities from Mexico in the book because it is such a huge country and also has so much talent worthy of a look. I was almost finished with the selection of designers and artists I wanted to feature in the book, but then I came across the work of artist Jose Davila based in Guadalajara. Immediately I knew I had to feature Jose in the book.