180º, How We Live book, Libro, Marcia Prentice -

LOOKING THROUGH THE CAMERA: HOW WE LIVE - Interview with Marcia Prentice

We interviewed the international architecture photographer Marcia Prentice, author of the book “How we live” that we presented a few months ago at 180° SHOP .

After her trip touring more than 20 cities around the world in 3 months, photographing the homes of artists and designers in each city, Marcia shares with our readers her experience about this perfect union between design and architecture; an intimate and one-of-a-kind photographic record, with the camera as a window to look through.

180 - Marcia, tell us what inspired this book.

MP.- The book started as an idea 3 years ago. I had just returned from Rome, Italy. It was the first time I traveled outside my country (United States). I was 30 years old and I discovered the whole world there is to explore. I had seen a lot of design where I live in Los Angeles, but I wanted to see design from around the world. I was also curious to know what it would be like to live and work outside my country and how local culture, politics, economics, etc., affect the way 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.- I wanted to have a mix of cities known as design capitals, such as London, Milan and New York, along with cities with strong contrasts such as Mumbai, Mexico City and Beirut. Each of the cities presents a unique environment to inspire a work. The chaotic energy of Mumbai and Mexico City fuels creativity, while the presence of so many great artists, art galleries and architecture in cities like London and New York is also a source of inspiration.

180 - Do you find any similarities or constants in the way designers and artists live in different cities around the world?

MP.- I have been surprised to find such a global design and to find some of the classics of modern furniture design, in different homes around the world. Also, all of the designers and artists featured in the book incorporate their work into their homes in one way or another. In a way, your house becomes a "think tank."

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 architectural photography career in Los Angeles, spending the money earned on it to take trips around the world and finish my book. The project required almost 3 years of work, so I had to stay very inspired and focused on moving forward until it was finished.

180 - What was your greatest satisfaction when making “How We Live”?

MP.- The greatest satisfaction of doing this beautiful project was meeting such open, honest and interesting people from all over the world. I really saw how possible it is to trust people when I contacted strangers to photograph their homes and found a lot of positive reinforcement.

180 - Can you share with us any anecdote or memorable experience from your travels during the making of the book?

MP.- My heart is full of memorable experiences. One experience in particular stands out in my mind: I had never been to the Middle East before visiting Beirut. I was a little nervous because of the US travel warnings regarding Lebanon. However, when I arrived I was received with great warmth by the Lebanese in Beirut. At no time did I feel afraid or bored, the city and the people are absolutely fascinating!

180 - Why did you choose two Mexican cities in your book - Mexico City and Guadalajara?

MP.- Mexico and the United States were the only countries in the book in which two cities/homes were represented. I present two cities in Mexico because it is a huge country with a lot of talent worth a look. The book was almost finished, with the selection of designers and artists that I wanted to appear in it, but then I came across the work of artist José Dávila, who lives in Guadalajara, and I immediately knew that I had to include him in the book.


The book How We Live by Marcia Prentice, signed by the author, is available exclusively at 180º SHOP .

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