Interview with Carla Cascales Alimbau
Where did you grow up?
When and why did you decide to establish yourself as an artist and independent designer?
After working for big corporations as a designer I felt the need to listen to myself and do what I really felt. That point came two years ago when I renovated my old father's studio in Barcelona and started dedicating all my time to my artistic work, which before I considered it to be something I just liked to do but could never earn a living with it.
Does your city and surroundings influence you as a creative and individual?
As an artist everything inspires you, and where you live is a big part of it.
What do you struggle with the most in terms of working and living in a city like Barcelona?
There is pollution, not a lot of green spots and intense tourism. But the most critical thing is the rent accommodation, its so expensive at the moment that is becoming unsustainable to live in a good place or to have your own studio.
The responsibility of the council in every city is to provide a solid foundation of design, art and cultural facilities, is that evident in Barcelona?
There are some good museums and art foundations but there is a lot of work to do, the city and especially the country is not investing as much in the arts and culture.
Do you think it is also the responsibility of the designer/creative to improve the quality of peoples lives in their city?
As a designer you can improve people lives by making the city more accesible, well designed and comfortable... as an artist you can touch people in a deeper way, making them feel something. Both are ways of making a better city.
In Catalonia there is a broad split between those for and against independence from Spain. How do you think this crisis impacted the Barcelona community as a whole? In your opinion, could Catalonia make a success of independence? And what effect it will have on the future of Barcelona?
It is a very profound political issue and with many nuances that are very difficult to explain in a summarized way. In my opinion there is a problem in the politics of the whole country, political corruption is affecting in a terrible way all the basic rights of citizens: education, health, work, homes... these problems are global for all the countries. Independence in my opinion is not the solution, the solution is a deep political change based on responsibility, transparency and justice, and Spain, very sadly, is very far from this.
Can you tell us about any current or future projects that you are particular excited about?
I want to visit Japan soon and get to know their culture.
What is the one thing you can’t live without in Barcelona?
The sea, it means summer, it means peace, it means calm.
If you could add or change something about Barcelona, what would that be?
Well starting from the basis that accepting things as they are is one of the keys for happiness, What I miss in Barcelona is a little more of nature, more green areas, and home rents according to salaries.
Describe the perfect day for you in Barcelona.
Maybe on a Sunday, having breakfast at the Nomad Coffee (best coffee in the city) then to the old book fair in Sant Antoni to find little treasures, I like to buy old art and architecture books. After that I’ll like to go and see an exhibition at the Fundació Miró, I love walking around Montjuic, and the architecture of the Miro Foundation (by the architect Josep Lluís Sert) is one of the best buildings in the city. Then I go for a relaxing lunch at the vegan restaurant, Green spot, and watch a movie at the Cinema Texas, the peculiarity of this cinema is they show films in their original versions, released months or years ago, but very well selected, and all tickets cost only 3€. Finally a good way to end the day would be a light dinner at Robata.
If you could choose any artist, designer, photographer etc. from Barcelona to collaborate with, who would that be and why?
I admire the work of RCR architects, I love how they go to the essence and fuse architecture with nature, I would love to collaborate with them with a sculpture.
What is your favourite time of the day?
The sunset in Barcelona is particularly beautiful, the pink tones in the sky, the end of the day before the night, when you have a bit more time for yourself.
Sometimes people relate a specific smell to the city they live in or the place they grew up, does Barcelona evoke a personal smell to you?
Barcelona is home for me so I would say the eucalyptus leaves that my mother always has at home.
If you weren’t living in Barcelona and could choose any city to live in where would that be, and why?
Copenhagen, everything is design and art.
Barcelona by carla cascales alimbau
A selection of places in Barcelona - recommended by Artist Carla Cascales Alimbau. See all of Carla's favourite places here