© by smart / Design Tristan & Paula

smart urban stage is a global online project dealing with the term »FUTURE OF THE CITY«. »We ask pioneers from metropolises around the world to question the urban status quo.« The results are visions, ideas and solutions for sustainable lifestyles, modern social systems and forward-looking developments in the fields of architecture, design and technology. The worldwide event series is exhibiting ideas and solutions of forward thinking future makers. The brand behind this online project is the car manufacturer smart, which hosted special events throughout Europe during the last two years.

Now smart initiated the online project FUTURE OF THE CITY. Within their Q&A series well-known photographer and blogger Todd Selby asked Barcelona based artists Tristan Cochrane and Paula Benvegnu: »In the future what are the new ways your home will provide sanctuary?«

Selby: »
Urban people evolved from hunter gatherers and sometimes I wonder if our hunter gather history is still part of us. I know that in many ways it informs what I do. I am constantly traveling and searching for the most colorful, creative and dynamic homes to photograph for The Selby. I live on the road and bring very few things with me. When I return back to New York City I look to my home to provide me with sanctuary. My home is a special place for me that is very white, minimal and relaxing in its simplicity. My home is the exact opposite of what I look for in terms of subjects, but it suits me perfectly. When I think of the future I think about all the problems that we will face and how our homes will evolve to help us deal with these increased stresses.«

Tristan & Paula: »We see a world moving ever more towards a high standard of functionality, perfection, cleanliness, high technology and convenience. Our home will be our private haven where we can build our own versions of ›perfection‹, by building which might currently be seen as the ›imperfections‹. We will take sanctuary and delight in the less functional, tarnished and irrational and we will personalise our homes with our own individual perceptions of beauty. The outside world may develop into what is generally perceived to be a safer, more logical and better human environment but it will be in the privacy of one’s home that we can explore what is truly sacred to us as individuals. To express one scenario of our homes providing sanctuary in the future we made individual, irregular tiles and allowed the faults of the casting process to occur and indeed to shine as a reaction to the standardization of our lives in the city.

We chose to work in concrete as it is the building block and fundamental icon of all large cities around the world. Each tile was separately stained with acid and we built a tiled carpet with entirely unique characteristics. The acid staining process is an excellent medium to express the deterioration, tarnishing, oxidization, destruction and the natural processes we are fighting so hard to eradicate from our modern daily lives. But in our vision of the future when everything is required to be ›perfect‹, only in our home will these ›stains‹ be viewed as a rare and pleasant beauty. The home will be the last sanctuary of imperfections. We will not only see the beauty of mould, rust and decay but we will actively celebrate it.«

Tristan Cochrane was born in the Highlands of Scotland and ran commercial fishing enterprises before stepping into the world of design. For almost 3 years he worked for Studio Maarten Baas before settling in Barcelona where he recently set up a studio with partner Paula Benvegnú, an art director from Argentina who has been working in advertising for 5 years before moving to Spain. She has worked at various advertising agencies in Buenos Aires continuously from 2004 to the end of 2009. She developed campaigns for Leo Burnett Argentina and was honored with various awards.



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