America’s Top Designers Share Travel Inspiration In New Book

The latest release by luxury book publisher Assouline, Travel by Design compiles the most compelling travel photographs and destination tips of more than 150 top architects and designers in the Design Leadership Network.

With so many restrictions currently imposed on where we travel, this is the inspiration we all need as we dream of future journeys and an engaging addition to your home library.

In his introduction to the new book, Peter Sallick, the founder of the Design Leadership Network, expressed the value travel inspiration has at this time. “Since the start of this project and the spread of coronavirus, nothing has been normal—not the least travel,” he says. “In fact, travel may be among the most precious commodities in the world right now, as any of us who had become used to flying to Europe for a weekend, or to Mexico or the Caribbean for a quick escape, can attest.”

“Anyone who knows designers, architects, and those in similar creative professions understands that most of them have a very broad perspective on the nature of design, and of their own creativity,” he continues. “They see things differently to the rest of us, and are always in search of knowledge, inspiration, and resources to integrate into their projects.”

Bringing together the photographs of leading designers in the Design Leadership Network, this book, which was edited by Michael Boodro, conveys those unique perspectives, while also sharing the designers’ insights and recommendations.

Altogether the book contains over 350 images of more than 100 locations across 60 countries, with subjects ranging from Exotic Locales to Global Cities, Adventure Travels and North American Treasures.

An homage to Havana includes photographs by the architects and designers Michael Imber, John Howard, Rebecca Birdwell, Anik Pearson and Ankie Barnes. “Havana is made up of tragically beautiful, ruined buildings, frozen in 1960,” says Ankie Barnes to describe what he thinks makes Havana so captivating.

“The most inspiring thing about Havana is its sheer magnitude of classical architecture in a tropical setting,” John Howard adds. “Seeing the decay of crumbling buildings juxtaposed against perfectly restored was beautiful in its own right. The social character of the city residents was inspiring as well, with people gathering in the streets, bars and paladars.”

The designers’ recommendations for a trip to Havana include Hotel Florida, which Anik Pearson likes for its “chic Spanish-colonial architecture” and location on Calle O’Reilly; Paladar la Guarida, described by Sheldon Harte as a place where “everything is so genuine in the way it is prepared and served”; and The Tropicana Club, recommended by Courtnay Tartt Elias for its music, entertainment and beyond fabulous costumes.

Among the images providing inspiration for Hawaii are photographs by Sheldon Harte, Jonathan Hogg and William Taylor, including Hogg’s breath-taking shot of the dramatic Napali Coast on Kauai.

“I had seen images of the Napali Coast and was aware that Kauai is considered the most beautiful of the Hawaiian islands,” he says. “To say that the island itself exceeded my greatest expectations is a huge understatement. I did not realise reality could be as beautiful as that. I have traveled quite a bit, and been to many beautiful places. But to me, Kauai reaches a level of beauty that I believe the human language is incapable of describing sufficiently.”

After this, the designers’ recommendations for travel to the Hawaiian islands include Princeville Resort and The Grand Hyatt on Kauai, the shrimp trucks on the North Shore of Oahu and Lanikai Beach, which Sheldon Harte picks out for is silky sand and tranquillity.

Adding to the International Inspirations chapter are several pages dedicated to Italian towns. Here, there’s a particular focus on Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and southern Italian city known for its cave dwellings, Matera.

“The simple, understated beauty, architecture and people of Positano made my visit there memorable,” says Jason McHugh on his love for this particular cliff-side village. “The approach to life of the people of Positano—their love of food and culture and the way they preserve the natural beauty of their city by caring for its beaches and historic architecture—is truly inspiring.”

You can follow in these designers footsteps by staying at Positano’s legendary hotel Le Sirenuse, seeking out the nearby Spiaggia Grande beach and eating at restaurant La Sponda, which McHugh says has the “perfect prosciutto and fresh mozzarella Panini to eat while on the beach”.

Featuring far-flung locales, from Hamilton Island in Australia to Naoshima in Japan, this book is a celebration of visually enticing destinations around the world and the inspiration they’ve given these designers.

Travel by Design, edited by Michael Boodro and published by Assouline, comes out October 15, 2020.