With the cold rolling into Montreal, there is something so warm and welcoming about being back home. From the windows of our homes at Habitat 67, we observe the buzzing urban skyline with a backdrop of bright-coloured trees detaching themselves of their foliage, and begin to contemplate the passage of time.
Photographs by Richmond Lam and from Peart personal archives
Similar to the changing seasons, we find ourselves turning a new page — our interior spaces becoming the setting for introspection, rejuvenation and replenishment. As we enter this season, we were keen to explore how our homes function as living organisms that allow us to cultivate a better sense of peace and comfort.
As we enter this season, we were keen to explore how our homes function as living organisms that allow us to cultivate a better sense of peace and comfort. For us, home has always been a plural experience — informed by the places we lived in and traveled to, the food we ate, and the moments we shared. As Jamaican-Canadian twins growing up in the suburbs of Ottawa, we absorbed diverse cultural perspectives and stitched together a unique sense of belonging that felt beautiful and natural to us.
In our childhood home, the scent of the carved wood drawers reminded us of our parents’ homeland. The food our mother prepared appealed to our roots, creating a proximity to our ancestors. Meanwhile, we would gather around the dining room table to watch 60 Minutes and debate about the latest ideas or cultural trends.
Different types of music further opened us to the world; the sounds of Bob Marley, Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole filling up the household’s air. We also made the most of our suburban upbringing taking the time to play sports outdoors with our brothers, hosting get-togethers with our friends and simply spending quiet moments connecting with nature.
Throughout the years, as we’ve created our own homes in Montreal, we’ve always been mindful of designing spaces that help foster meaningful connections with the people that are closest to us. It is with this intent, and with this shared vision of design as a force for good, that we wished to open up a larger conversation around the concepts of home.
In this issue, you will find stories that take us from New York to Spain, from Ghana to Denmark, from Pakistan to LA. In a sensorial and intimate piece, global editorial writing director of Nike Women Zarna Surti explores concepts of better living by sharing her family’s transition from India to the United States. She shows us how rituals, openness and shared experiences can transform a household into a home. Meanwhile, designer and Harvard educator Stephen Burks invites us into his Brooklyn sanctuary and conveys his ideas on wellness and cultural plurality.
You will also discover the stories of a range of designers and makers from across the globe, who are collaborating to create differently. Like David Vivirido and Francesco Sourigues from homeware company VISO, who look for the contemporary common ground in ancient cultural exchanges. Or like Sara Efia, founder of Golden Editions, who returned to her mother country of Ghana and found a sense of community and self through weaving with local artisans. We believe these stories are worth sharing. Because even if our homes feel different, smell different, or look different in some ways; when designed with intent, they all have the power to open up room for healthy human experiences and the increased well-being of our families, communities and neighbors. We hope you enjoy these stories and find something that you, a friend, or your children will cherish for a while.
Byron and Dexter
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