The New E-book ‘Journey by Design’ Is the Final Armchair Journey


If you ask a creative where to look for inspiration, you’re likely hearing a common source: travel. For many interior designers, there is no better way to expand a creative repertoire (and discover new sources!) Than to explore new places and enjoy the art, customs, colors, and natural surroundings. Of course, the past year has put travel plans on hold for almost all of us – and just like the Design Leadership Network, a group of top interior designers and architects, were planning to publish a book that featured members’ favorite destinations all of them even with canceled flights and hotels. But instead of scrapping the project, the group made progress – now, they argued, was a moment more momentous than ever to celebrate the joy of travel and highlight the places they would most like to return to as soon as possible is. Enter: Travel by Design, a collection of travel photos taken by designers in their favorite locations – and the ultimate armchair vacation.

“While it was refreshing to enjoy the joys of home while we await new treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, I suspect anyone reading this shares my belief that travel will be more selective and more selective in the months to come will be more valued than ever before, “writes DLN founder Peter Sallick in the introduction to the book. In fact, we are already dreaming of our next trip. Here we’ve compiled a selection of the hundreds of destinations shared in Travel by Design. Think of it as fodder for your travel vision boards whenever they are resumed.

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Machu Picchu, Peru

The Peruvian mountain town is a favorite of adventure and nature lovers, but also an architectural marvel. “The extremely precise quality of the masonry is unforgettable,” says Paul Whalen, architect at Robert AM Stern Architects.

Rome, Italy

It is no surprise that Rome is a long-time favorite among architects: “The incompleteness of the ancient ruins of Rome stimulates the imagination,” says Tom Kligerman of Ike Kligerman Barkley. “The architect completes them in different ways.”

Bagan, Myanmar

The designer Tom Stringer calls this old, abandoned city – dotted with pagodas from the 9th century – “an eerie and unforgettable beautiful landscape”. No wonder it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cotswolds, England

“West of London, the Cotswolds are a world of their own. Here you will find some of the most idyllic medieval villages, elegant mansions, romantic gardens and breathtaking scenery,” says landscape architect John Howard. What better inspiration for a garden creator?

Mexico City, Mexico

For color inspiration, perhaps there is no better visit than Louis Barragan’s Casa Gilardi, steeped in rich hues and captured by Woodson & Rummerfield’s Ron Woodson.


Sometimes the best aesthetic inspiration lies in the most subtle regional differences. “Every time I go to Australia I notice the light,” says designer Jeffrey Alan Marks.

Ravello, Italy

Although it looks like a beach vacation after this picture, this small Italian town has a lot more to offer: “The natural beauty of Ravello in combination with the regional architecture is a total time setback,” says designer Frank Ponterio.

Great Plains, Botswana

Sometimes it is a lack of man-made material that offers the best inspiration. “No words can describe the wonder of nature and the wildlife as they all coexist,” says designer Jiun Ho from Botswana’s vast plains. “What beckons me are the colors of the earth and the vegetation.”

Hadley Keller is a New York-based writer and editor who specializes in design, interiors, and culture.

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