Rene Gonzalez is one of Miami’s most renowned architects whose work goes beyond just designing buildings. The award-winning architect is noted for his residential and commercial projects beyond his Miami locale each with a focus on material exploration, innovative compositions, and memorable experiences for all who take them in. After earning his Bachelor of Design degree from the University of Florida, Gonzalez received his Master of Architecture degree from UCLA and eventually opened his eponymous firm, Rene Gonzalez Architect, in 1997. Besides the firm’s long list of prestigious awards, their projects have been featured in over 200 publications, from local to global, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, Dwell, Elle Decor, Metropolis, The Robb Report, Wallpaper*, Metropolitan Home, and many more. When not designing, he can be found in the classroom lecturing at UCLA, University of Virginia, University of Florida, University of Miami, Florida International University, Universidad San Francisco de Ecuador, and Universidad Central de Venezuela. Take a look at this week’s Friday Five where Gonzalez shares a mix of modern art, design, scenery, and memories.
1. View of Biscayne Bay when crossing Venetian causeway in Miami
On a daily basis, the experience of traversing the islands between Miami and Miami Beach during my commute reveals a sequence of views of the bay that amplifies the special environmental qualities of the city and its relationship with the natural landscape.
2. My grandfather’s guayabera shirt
This type of shirt is a very functional and fundamental piece of tropical fashion that has strong cultural ties to Cuba. Traditionally made from linen or cotton with pockets, it is perfect for the heat and also protects against sun. It is a versatile piece of clothing that can be worn casually, or in its long-sleeved version, to formal occasions in lieu of a tuxedo.
3. Anish Kapoor lamp
This light, produced as a limited-edition piece by the Tate Modern in the early 2000s, creates a sort of fragile tension in its softly flowing shape of a hovering teardrop.
4. Robert Melee, Neglected Sober Substitution (2001)
This piece by my friend Robert captures highbrow and lowbrow. Utilizing very ordinary materials – flour pasta noodles painted glossy black – he transforms something from daily life into something sophisticated and glamorous.
5. Arne Jacobson cutlery for Georg Jensen
Designed in 1957, this classic set of eating utensils is both minimal and sculptural. I am drawn to the way something as simple as a spoon can transform the daily activity of dining into a more deeply sensorial experience.