Rafael de Cárdenas

Name: Rafael de Cárdenas
Profession: Architect and interior designer
Location: New York
Age: 46

Questionnaire: Rafael de Cárdenas

Describe yourself in a single sentence?
– I write love songs.

What was your last thought before falling asleep last night?
– The Round Stone Barn in Hancock, Massachusetts. I visited it yesterday...it was built in 1826 and is the only circular barn ever built by Shakers.

What kind of person do you want to be?
– Every day I become kinder and more confident.

What are you working on right now?
– Many residential projects, a store in Beijing, a small hotel in a 19th-century villa in Italy…my own 300-year-old, pre-revolutionary house in the Berkshire hills.

Talent, is that something you’re born with or something you can learn?
– You can learn anything! Talent is within anyone’s grasp.

What do you do when nobody looks?
– What everybody else does….

If you could give your younger self any advice, what would that be?
– Loving yourself is more important than pleasing others.

What do you dream about?
– Clouds, from both sides.

What is your favourite book and why?
– Dave Hickey’s Air Guitar, specifically the essay “Unbreak My Heart, an Overture.”

What is your most twisted fantasy?
– I can’t tell you that, but I would have loved to be a backup dancer on the Blonde Ambition tour.

How do you decide when a project is worth realizing?
– Anyone’s wish is worth realizing.

Name your favourite restaurant?
– L’orée de la forêt, about an hour and change from Paris! It’s a gem.

Photography by Lucka Ngô, New York, June, 2021.