“I notice more and more people returning to that wabi-sabi style living. People want more earthy, connected design rather than cold fake materials where you feel like you are in an airport, with no soul.”

It is a story of Ibiza told 1000 times. An invitation at a time of life transition such as divorce, immediate kinship with the island, spontaneous purchase of a home, spending more and more time, embracing a simpler more natural way of living. It is the tale of American Architect/Designer/Artist John Brevard. Less than 2 years since his initial visit John is settling and leaving his mark: beginning design work on several houses and a development on the island, transforming his own home into an open format gallery space showroom for his sculptures and work, selling his smaller pieces at Six Senses’ Agora Boutique.

John Brevard’s Ibiza vision cuts deeper. While as he says he’s just getting started, connecting to the community, he observes the island changing quickly, as many others similar to him seek a peaceful, calmer life in a turbulent world, migrating to places like Ibiza in order to be their creative selves, more connected to nature. The problem he sees is many artists becoming disenfranchised by elevated home prices, finding Ibiza an unaffordable place to live. John hopes to alleviate this problem by supporting development of affordable housing. Still very new to the island, he is trying to understand better the market and how he can be part of a solution. He is exploring how to set up ‘artists communities’, how to find a way to support artists so they don’t need to move to other islands. Because losing artists is not good for Ibiza. He believes many people, like his clients, come to the island because they want to be around creative people, without whom Ibiza will be less of an interesting place to live.

If anyone can make their way through the tangle of local governmental obstacles and Spanish bureaucracy to break ground on affordable Ibizan housing it might be John Brevard. During his 20+ year career this designer’s extensive studies and works have incorporated Eastern religions, ancient architecture (temples, pyramids, mosques, churches), reversion geometric fractals, astrological algorithms, parametric computational design processes and 3D fabrication techniques. It is exhausting to comprehend and beyond the scope of this article to detail the complex stages and processes through which each of his pieces from the smallest ring to the largest house is drafted. John designs resorts, homes, furniture, sculpture, art, footwear, fine jewellery. A major inspiration is youthful summers spent in Peru with indigenous cultures whose deeper connection with and knowledge of the earth and cosmos left a deep impression. One primary design objective is always to bring back the healing spaces which our ancestors understood, the deeper connections between man and nature which Westerners have lost.

Using wabi sabi, natural materials, healthier products and paints, insulated glass, John Brevard’s ethos is to create products that last forever. For him true sustainability is getting away from fast fashion. His nemesis is the Ikea desk he predicts will end up in a dumpster in 3 years. He says people are better off going to a thrift store, finding an old desk, and restoring it themselves. He wants to get away from idea that everything is disposable and believes Ibiza already embraces this lifestyle. The John Brevard customer client base remains the same all over the world: musicians, performers, artists, creative types. John leans towards using local materials which in Ibiza means woods like euroco and ‘stunningly beautiful’ local sandstones, which he says are characteristic of the island. He discovers increasingly clients desire to return to the feeling of living in an old, timeless house, with soul. He notices more and more people looking for wabi sabi living, abandoning ‘footballer style’. He explains he finds people wanting more earthy, connected design rather than cold fake materials where you feel like you are in an airport, with no soul.”

Before discovering Ibiza, John Brevard lived between Miami and New York. He contrasts Ibiza as a place with a greater sense of community, where people genuinely care about others. Ibiza may be slower paced and have less flash and dazzle than Miami, less striving than New York, but he appreciates in Ibiza people are less superficial, more connected to nature, to the earth and to each other. He says he has never been happier than he is here, embracing the hiking/wellness lifestyle, buying his food from farm stands, spending evenings attending meditative musical performances.

John Brevard


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