Apartamento Goes to Tokyo

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Published November 5, 2009

Apartamento is the Barcelona-based magazine that makes itself at home everywhere it goes. Their fourth issue includes Grillo Demo’s drawings of artists’ homes (rejected, for the most part and unfortunately, by this very magazine), a supplement for kids, an original text by Chloe Sevigny—not to mention photographs of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore‘s home shot, by Ari Marcopoulos. They recently launched their fourth issue in Tokyo, so we asked editors Nacho Alegre and Marco Velardi how Japan represents home.

INTERVIEW: Why Tokyo?

APARTAMENTO: Tokyo because is one of our best markets and, with Issue 4, Apartamento is introducing a Japanese translation supplement only for Japan. Our launch also happened to coincide with Tokyo Design Week.

INTERVIEW: What special arrangements did you make for a Tokyo launch?

APARTAMENTO: We decided to open a temporary restaurant, Tasca, where we serve a new recipe each day. More than 200 people were served over five days: pea soup, minestrone, tuna tartare, wild mushroom soup, and risotto with strawberries.

INTERVIEW: What’s your favorite thing about Tokyo?

APARTAMENTO: I don’t think there is a favorite thing about Tokyo–there are many. I think the retail and customer service experience is one of the best ones.

INTERVIEW: Tell me about the cover image. What is it and where did come from?

APARTAMENTO: It’s a drawing of Groge Condo’s bedrorm in his Paris apartment by Grillo Demo. There’s a whole story inside, and you will find out it’s all linked to Interview, which is interesting. I like the fact most people don’t realize it’s a drawing until they have the magazine right in their hands. I think it really fits Apartamento and, at the same time, it’s a very high profile feature; we have discovered we can include a more diverse range of spaces in future issues.

INTERVIEW: How is the magazine changing?

APARTAMENTO: I don’t think the magazine is becoming more organized as such. It’s the same bunch of people doing the same thing behind it. It’s just becoming more mature as we are shaping our initial thoughts in a better and more coherent way. We have kept our conversation section from Issue 3 and we have included a new supplement—Kinder, an everyday life kids supplement—which will be a yearly fixture of Apartamento.

INTERVIEW: What is the craziest house visit you’ve done of late?

APARTAMENTO: I wouldn’t call it craziest, but one of the best homes I have been to is the one of Mark Sladen and Garrick Jones inside the Barbican Estate in London. Sometimes we schedule our visits, and sometimes we come across them by accident. Then you have to be quick to take pictures, as you might not be able to go there to reshoot. We have shot at all times of the day and night. Yesterday I shot a house during a home party, and I had to be moving the dancing people around so they weren’t in the picture all  the time.