Massican Magazine


Before I became a winemaker I had a decade-long career in publishing working for Sports Illustrated and TIME magazines. When I left that life to become a vintner, I took with me a love of the written word.

So, it is with great enthusiasm that we present Massican Magazine. The magazine is a collaboration between us and the celebrated creative arts publisher, Phaidon Press. Each issue excerpts a passage from one of Phaidon’s published books and hopes to inspire readers to experience and celebrate a well-spent life. The magazine's inspirational journey began with Massican's touchstone - the color blue - in August 2020, and continued on to the worlds of architecture, art, cooking, fashion, travel and more. Enjoy!

Dan Petroski

The Architecture Issue

Architect and artist Leonardo da Vinci’s famous diagram of a human figure inscribed inside a perfect circle and square should have confirmed long ago that architecture is both art and science. In this issue of the Magazine, we invite you inside both the right and left brain of the Twentieth Century’s most influential architects.


  Like many starting out in architecture, Le Corbusier made his name, not with finished buildings, but with bold ideas. After a rocky start, the Swiss French architect established himself in the mid 1920s with a series of texts, later collected in his 1923 book Vers une Architecture, or Toward an Architecture. It was in this book that Le Corbusier set out his Five Points of New Architecture, a set of principles that he thought new buildings should embody. These are: “the use of pilotis, or vertical piers, to raise structural volumes; the toît-jardin (roof garden); the plan libre (free plan); the fenêtre en longueur (ribbon window); and the façade libre (free facade).


Carlo Scarpa was a modern architect with an almost sacred respect for the ancient. This outlook came from his long association with Venice, his place of birth. Its beautiful, archaic culture was a formative influence on him. Scarpa regarded Modern architecture not as some simplistic, futuristic means of bulldozing the old but as constituting an integrated part of its historical place and culture.


“Of all the things I’ve written and said – and I’ve written and said a lot – there’s nothing I want to take back, except maybe ‘Less is a bore’ ... From our position now, there’s no doubt to me that Mies was one of the great masters of the twentieth century, and all architects should kiss the feet of Mies van der Rohe because of his accomplishment and what we can learn from him.” -Robert Venturi, 1986


“I was told girls don’t go to technical universities.” -Itsuko Hasegawa


  "Flow’s ever-changing visual characteristics have long fascinated artists, who have captured its whirls, eddies, and vortices in drawings, paintings, and sculpture," Gang says. "It has also been a key subject for scientists, who continue to study the physics and biology of movement in wind, water, crowds, flocks, and swarms." Gang’s projects are often both scientific explorations of flow and artistic expressions that make flow legible in their final architecture. "In the strata wall of a community centre for instance or the wavy slab edges of a high-rise tower, concrete’s fluidity is both aesthetic inspiration and physics rendered visible," Gang says. "The structural vaults and bridges of a museum addition preserve the memory of concrete’s liquid state and suggest geology formed by flows of wind and water.

The Designer Issue

From ten principles of design to no rules at all, The Designer Issue tries to catch a glimpse inside the minds of six influential designers. From industrial design to creative arts, Bruce Mau said it best, “As designers, we must go beyond the grid, we must venture beyond the mapmakers to where new possibilities are growing.”


The designer Richard Sapper developed and designed a wide variety of products, ranging from ships and cars, to computers and electronics as well as furniture and kitchen appliances. His many clients included Alessi, B&B Italia, FIAT, Heuer, Kartell, Knoll, IBM, Molteni, Pirelli and many others. “To create a product that is not functional is useless,” he explained. “If the design doesn’t work, then it is a mistake. But if a product is only functional, and it doesn’t have some formal expression that helps in creating a relationship between you and the product, then it’s not a good design. A good design must have this property of awaking the interest of the person who looks at it, or keeps it in his hand, or whatever he does with the object. This effect can create a relationship between an object and a person.”


Stefan Sagmeister and Jessica Walsh, authors of the book, Beauty, argue that we have, over the years, lost the importance we once placed on beauty. Instead, over the past 100 years, their argument goes, intellectual stimulation, efficiency and a certain modernist-style minimalism has been favored in the fields of art, design and architecture, to the detriment of beauty. “We believe that beauty itself is function,” they say. “Without it, nothing ever really works well. As designers, we must never forget how important beauty is to our work, or we’ll be condemned to a world in which expediency is privileged and dull work predominates.”


  Is Mario Bellini the anti-Dieter Rams? That might seem like an odd notion, as the two important European designers, born around the same time, went on to shape our manufactured environment in similar ways. Both began their careers during the post-war boom, when early micro-electronics and new synthetic polymers changed both the kinds of goods companies commissioned from designers, and the means by which those goods could be made. However, while Rams, the long-standing Chief Design Officer at Braun, reduced his working beliefs down to his famous ten principles - Bellini insisted on absolutely no rules when he came to work on an idea. “I’ve always rejected the idea that there’s a method for doing what is called ‘design’.” Bellini says. “I think of a design project as an exploration that involves both the mind and the senses. In order to understand something fully I must test it and investigate it thoroughly, just as children do, when they touch and taste everything around them.” By retaining this childlike point of view, Bellini has produced a hugely impressive body of work during his adult working life. It includes computers, calculators and typewriters for Olivetti; automobile work for Fiat; cameras for Fuji; headphones and electronic instruments for Yamaha; televisions for Brionvega; jewellery for Cleto Munari; and furniture for Vitra, Cassina and B&B Italia.


Bruce Mau is no stranger to the big cities of the world. As chief design officer of Freeman, one of the world's largest brand-experience companies, and co-founder/CEO of Massive Change Network (MCN), a Chicago-based global design consultancy, he has long applied the power of design to transforming the world. However, the circumstances of Mau’s early life contrast starkly with his cosmopolitan career, and the wilderness of his childhood still informs the way he works today. “Where I grew up in the Canadian north, our home was the last farm on a road into the boreal wilderness. Beyond, the forest stretched for hundreds of miles. If you lost your way out there, the chances of survival were minimal. I developed an intuitive way of reading the landscape that allowed me to hike for days and find my way home by tracking the sun and numbering geographical features as I went,” he explains. “The moment of facing and mastering an existential threat defines the mind-set of the entrepreneurial designer,” Mau says. “As designers, we must go beyond the grid, we must venture beyond the mapmakers to where new possibilities are growing.”


The master of minimalism, German legend Dieter Rams remains rightly famous for his ten principles for good design – the most famous of which was “Good design is as little design as possible.” Unsurprisingly the designer of countless products for Braun has been feted by other design gurus world wide including Jonathan Ive, late of Apple and the English fashion designer Sir Paul Smith, known for his classis clothes that play on heritage but offer a significant design detail that’s always pleasingly different. Like so many, Smith acknowledges a big design debt to Rams. “Rams is a German industrial designer who worked for the Braun company. I loved their stuff, and eventually I found out that he was responsible for most of it. Paul Smith shops were the only place in the country where you could buy the Braun calculator, which first appeared in 1987 and became the inspiration for the iPhone. It was slim and plain, either in black or white, and we sold many of them. I liked the fact that Rams was brave enough to rely on form and function rather than decoration.”

The Travel Issue

None of us have been able to travel during the pandemic.  But, as the world slowly opened up, we decided to highlight a trip back to another time and place - mid-century modern, and Seventies America - we’ve scoured the archives of Phaidon’s photography, art and architecture travel books to bring you this fun and tranportational issue of the magazine.


American Surfaces is documentary-photographer, Stephen Shore's, road trip through the American Southeast in 1972-73.


Why do we travel for art? In an age when the internet provides instant access to a seemingly infinite bank of images, why should we still make the effort to be in the presence of a particular work in a specific place? Images may convey essential information, but there will always be something unique about experiencing an artwork in person. That firsthand experience owes a debt to not only the physical quality of the work itself but also the environment in which it is installed.


A tour of Mid-Century Modern architecture is about much more than discovering new buildings. Discovery goes beyond chalking up miles and checking items off a list. It’s also about traveling into ourselves and, if we’re lucky, being inspired to change things for the better.


The West Coast, the idyllic edge of the world became the perfect testing ground to replace hefty, ornament-filled buildings with new, fresh, utterly optimistic and stripped-down expressions of glass, steel, wood and concrete. The Mid-Century Modern architects opened these novel edifices to stunning landscapes through sliding glass doors, clerestory windows, internal and external courtyards and seamless porches and balconies, merging indoor and outdoor lifestyles into a revolutionary whole.

The Restaurant Issue

Phaidon’s Executive Editor for Food & Drink, Emily Takoudes, leads our Restaurant Issue as she dives in and offers some insight on five outstanding chefs and their vision for what not only their restaurants could be, but also what a restaurant could be to its community.


Exploring indigenous Peruvian ingredients, Central is Chef Virgilio Martinez love letter to his native land.


Aska is a two Michelin-starred Brooklyn restaurant run by Chef Fredrik Berselius.


Borago is one of the world's 50 Best Restaurants and is located in Santiago, Chile. Chef Rodolfo Guzman is at the helm.


Brae, located in Victoria, Australia and was founded by Chef Dan Hunter in 2013, after a stage at Mugaritz in Spain.


The avant-garde and driven by local San Francisco Bay Area ingredient, COI is the two-Michelin star restaurant from chef Daniel Patterson.

The Fashion Issue

According to Phaidon’s Fashion and Interiors Editor, William Norwich, the most important part of Phaidon’s fashion publishing is selecting designers who are making significant, career-defining and career-enduring contributions to their discipline. Join us as we celebrate five of these creators.


Paul Smith founded his eponymous British fashion company in 1970 and has expanded the world over. What is it about this cheeky, luxe fashion designer that has everyone swooning over his creativity? The former head of Apple design, Jony Ive, tells us why he loves Smith.


Fabien Baron is one of fashion's most respected art and design directors. Known for his work at Andy Warhol's Interview magazine and his iconic Calvin Klein ads, Vanity Fair magazine called him "the most sought-after creative director in the world."


De Betak produced his first fashion show at the age of 19. Today, de Betak remains one of the most celebrated set designers and producers of runaway shows for fashion houses from Dior to Viktor & Rolf.


Anna Wintour writes an essay about the Vogue fashion editor who has inspired her for three decades.


Thierry Mugler was one of the fashion industry's most fanciful and futuristic designers until he decided to step away from the momentum he created and disappear from the spotlight.

The Design Issue

According to Editor Virginia McLeod, the flagship of Phaidon’s design publishing is the monographs produced on product, furniture and interior design. In this issue of Massican Magazine we travel from the corporate offices of nendo in Tokyo, Japan to those of Herman Miller in Zeeland, Michigan to capture the essence of their influential design philosophy.


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“As with paintings or sculptures in an art museum, whose existence is highlighted through the visual sensory organs being drawn to them by the white walls and overhead lighting acting as a backdrop, the things that we design also have a background – that chaotic thing we call life. Designing the countenance of an object is also creating an ambience that includes this background. So, we must consider our stance based on the role of the object that is designed. Light, air, scent and sound are also included in an object’s design. The object is alive.” -Naoto Fukasawa


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USSR: 1950-1989

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The Photography Issue

“We focus on photographers whose work we believe is important and part of the cultural conversation,” says Phaidon Publisher, Deb Aaronson. In the coming pages, Deb tells us more about what makes selecting photographers and the photographs for their books more important today than ever before.


Sorrenti played a role in shaping contemporary fashion photography with his iconic images of Kate Moss for the Calvin Klein Obsession adverts, as well as the cover imagery for the international pop star, Shakira and her Fijacion Oral Vol. 1 album.


Annie Leibovitz's name has become synonymous with celebrity portraiture. Here she chats a little bit about her start as a staff photographer for Rolling Stone magazine.


  A black square singular abstract banner of mourning wrapping a stippled torso vanquishing an arched heart conceding a probable path, bow legged satisfying the father, the adoring mother yet containing another, an unholy spring where slithered a capricious energy translucent with eyes chipped from a flaming meteor unwinding, poised to strike shedding innocence, the militant membrane scales of the cross, hardened cells of dominion and he lay upon a rock, bow balanced at his thigh drawing the bright venom as the adder awoke coiling an arrow shot into the tangled night absorbing all else, yielding a splendor the keeled shaft, burnished wrist he was an American artist and no flag covered him frayed, his green eyes closed even as waves of black the queen of color rippled the breaking sky A poem by Patti Smith

The Art Issue

Massican Magazine’s Art issue celebrates the inspiration of five contemporary artists. The artists were selected from the 25 years of monographs published by Phaidon in their Contemporary Artists Series. Before introducing the artists and their work, we talked to their Editor, Michele Robecchi, about how he captures and memorializes the life of an artist in the pages of a book.


"I used the power of abstraction to solve [the] deficiencies in the way the figure was represented. I wanted to use all of the color complexity that I’d learned but to keep it close to black history, culture, and subjectivity." -Kerry James Marshall


“We started to realize that the lack of freedom and freedom of expression is what caused China’s tragedy.” -Ai Weiwei


Whether expressed through human urges and desires, or depictions of fragmented mammals and flora, Brown imposes her own sensibility as a paramount aspect of her approach to picture-making.


Lili Reynaud Dewar works across multiple platforms - performance, mixed-media, and installation - to shine a spotlight on the cultural and political significance in objects, words and ideas.


"The question becomes: how do you see the specificities of your own historical moment, and see them as part of a conversation that’s been happening for thousands of years? The intersection of those two axes is where I get most excited about looking at art and being an artist." -Trevor Paglen

The Culinary Issue

Massican Magazine’s Culinary issue celebrates the inspiration of five chefs from five countries. Before introducing the chefs and their work, we talked to their publisher, Emilia Terragni of Phaidon, about what it is like to work with a selection of some of the world‘s greatest artisans.


Massimo Bottura is the chef and owner of Osteria Francescana, the three-Michelin star restaurant in Modena, Italy. Massimo and his team at Francescana have received every acknowledgment and award for their restaurant that celebrates a mind-bending look at Italian cooking and tradition.


“There are many paths to success and Corey’s path is perfection. There’s no better cook technician on the planet. Pound for pound, he is one of the best chefs on Earth.” David Chang


Ferran Adria, the Spanish chef, has been considered one of the best in the world when he was at the helm of El Bulli in Roses on the Costa Brava. Often considered a pioneer of "molecular gastronomy," Ferran was often heard saying he just likes to take a dish apart, ingredient by ingredient until he can understand the essence of each of the components of the dish.


Ana Ros is a self-taught cook from Slovenia whose restaurant, Hisa Franko, has been celebrated the world over, with acknowledgment from the Michelin Guide (two-stars), a Netflix documentary on Chef's Table, and Ana herself was named the best Female Chef in the World in 2017.

The Blue Issue

Massican is proud to launch its inaugural issue of the Magazine in collaboration with Phaidon Press, the premier global publisher of the creative arts, to explore Massican’s signature color, blue.


"The enormous lake stretched flat and smooth and white all the way to the edge of the grey sky." —Laura Ingalls Wilder


In 2020, Phaidon published the first comprehensive survey to explore the rich and complex history of contemporary Korean art - an incredibly timely topic. Here's a few words on the power of the brush.


The grandfather of street-style photography, Bill Cunningham chronicled fashion for the New York Times beginning in the late 1970s.


Vitamin T is a global survey compiled and published by Phaidon of more than 100 artists, chosen by art-world professionals for their work with threads, stitching, and textiles.


"It's always the thought of a color that leads and inspires us." -Darroch & Michael Putnam

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