Rafael de Cárdenas worked as a menswear designer for Calvin Klein before leaving to earn a master's degree in architecture at UCLA, de Cárdenas became acquainted with progressive architect and mentor, Greg Lynn — who he later collaborated with on a proposal for the redesign of the World Trade Center, a finalist for its beautiful series of interconnected buildings reminiscent of a cathedral.
I especially love his residential designs, here are others de Cardenas' projects:
De Cárdenas' ability to personify spaces is as iconic as it is personal, as encapsulated in his design of Nike's experiential store, Bowery Stadium. Integrating his own interest in running and love of Brazilian culture, de Cárdenas created the space using vertigo-inducing zig zags and illuminated pegboard, accented by yellow and green flooring.
Rafael Cárdenas' designs blend also includes a furniture collection at the Johnson Trading Gallery, in homage to the pioneering spirit of American contemporary design that evokes Frank Lloyd Wright. The pieces are simply made of plywood, working off of the basic form of a cube. The result is meant as an homage to Frank Lloyd Wright, and Bruce Goff, an iconoclast whose architecture melded Wright's influence with echoes of Art Deco and the geometries and colors of Navajo art.