Openhouse: discover the magazine that's all about the art of home entertaining

Q&A with Editor, Andrew Trotter

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Hi Andrew. What’s the story behind Openhouse? 
We didn’t decide to make a magazine, it just happened. We [Andrew and Co-Director Mari Luiz Vidal] were sharing a house together: that house turned into a photography gallery. Then with our other flatmate Nobu, we started to make dinners, put on concerts and talks. After three years we’d had over 4,500 people through the doors. 
 
And then?
We started to hear about other projects around the world, so wrote about them.
 
Were you worried about starting a print magazine in a digital age?
It was exactly for this reason we decided make a paper mag. We love having something real in our hands, something we can collect. Digital is still important for us, but we like to have something we can build on.
 
You focus on entertaining and food: why?
Actually, our focus is on community and sharing. It’s just that food and entertainment play a heavy part in this. We feel so connected these days with our mobile phone and computers. But do we know what’s going on in our area? Do we know our neighbours? Do we meet people outside of our close circle of friends?
 
You’re not the only ones, are you?
Jim Haynes in Paris has been holding Sunday dinners, each week, for 37 years. People like him and Marjorie Eliot in Harlem, who holds weekly jazz concerts, want to give something back to their communities, make new friends, and enjoy the life that they are living.
 
What are the most inspirational living spaces you've covered in OH?
We got to stay in the house of [Sydney Opera House designer] Jorn Utzon, which is given to architects as a residence. This was very special, and quite spiritual for me. The house and where it’s located, by the sea, just makes you feel at one with nature.
 
How can Umbrella readers improve their living spaces? 
Enjoy the spaces you have. Live the space and share that space with others.
 
What's are your favourite cities at the moment?
I just visited Bangkok. I think I could have spent a month there. Now I can’t wait to go to Tokyo.
 
What next for Openhouse?
We just keep doing what we’re doing. Openhouse keeps growing in a very organic way.
 
Openhouse is published twice a year, openhouse-magazine.com








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