Contributors | Monocle

thumbnail text

Janne Iivonen

Iivonen is an award-winning illustrator hailing from Helsinki who now lives in Brighton. When he’s not working, he likes to make music with his synths and is an avid record collector. While he was busy illustrating our Quality of Life essays, he started sketching an octogenarian clubber. “I then realised that she wasn’t part of the stories I was working on, so while the groovy grandma did not make the cut this time, maybe she will pop up on a dance floor somewhere else later,” he says.

Which city would be your ideal home?
It’s a three-way tie between Mexico City, Tokyo and Vancouver. Mexico City for its vivid colours, art galleries and museums. Tokyo for its inspiring architecture and the functionality of its public transport. Vancouver would probably be the most complete city for me, with its great culinary offering and well-planned urban areas and wildernesses, both of which are within easy reach. 

Guillermo de la Torre 

De la Torre is from a small town in Andalucía but now calls Barcelona home. His focus is on portrait photography, reportage and interiors. For this issue of Monocle, he photographed the Urbidermis headquarters on the outskirts of Barcelona. “The setting of Parc de Belloch was magical, surrounded by bird song and beautiful light,” he says. 

Which city has left a lasting impression?
There’s only one city that will always have my heart: Porto in Portugal.

Fernando Augusto Pacheco

Pacheco has been with Monocle since the launch of Monocle Radio in 2011. Originally from Brazil, he now lives in London’s Soho. For him, there is nothing better than spending the morning reading the papers and soaking up the sun on his little patio. For this issue, he curated a sunny playlist of 50 tracks that he’s sure you’ll have on repeat all summer. Expect good Swedish pop, Chilean electro and plenty of cosmic beats. “I like a bit of a surprise when making a playlist, a bit of Hong Kong disco mixed with West African discothèque is always a good idea,” he says.

How would you improve in your city? 
In London, I would make sure that we have a diverse and exciting high street, not just boring sandwich shops, and would love to see it become a proper 24-hour city. For my other home city, São Paulo, more investment in public transport is needed, such as an easy connection to the city’s airport.

Jo Duck

Photographer Duck calls Melbourne home. We dispatched her to the port city of Fremantle in Western Australia to capture its people and neighbourhoods. “The first person I photographed [Terri, the chef from Good Things café] told me all the cool places to go and invited me for drinks that night almost immediately,” she says. “Everyone else I met was just as generous.”

What is the appeal of urban living?  
I love being able to visit multiple galleries, bars and restaurants on a whim. I also love looking at old buildings and people in a hurry. I adore a fountain and knowing that I’m never too far from sashimi.

Francheska Melendez

Born and raised in New York, Melendez moved to Spain 15 years ago. “Leaving a densely packed urban space for a pastoral village has given me a deep appreciation for the way nature affects one’s state of mind,” she says. For this issue, she wrote an essay on the secret behind the longevity of the Spanish. She posits that it’s their party spirit that keeps them vibrant in body and mind. 

What makes a good neighbourhood? 
Open-air plazas of various sizes. The best plazas bring people of all ages together by making excellent use of trees, comfy benches, playgrounds, cafés with outdoor seating, and areas for concerts of farmers’ markets. 

Share on:






Go back: Contents

The Agenda: Global briefings


sign in to monocle

new to monocle?

Subscriptions start from £120.

Subscribe now





Monocle Radio


  • The Monocle Daily