Even though he finds Berlin’s new buildings “unambitious,” Carson Chan remains deeply involved with the city’s architecture — in particular, “how architecture behaves versus how it looks.”
After receiving a masters in design studies from Harvard, Chan worked for Berlin architects Barkow Leibinger, and then in the Neue Nationalgalerie’s architecture department. In 2006, he and fellow Harvard graduate Fotini Lazaridou-Hatzigoga opened Program e.V., a nonprofit devoted to architecture.
Since then, Chan has been named curator for the 4th Marrakech Biennale in 2012. He also contributes to Berlin’s culturally charged magazine 032c, which lets him delve into his other passion — fashion. “I got interested in clothes in high school. There was this bizarre Masaki Matsushima jacket — I really wanted it, and my parents said, ‘Get a job.’ So I did,” he recalls. “I spent all my summer job money on it. It was the beginning of the end.”
GO-TO SHOP: Darklands, Version 3.0. Owner Campbell McDougall won a loyal following at the now legendary Komakino store in his native Vancouver before he moved to Berlin three years ago. Like Komakino, which has had eight incarnations, Darklands is nomadic. The Heidestrasse store is Version 3.0, but the raw aesthetic remains constant, comple- menting an assortment of predominantly black attire and accessories by the likes of Carol Christian Poell, Rick Owens and Ann Demeulemeester. Chan’s favorites among the pieces he found at Darkland include a pair of edgy A1923 (Augusta) shoes.
FAVORITE BOITE: Bar 3. Everything’s black — black stools, black hanging lamps and black window seats round the curved 1920s windows. “It’s a room with a bar. That’s it,” Chan says. “And they don’t make cocktails.”
SECRET LONGING: Another degree. Chan plans to enter a PhD program after the Biennale in Marrakech. “I’ll apply and then see,” he says. “Hopefully I can start next fall.”
WHERE TO RELAX: Again, Bar 3. “At one point I was there four times a week.”