A week of design in Guatemala

June 08, 2017
- Extracurriculars
Author - Amy Jacobowitz

Last month, our design team descended on Guatemala for a weeklong intensive to develop new sites, design concepts, and typography.

Funkhaus founder and Creative Director David Funkhouser calls Guatemala home for part of the year. Establishing a basecamp at the Impact Hub when he’s Antigua-local, we’ve learned what it truly means to be a modern office operating across three time zones. It was only a matter of time before our team of in-house designers headed south of the border to discover all of the design inspiration and influence that Antigua has to offer.

While much of the trip was spent hunkering down on work for clients, adventures around the city and surrounding areas peppered in the days and evenings. The team spent the week lodged at Casa Santo Domingo, a hotel built atop the catacombs of an ancient church, where the modern deluxe amenities are in stunning juxtaposition to the monastery underneath, complete with religious relics of time passed.

On a day trip about two hours outside of Antigua, the design team headed out to Chichicastenango, just outside of Lake Atitlán for serious visual inspiration. This small town characterized by its two historic churches (where you’re greeted by a shaman who pours out a ceremonial version of moonshine when you pass through the threshold), you’ll find amazing typography lining many of the businesses, hand-painted signs, and illustrations that will have your eyes aglow.

Venture further into the city and you’ll find Hotel Santo Tomas, built by German immigrants a few centuries back, where amongst a busy tourist population you can also spot a colorful and loud array of parrots.

Long drives around luscious landscapes, trips to the nearby mercado, shots of mezcal at local ex-pat dive bars tucked behind nondescript refrigerator doors, delicious native Guatemalan dishes, and a lot of inspiration for future design captured for you here in photos. Not pictured is the wrong turn taken to drive up and then treacherously down an active volcano, but that’s a story for another day.