Brian Buschmann

The city as a designer’s muse

Melinda Gallo
April 23, 2009

Florence is home to many expats: those who have longed to live here, those who have found love and moved here, and those who have come to Florence and felt immediately at home here. Many people arrive here at a point in their lives when they seek to redefine themselves: whether they were not completely happy, were searching for something new, or were looking for love, it seems that those who come to Florence are reborn. Florence will always be the ‘cradle of the Renaissance' for the art world, but it also welcomes people of all walks of life who are seeking to follow their hearts.


Maybe Brian Buschmann would have become a designer no matter where he was living, but he recognizes that living in Florence has its benefits. For Brian, Florence is a ‘positive influential force in his creativity' that allows him to continually grow as a designer.


His journey to Florence started while studying graphic design at Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD): there he met his future wife, Claudia, a Florentine studying abroad. After graduating and working for a year, Brian came to visit the city for the first time. He fell in love with it because of its similarity to Boston, the city near where he grew up. He lived in Florence for a year before getting married; then he and Claudia moved back to the United States to take advantage of the many graphic design job opportunities available there.


After living in California for a few years, in 2004 Brian and Claudia decided to move back to Italy with their two children, settling in Fiesole, just above Florence. ‘Being in Florence allows me to achieve some of the most important personal core values: family and a good lifestyle.' The children see their Italian grandparents often and speak both English and Italian fluently. Brian is happy that his children are being exposed to life in Italy, believing that their cross-cultural experience will enrich their lives no matter where they choose to live.


In making the decision with Claudia to live here, Brian has found an international, yet provincial, city where he can savor his family life. The city has become his muse, inspiring him to explore more aspects of himself as a designer and experiment with other mediums.


Professionally, Brian is involved in many diverse but interconnected areas of design: user experience, graphic and motion. Since he's been in Florence, he has found a community of eclectic designers and artists with whom he collaborates in a variety of different types of projects. For example, last year, he was part of joint production efforts that included a short film, music video and title animation. He also participated in the Festival della Creatività, a convening of artists and designers from around the world. Working solo is certainly rewarding, but Brian realizes that collaboration has been an enriching experience.


‘Florence,' says Brian, ‘has a gentler feeling than any other Italian city.' He notes that the city is filled with fascinating architectural details, is surrounded by rolling hills and has a unique golden light when the sun is setting. His creativity is stimulated by the sounds, sights and smells-from the chiming of the church bells to the brightly lit storefronts and people strolling in the streets. Even walking familiar streets, Brian says, he still looks at the city as if for the first time. Indeed, he still purposefully explores the streets, taking photos to capture unique moments.



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