Valparaiso… What a town; a truly immersive, intriguing and inspirational visual experience especially for a designer like myself! At one point it was the main port for Chile, built into the foothill of the Andes only a couple hours bus ride west of Santiago. The town is a labyrinth of walkways, funiculars, stairs, and dead end streets that wind their way up and down the hills. It’s like something out of Shoots and Ladders and a nightmare for fire fighters where many of the houses aren’t accessible by cars, or streets for that matter. But it’s also full of cute cafes, good food, and interesting architecture.
Originally, all the houses were painted different bright colors so the sailors could see their house for the sea. A few revolutions, an economic down turn and less reliance on the port and now it’s turned it into a creative hot bed…. Especially for graffiti artists. The verdict is still out on if it’s legal; some are commissioned by property owners and some are just vandalism. The verdict is also still out on if it’s good for Valparaiso; some say it’s destroying the history, while others say it’s the progression of Valpo’s culture. All things considered there’s no denying that it’s amazing.