Made in Ibiza – why the White Island is a creative playground

Meet the artisans and creatives who imbue the island with imagination

Writer Clare Dowdy explores the Mediterranean microcosm 

What is it about Ibiza that makes it such a hub of creativity? Is it the light, the nature, or the hippy vibe? For many makers I profiled in the new book, Made in Ibiza, it’s a combination of all these things.

The island has had successive waves of visitors, most recently the pleasure-seekers in the 1980s and 1990s. They followed the hippy brigade of the 1960s and 1970s. Some of these people put down roots, found creative inspiration and started to ply their trades alongside the homegrown talent. So now, this Balearic island is peppered with craftspeople, designers, architects and artists. Many are inspired by their surroundings, and some of them work directly with the resources on offer, from reclaimed timber to wild plants.

The upshot is a community that co-exists with the holiday-makers and second-home-owners; in fact, these people become their clients and customers.

Private villas and hotels are the work of firms like Blakstad Design Consultants, whose Canadian-born founders Rolph and Mary Blakstad arrived in 1956, and Estudio Vila 13, set up by Ibizenco Jordi Carreño, who created the award-winning Ushuaïa Hotel. Many kitchens are the work of Indigo Artchitecture, which also art-directed some free-spirited parties in Ibiza Town.

Can Castello, whose founders arrived from mainland Spain in 1987, recreate Ibiza’s authentic doors and windows using antique timber. They’re part of a movement to revive the island’s historic houses.

Architects and interior designers can lean on the work of German-born apostle of the avant-garde Erwin Broner, who was the first person create a ‘typology of rural dwellings’. A prolific architect, Broner built nearly 30 houses and apartments in Ibiza in the 1960s, many considered modern masterpieces.

Private villa at Sabina by Estudio Vila 13. Photography: Ana Lui, Made in Ibiza, 2024, Merrell Publishers Ltd.

The current crop of architects is supported by landscape designers, including Juan Masedo, a Madrileño who arrived in 1995. He overhauled the gardens at Can Pep Simó, the protected development designed by the Catalan modernist Josep Lluís Sert.

Meanwhile, artists such as Aline de Laforcade, who was born in Beirut and arrived here in 2016, might show their work at Edusti Tur Costa atelier and gallery or Galeria También. Others are supported by painter and sculptor Antonio Villanueva, who arrived from mainland Spain in 1993. In 2004, he moved his studio to a semi-abandoned industrial warehouse, which he transformed into an artistic centre where fellow artists take up temporary residences.

As Made In Ibiza shows, even those makers who are not directly involved in beautifying Ibiza’s properties have mouth-watering workplace settings.

Standing in a garden at a trestle table, Alba Esteva hand-prints silk kimonos using natural dyes she creates from wildflowers. Laura de Grinyo’s home studio is nestled under pine trees. There, she makes utilitarian pottery under her company name Ladio Ceramics. And Cumhur Jay’s recording studio is in a converted oil mill on his finca.

Their presence in Ibiza demonstrates that the White Island has more to offer than hedonistic holidays, even if some of these makers were first drawn here by the party vibe.

Made in Ibiza: A Journey into the Creative Heart of the White Island (with an introduction by Liam Aldous) is out now, priced at £40 via Merrell Publishers

Sabina Ibiza. Photography: Ana Lui, Made in Ibiza, 2024, Merrell Publishers Ltd.
A modernist villa – part of the Sabina Estate. Photography: Ana Lui, Made in Ibiza, 2024, Merrell Publishers Ltd.
Estudio Lanterna’s space in Santa Gertrudis. Photography: Ana Lui, Made in Ibiza, 2024, Merrell Publishers Ltd.

‘Made in Ibiza: A Journey into the Creative Heart of the White Island’, with an introduction by Liam Aldous, is published by Merrell Publishers. It’s out now, priced at £40.

Read next: Lush valley views are on offer at this rustic Ibizan finca

An old Ibizan palace shines again after refurb by Pascal Cheikh Djavadi



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