Richard Florida: 10 things I can’t live without

Richard Florida: 10 things I can’t live without

The Rotman prof by day, rock star by night—who just released his latest urban manifesto—reveals the 10 things he can’t live without

My raison d’être
I couldn’t live without music. I think music is the most important part of decorating a home—more important than the furniture or even the art. I have so many favourites: Dizzy Gillespie, Chuck Berry, Cream, The Clash, U2, Death Cab for Cutie, Spoon…And Black Sabbath is still underrated.

Indie beer
I love artisanal micro­brews, especially hoppy ales. I order Bell’s Two Hearted, Rogue Dead Guy and Victory HopDevil by the case.

My axe
When I was 10, my dad and I got this Gibson on layaway. I grew up in a rough neighbourhood in New Jersey, and being in a rock band as a teenager kept me on the straight and narrow.

Modern design
I bought my Ron Arad rocking chair in Washington, D.C., about seven years ago. I love it so much, I move it from room to room.

My laptop
I have an office in the MaRS building, but my Toshiba is my real office: all of my life’s work—all the books and articles I’ve written—is on it. I take it every­where.

Oddball art
I have a better eye for interesting objects than I do for traditional art. I bought these little guys at the Toronto Design Exchange in 2003, when I was in town giving a talk with Jane Jacobs. It was billed as Lunch With Dick and Jane.

My better half
I met my wife, Rana, at a conference in 2004. She happened to walk by me after my lecture, and she was holding my book, so I stopped her and asked if she wanted me to sign it. That evening we went for a coffee, and the rest is history. She is the master multitasker who organizes everything in my life.

My chef BFF
Mario Batali and I have been friends since we went to Rutgers together, and we’d go out every night. I love everything he makes.

Rana and I go to Miami for Art Basel and for New Year’s Eve. We like the Design District, the Wynwood Art District, and the out-of-the-way warehouse galleries.

My custom wheels
I started cycling in the mid-’90s because I was totally out of shape. My bike is designed for my exact measurements. I go into the ravines and do hill repeats near Sunnybrook hospital three to five times a week.

(All images: John Cullen)