Why Not Attempt the Unattempted?

Otis & Roo go to the Church of Gaudi and find surprising inspiration in the connection between nature and architecture.

By Kate Coffin Aguirre

On our recent trip to Barcelona, we made the time to go see the Gaudi museum. After making a bit of a moan about the admission cost, I spent the rest of the afternoon eating every single bit I had made. It started out interesting, grew into inspiring, and finished with a lovely bit of astonishing.

So what’s a girl like me writing about a guy like him? Well, it all comes down and back to my favourite word: connection. Oh, and my other favourite thing: inspiration.

Gaudi was ill for much of his childhood, even into his adulthood supposedly (rheumatism?) and found much solace and inspiration from his surroundings and nature.  Being a young observer of nature myself and finding much peace and comfort in all things outdoors I could relate to what I imagined hours of his time spent musing and contemplating creation.  Gaudi cultivated a strong sense of religion, along with a deep respect for nature, which would be reflected later in works such as the Sagrada Familia and Park Guell.  

Familia is amazing.  It is like walking into an enchanted forest but you don’t realize it right away.   It’s only after you’ve spent a few minutes taking it all in that you realize the pillars look like mighty trees and there are bugs in iron ivy leaves covering the surface of the door at the main entrance.  You have to go see it, or at the very least, Google it.  But here are a few pictures in the meantime…

The point is that Nature and Church were where he gained inspiration, but even more so, guidance.  But he never let what others believed limit his vision.  This quote I got directly from the museum: 

“There is no reason not to try something new simply because no one has attempted it before…..”

And later in this quote…”The architect creates an organism that must support itself and must have a law inconsonant with the laws of nature.”

I chewed on that one for a while.  But you can see this so clearly in his creative process (as seen in these photos) and ultimately in his cathedral Sagrada Familia.

It’s crazy complicated and creative really doesn’t even come close to the right word.

Love it or hate it, it works.  It shows the depth of many things and it doesn’t FALL DOWN!  To me that works.  And it is reverent.  And it is beautiful.  Especially when the sun is setting and the west side of the cathedrals stained glass turns to fire.  

What I also love about him is his idea that every human holds a critical place in the world and no job or career should be seen as higher or more worthy than the next.  So does all of this make him and I karmic soul mates?   Maaaaybe…but I have many lifetimes to live to come even close to his genius.  

He resonates with many others, and me not only through his way of being but in the manifestations of his ideology.  Did I mention he was a vegetarian? 

What the heck does this have to do with Otis & Roo and dog collars you think?  Well, everything.  Stuff like this is why I strive to reach the goals I have.  It’s people like this that make me believe more firmly that doing what I do to the best of my ability and in my own way is just what I’m meant to be doing.  Whether or not anyone has done it “like this” before just shouldn’t factor into it.  Now what collar shall I create in honor of the architect?

Thanks Gaudi.  


Kate Coffin is the founder and creative force behind Otis & Roo. As a child growing up, she found connection and inspiration through nature and animals. Her love of horses was the spark that led to a lifetime of passion for animals. Kate’s love of animals and a desire to create beautiful and unique products for them is what has become, Otis & Roo.