A Bubbling Urban Hub In The Heart Of Rural Colombia

A Bubbling Urban Hub In The Heart Of Rural Colombia

Bogotá may seem chaotic, but there is inspiration to be found in the city’s changing venues and multi-purpose spaces.

Sara Boboltz
  • 5 december 2013

PSFK has partnered with the Lincoln Motor Company on Hello Again, a series that rediscovers global urban centers to showcase the innovative cultural, artistic and culinary happenings that are putting these destinations on the map. 

Bogotá has emerged as a cultural destination that is brimming with energy. The rapid growth that is currently dominating the city, caused by an influx of Colombians moving to the urban hub from the surrounding rural towns, contributes in large part to its underlying character of transition and flux.  But despite the growing pains, there is also history and inspiration to be found inside these constant transformations. What kinds of creative thought-starters can be found in Bogota?

A day of inspiration in Bogotá should start with a visit to Monserrate, a mountain that dominates the city center and offers visitors a prime vantage to appreciate the geography of the city below. Although Bogotá is a bustling metropolis, it is one that is surrounded by vast nature and a strong local and rural culture. The view from Monserrate will highlight this juxtaposition and help create the cultural lens through which to understand the city for the rest of your day.


If walking around on a Sunday morning, Bogotá’s Ciclovía is a must. The 37-year-old tradition sees the closing down of more than 100 kilometers of the city’s streets and opening them up to pedestrians, cyclists, walkers, skaters and joggers. Simultaneously, stages are set up in the streets and in parks where aerobics and yoga instructors walk people through basic lessons to improve local fitness, while bands play music to get people up and dancing. Seeing a city-wide focus on fitness and health—especially in an urban center so plagued with traffic congestion—is both educational and inspiring.


The retail scene in Bogotá offers everything from upscale sophistication to hand-made crafts produced by local artisans. The Artesanías de Colombia, an initiative supported by the government that showcases the best local craftspeople and the products made in the region including hammocks, purses, toys, decorative masks, woven rugs, and clay vases. The store – in conjunction with the Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Tourism – hold workshops and fairs to highlight local production and teach the various crafting methods to ensure their longevity in the rapidly industrializing city.


Still more inspiration can be found from the local food scene; Mercado, opened by chef and Bogotá native Leonor Espinosa, is a simple restaurant offering up all-organic Colombian fare on a small but well designed menu. Espinosa is interested in highlighting the history of the local cuisine with her food and creates an educational experience through her preparation and presentation of the dishes. Having studied advertising prior to becoming a chef, Espinosa understands how cultural trends can manifest themselves in food, and aims to demonstrate those that have influenced Colombians with her carefully curated offerings.


For an afternoon coffee break that will get your creative juices flowing, head to Casa 53, a meeting place where local artists, designers and musicians come to discuss and display their work, and enjoy a piece of cake. Projections on the walls inside and the outer façade will give you some visual inspiration as you sip your tea. At night, the venue becomes an electro funk and indie club that highlights the best Colombian music and what’s popular around the globe.


What would a trip to Latin America be without a foray into local nightlife? Unlike anything visitors have ever experienced before, Andrés Carne de Res is famous for both its rumba and its steak. This multi-purpose venue combines a club, performance space, restaurant, gallery and retail outlet all in one. This transitional space demonstrates how the constant development of the city requires that merchants are able to provide more than one cultural offering at any given time in order to remain relevant, and this many-storied place is a prime example of the trend.


The fluid nature of Bogotá’s urban setting may seem a little chaotic at times, but there is inspiration to be found in the city’s shifting and changing venues and multi-purpose spaces, and some creatively enriching sights to be seen, even as they morph into something new right before your eyes.

Hello Again

Photos by Kiko Kairuz.



Japanese Face Wash Creates A Perfect Rose Every Time

Arts & Culture
Mobile august 26, 2016

Get A Better Idea Of How You Are Wasting Your Time

The TouchTime app is trying to revolutionize personal task management by providing detailed insight on how to be more efficient

Culture august 26, 2016

London Telephone Box Repurposed As A Tiny Mobile Repair Shop

Tools and supplies to replace broken screens or damage are neatly stowed away in these micro-workrooms


Get PSFK's Latest Report: Future of Work

See All
Design august 26, 2016

Conceptual Sportswear Created Out Of Futuristic Condom Material

A Dutch fashion designer is experimenting with new methods and fabrics to make high performance clothing

Fashion august 26, 2016

Fashionable Tassel Will Ensure You Never Lose Your Valuables Again

The device is fashion meets connected tech, that will help you keep track of your belongings at all times

Syndicated august 26, 2016

Would You Wear Wool Shoes To Save The Environment?

As demand for wool shoes grows, a number of US footwear brands are heading directly to the source: the sheep pastures of New Zealand

Sustainability august 26, 2016

Self-Healing Material Is Fashioned Out Of Squid Teeth

Penn State researchers have devised a new textile that uses organic proteins

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Search Engine Turns Your Own Drawings Into Photos

This image-matching software accepts hand-made sketches instead of keywords


Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders

PSFK Op-Ed august 24, 2016

Why Building Better Offices Is The Key To Employee Engagement

Interaction Designer and Audio-visual Technologist at ESI Design illustrates the value in creating environments filled with surprise and delight

PSFK Labs august 25, 2016

PSFK’s Workplace Vision: How The Nurturing Of Seeds Will Come To Define The Onboarding Process

Our Future of Work vision is a service that allows companies to assemble and deliver welcome packets that are uniquely focused on the concept of growth

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Illustrator Interprets The Experiences Of Blind Travelers

Artist Alby Letoy creates drawings of poignant travel memories for the visually impaired

Advertising august 26, 2016

Clickbait Titles Used For The Good Of Charity

An agency devised an unlikely campaign that uses clickbait as a positive force to drive awareness to nonprofit initiatives

Advertising august 26, 2016

The Best In Eye-Catching Olympics Campaigns

PSFK rounds out the Rio Games with our picks for the best advertising moments off the field

Work august 26, 2016

Editorial Roundtable: The Arrival Of The People-First Workplace

Managed By Q, Soma, Workbar, Primary and thinkPARALLAX enumerate the reasons why companies need an employee-embracing workforce in order to exist

Arts & Culture august 26, 2016

Transforming Light Waves Into A New Art Form

An artist uses glass treated with layers of metallic coatings to create a unique installation called lightpaintings


Rio Olympics
Innovation Coverage From The Rio Games

Design august 26, 2016

This Windbreaker Lets You Explore The Outdoors While Charging Your Phone

The apparel includes solar panels that allow the wearer to stay connected through the power of renewable energy

Asia august 26, 2016

The Goal Of This Game Is To Not Get Laid Off From Your Job

A hit mobile app has you working really, really hard to not get fired as you climb the corporate ladder

Advertising august 26, 2016

Movie Critic Bot Guides Viewers Through Festival Offerings

The Toronto International Film Festival has created a Facebook Messenger chatbot to help attendants curate their schedule

No search results found.