Nicolás AlcaláOntological Designer. Systems Thinker. Wise Fool

Curiosity blazes my way

I have lived many lives. Instead of finishing my degree, I led a team of 200 people in the making of The Cosmonaut, a transmedia experience where we created a whole story universe about the soviet space race. It was licensed under Creative Commons and crowdfunded by 5000 people, raising more than half a million dollars.

After directing a feature film and thirty short films, I became CEO of my second company: Future Lighthouse. During three years, we turned it into one of the world’s leading Virtual Reality studios, winning numerous awards and paving the way for the future of storytelling.

In 2018 I quit everything. It was time for a change. I followed other passions and turned into a food artist and started diving deep into experiencial design. I created Cocina Sagrada to design and create incredible immersive experiences around the world. Food, design, light, sound and story became my tools to create wonder and awe. To change how people felt.

That’s when I discovered that all the things I did had a name… Ontological Design.

The syntactical nature of reality, the real secret of magic, is that the world is made of words. And if you know the words that the world is made of, you can make of it whatever you wish.

- Terence McKenna -

Ontological Design

Ontological Design is this idea that everything we design, in turn, designs us back. That through architecture, lighting, texture, sound, taste, words and experiences we can change how we think and how we feel.

My commitment is to use Space and Experience to design a better world. A world where we can redefine our connection with other, self and nature. A regenerative world where we give more than we take.

In recent years I’ve shifted my work towards this through the design and development of Metamodern Villages, intentional spaces and immersive narrative experiences to foster Ektasis, Catharsis and Communitas. I believe behavior is a function of culture. If we change culture, everything changes.




Building Regenerative Villages

I started developing eco-villages (or metamodern villages, as I prefer to call them) because they are autonomous whole systems. They encapsulate life. They are a perfect blueprint for ontological design and how to redesign the world we live in, how we relate to each other, to ourselves and to nature. How to build better. How to create community. How to design for better states of mind.

My main ongoing project is called la tierra. You can explore the concept and masterplan we spent two years building by clicking in the logo.

I’m also a partner and designer in KA, an art focused community in the Diamante Valley in Costa Rica. You can learn more about it here.

Spaces Architect the Mind.

- Jason Silva -

Cocina Sagrada is my playground. A nomadic experiential company that creates immersive experiences all around the world. From secret dinners to blindfolded gastronomic journeys to ecstatic celebrations of MythOS and story. Performance, art, stories and food blend into an explosion of flavor and emotion. This is where we come to be kids again. To build forts. To explore the boundary conditions of the human experience. This is where magick and awe occur.

We’ve discovered ancient civilizations hidden in 200 year old fortress islands that we conquered with sail boats. We’ve shaken the foundational stories of the valley of Silicon with visions of regenerative futures. We’ve created secret societies and dissolved them before the first light of dawn. We once kicked a European prince of our own speakeasy. Natalie Portman once bit one of our members, but she apologized. We’ve brought ballet and opera to churches, theater to deserts, food to museums, music to caves, tea to temples.

We are the Caravan Troubadours.

Food is Ritual

All my creative practice makes sense because of my cooking. Food is nourishment, community, nature, ritual. Pure ontological design.

I believe in fire and water like religion. I believe that flavor is the violent contrast of extremes. I believe in grounded dishes that root in tradition but also in furious creativity. Food should be honest above everything. It should be made with love and desire.

Cooking is a dance. It’s like sex, either you are present or it doesn’t work. Food is science and ancient knowledge. It’s ashes and perfumes.

I drink from many traditions, from my roots in Europe to my travels in Asia. I get inspired by the immigration stories of my family, from Ukraine to Argentina, East to West. I cook in harmony with nature, honoring her, playing with her, talking to her.

You can learn more of my food artist practice HERE

The future of gastronomy lies in restaurants with one table.

- Ferran Adrià -

I See The World In Technicolor

I am a flowing river. I’ve been a poet. I’ve been buried in snow up to my chest while I filmed former cosmonauts of the Soviet Union. I’ve fed princes through ancient African rites. I’ve looked into the void of love where the Pacific Ocean and the Rainforest converge. I’ve gone where mad people are sane and everything is upside down. I’ve danced under three thousand year old baobab trees.

These are some of the things I’ve made that I’m most proud of.

Selected projects


la tierra



Design Science Studio


The Chef’s Apprentice




Poetics for cosmonauts


The Cosmonaut


…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars…

- Jack Kerouac -

Let’s brew some potions

A friend of mine uses the term neurospicy to define those of us whose brains work in mysterious ways. I consider this a superpower. I have a deep capacity to think in systems. To organize information. To connect dots in unconventional ways. But also to feel, to imagine, to ideate. 

My biggest asset is that both sides of my brain are developed equally. I’m as much capable of crafting deep and intricate spreadsheets and business plans or to create complex systems to support productions and organizing teams as writing touching and beautiful texts or designing intricate spaces. I work with systems as much as I work with beauty

I operate best as a Creative Director. I’ve done Interior Design and Experience Design of many spaces. I’ve designed brands, concepts, villages. I’ve helped companies design their foundation, from pitch decks to P&Ls to legal systems. I led the entire design of the la tierra masterplan and I’ve worked with construction companies and architects to design its spaces. I have founded or helped found seven companies, four of which I was CEO and Creative Director of. 


I move comfortable between work and play. Between To Do’s and Magic
Let’s brew some potions together.