Radical design: Creatives at the frontline for change

Bertolt Brecht wrote: ‘Art is not a mirror held up to reality but a hammer with which to shape it.’ I grew up surrounded by politics. Raised in Iran at the height of its turbulent years, it was impossible not to be. Later, as an adolescent cocooned in the sanctuary of Europe, I rejected it all for I saw my life in the creative world where politics, seemingly, had... Read More

Ten Days Six Nights at Tate Tanks explores active art

Art literally comes to life at the Tate Modern Tanks in London with Ten Days Six Nights. This is the first in the BMW Tate Live series designed to interact with the viewer, explore the meaning of art, the role of the gallery and the power of the arts to help shape society. Read my review, see original images and watch the film here #bmwtatelive Design Talks | The Textile... Read More

Can cultural spaces and galleries be landscapes of ideas?

I have strong views on the vital role of the visual arts and culture to help shape society and vice versa. My thoughts are that a degree of social engagement is necessary, especially in these volatile times. Without which these are just decoration, an ego massage, or worse strictly commercial enterprises. This applies as much to architecture and design as it does to the fine... Read More

Celebrated photographer Mark Shaw exhibits at Aston Martin

Art of Living is luxury carmaker Aston Martin’s lifestyle arm, dedicated to exploring the world surrounding its exotic sports cars. Through carefully-considered partnerships, this sub-brand of sorts offers clothing and accessory lines, luxury apartments, wild and exclusive experiences. The latest Mark Shaw: A Moment in Time is an exhibition of the work of the celebrated... Read More

Siobhan Davies explores body, movement, gesture

Dancers and artists move in measured motion around installations, projections and academic text in The Curve gallery at the Barbican Centre. It is the opening night of material/rearranged/to/be, an ambitious new performance work by Siobhan Davies Dance. The touring exhibition is a continuous moving landscape exploring non-verbal communication and gesture through a diverse group... Read More

BMW cultural manager Thomas Girst on arts sponsorship

Art and money have always had a mutually seductive rapport. Artists need the patronage of industry, industry benefits greatly from the positive kudos this union can bring. The truth is big art projects are costly and unless governments fully fund cultural activities, galleries and museums will need to engaged with corporate capital. The outcome can be intriguing if the relationship... Read More

2016: Dark politics, sad losses, creative moments

It certainly has been an eventful year. The more liberal minded of us have been shaken by recent politics – by the rise of populism and support for fascist leaders around the world. This has been a year when research and fact checking, intellectual debate, clear thought, the truth have been brushed aside, ridiculed even, to be replaced by pure fiction. It’s been a year when... Read More

Saul Bass: poster art and movie title design

Saul Bass created some of the most memorable opening title sequences in film history. The American graphic artist introduced a minimalist style – a unique blend of simple type, stop-frame animation and intriguing symbolism. Graphics come to life under his direction. They are animated, they move, they incorporate image, text and credits. Bass gets his graphics to perform... Read More

Tombs: Designing the next home

It simply reads ‘To Her’ and it greets me as I make my way to visit my uncle, buried along one of the crooked paths covered in wild flowers, the grass in places coming up to my knees. It is a captivating site for the words and for the design of the tomb itself. Carved in 1844 by the sculptor Pierre Puyenbroeck, a triumphant figure of Hope, once gas lit, sits gallantly on... Read More

Superwoman: Work, Build and Don’t Whine

Women were instrumental in forming the Soviet Union, and in the years following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution they gained considerable rights. A new Soviet man had been conceived around this time – one who was more in keeping with a new country and fresh ideologies –  learned, healthy, muscular, less chauvinistic, less Russian in fact to represent the new Soviet collective. Logically,... Read More