Chris Bangle talks REDS, a completely new kind of automobile

I met Chris Bangle many many years ago at the start of my career as he gave a passionate speech at the Design Museum in London on car design and the future of transport. And it has been completely fascinating following his thoughts through our marathon conversations – seeing his projects at BMW come alive, and now witnessing his work and ideas develop further through his independent consultancy. He is one of a handful of contemporary car... Read More

London Design Festival highlights at the V&A

The London creative season is in full swing with London Design Biennale at Somerset House and London Design Festival spread to almost every corner of this great city. The hub at the V&A is possibly the best place to get a feel for the more conceptual work. The festival is celebrating its sixteenth birthday as well as its tenth year collaborating with the museum. For 2018 it is bigger, bolder, more international, and a vibrant start to... Read More

Volvo 360c is a clean self driving multi-functioning car

This Volvo 360c is an intriguing concept. This research project is at once a self-driving office with hot-desking on the move, a social hub, and it can be transformed into a tranquil bedroom-on-wheels – upper-class air travel on land. These ideas aren’t necessarily pioneering, but what makes the 360c pretty exciting is how it is being used as a channel for dialogue with other car companies, policy makers and governments to help find... Read More

Highlights from London Design Biennale 2018

‘Emotional States’ sets the theme for the 2018 London Design Biennale with Somerset House once again forming the brilliant backdrop to installations conceived by architects, designers and artists from six continents. The responses are varied. Apart from a handful of pavilions seemingly concerned with pleasing the instagram crowd, most others have responded with emotion and urgency to the sustainability of our planet, identity and nationhood,... Read More

Driving towards the progressive future

This is an exciting time to be involved in the car industry. As the new chapter in the story of the automobile unfolds, it faces and, to some extent, embraces fundamental changes. Despite some cynicism and a degree of denial amongst hard-edge traditionalists, changes are happening and the general reaction is positive. It is hard not to find parallels with the murky world of today’s politics where progressive ideas are also shunned by those... Read More

Radical Essex: A complex county of raw beauty and modernism

‘Essex is neither part of East Anglia, nor one of the Home Counties; it contains both radical and conservative elements, and is therefore open to all possibilities,’ writes architectural critic Ken Worpole in Radical Essex. Sitting on the edge of east London, a rural refuge for much of the cockney diaspora, it certainly gets its fair share of crude stereotyping, and mockery – think The Only Way is Essex, spray tans and excessive... Read More

Serpentine Pavilion 2018 by Frida Escobedo

This is the 18th Serpentine Pavilion, the temporary installation appearing each summer in London’s Kensington Gardens. It is the work of Frida Escobedo, a complex and fascinating architect with a small studio in Mexico concerned with reactivating urban spaces. In Hyde Park, her practice imagines a courtyard of light, water and geometry. It takes the form of an enclosed courtyard, with two rectangular volumes positioned at an angle. The... Read More

MINI Living and Studiomama propose a micro-city in Milan

This is the latest in the MINI Living series, exhibited in Milan as part of Salone del Mobile and Fuorisalone. The project investigates how a new approach to design can improve urban life and, in the process, examines how the marque can evolve from being simply a car brand. The idea is to collaborate with various architects – different voices for different projects. For Milan, MINI worked with London architect Studiomama for Built by All,... Read More

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 little relevance. Now, as Europe peddles into the deep dark waters of... 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 arts, film and music. Public cultural spaces are in a great position... Read More

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