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

London Design Biennale debuts with ‘Utopia By Design’

I’m sitting in the magnificent Somerset House courtyard overlooking Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s towering navy sculpture that moves ever-so-slowly to the nudge of the September wind. Forecast explores Britain’s rich maritime history and its involvement with the development of wind energy. Created by the local designer duo with the help of the V&A Museum and engineering firm Arup, it evokes the past and proposes a future powered by... Read More

BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce navigate the future

Speculating the future of the car is pretty fascinating territory. The automobile has essentially remained the same, evolving technically rather than conceptually since its birth well over a century ago. Now, as the car moves closer and closer to becoming a personal gadget with multiple faces and functions, its next life is open to all sorts of interpretations. It certainly is an exciting time to be involved in the vehicle design world. We’ve... Read More

Young designers explore the unexpected in Milan

Ecological packaging material made from seaweed, an instinctive children’s toy-set to promote the imagination, modular clothing that shifts according to shape and desire, and a clock that visualises the present by marking the passing of time, these were just some of the intriguing ideas presented by a team of young creatives in Milan. This is the annual Lexus Design Awards, an ambitious project for the Milan Salone del Mobile created as a way... Read More

Real and conceptual design from Salone del Mobile Milan

Milan once again transformed into a city-wide celebration of visual culture for the Salone Internazionale del Mobile (12 to 17 April). In its 55th year, some 300,000 people arrived here last week with a shared passion for visual culture and ready to soak in the creative spirit. The main buzz is increasingly outside the main exhibition hall at Fuorisalone, which sees boutiques, smaller galleries, crumbling old palazzos around pockets of this... Read More

Reclaiming the word luxury

I’m often asked to consult for luxury brands, to consider what is luxury now and in the future, and how to communicate this effectively editorially and otherwise. This came to mind whilst watching Boyhood the other night. Not being my first screening, I was able to reflect on it in peace. For anyone who hasn’t seen this film, Boyhood is a coming-of-age movie shot in real time – the director Richard Linklater gathered the same cast... Read More

Speculating the future of luxury

Pleasure, passion, innovation, exclusivity, expertise, extraordinary, investment, preciousness, opulence, non-essentials – these are some of the words that once defined luxury. Yet to understand the meaning of luxury in the future requires a further set of definitions. In speculating luxury for future generations words like authenticity, legacy, access, resource, journey, skill, memory also come to the foreground. This is the premise behind... Read More

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