The Monocle Minute On Design – Wednesday 16 August 2023 sent this email to their subscribers on August 16, 2023.

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London / Zürich / Milan / Tokyo / Bangkok / Singapore / Los Angeles Wednesday. 16/08/23 The Monocle Minute: On Design Monocle Minute On Design SPONSORED BY V-ZUG Monocle NATURAL WONDERS A trip to a woodland cabin near Lake Annecy and a Puglia guest house (pictured) give us some outside perspective as we discuss the future of architecture with renowned urbanist Rahul Mehrotra. Plus: a timeless teapot provides us with some welcome lessons in design and we feel the heat with the release of a new art journal. But first, Jack Simpson gets a fix on the perfect project for summer. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 01/07 OPINION / JACK SIMPSON HAPPY MENDING There’s something about finding time to hone a new skill set over your summer holidays – whether it’s getting your hands dirty and finally building that back deck or blowing the dust off your workbench and putting those welding classes to use. For me, inspiration for this year’s project came in the form of one of Bauhaus’s finest works – a well-worn Marcel Breuer B32 chair, more commonly known as the Cesca chair. I managed to pick one up off the pavement in London and, though the cane on the seat was torn, its curving tubular steel frame and rattan backrest were otherwise ready to leave Knoll’s factory floor. And while the folks at Chase & Sorensen, who are outstanding retailers of vintage European design in east London, stock such a chair, the burgeoning restorer in me wanted to get out. Having not completed a worthwhile hands-on project since I spent a week as a landscape gardener at university, I was a little out of practice. But with the help of some online videos and advice from the aforementioned team at Chase & Sorensen, I acquired all of the information that I needed. Simply put: a chisel, a hammer, glue, a length of rattan cane – and patience. A few pisco sours and a couple of hours of trial and error later, I had a mint-condition Cesca in my possession. The exercise was a reminder of the value of learning a new skill and fixing something that you love during summer, when the pace of life is slower. If you’re a novice, it’s a great way to add some character to your home. And, if you’re a creative, such activities can be inspirational and informative, allowing you to explore new and traditional materials; perhaps if I was a furniture designer, a detail similar to Breuer’s rattan seat might find its way into my work. Today, my Cesca chair sits purposefully in the corner of my bedroom gathering a small collection of books. It looks the part, though the time that I spent repairing it out in the sun is what brings me joy. Next, I’m looking to restore something better placed to display a library. Jack Simpson is Monocle’s associate managing editor. For more opinion, analysis and insight, to Monocle today. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 02/07 THE PROJECT / PERISCOPE HUT, FRANCE LIVING THE WOOD LIFE The international architecture event, Le Festival des Cabanes, takes place every summer in the commune of Saint-Ferréol. Here, in the French Alps near Lake Annecy, architects and designers build cabins to explore the built environment’s relationship with nature. A winning entry from this year is Periscope Hut by Zimo Zhang and Zhifei Xu of Paris-based studio Else Design, which is located on a nature trail that leads to a waterfall, the Cascade de Fontany. “The minute that we thought about building a small hut here, we knew that it needed to establish a deep connection to its surroundings and bring natural elements, such as the waterfall, into its architecture,” says Xu. “The basic design archetype was thus shaped and manipulated to respond to the site’s unique characteristics.” The structure, built by local volunteers, is made entirely from locally-sourced spruce wood, which connects it to the environment. “Walking into the cabin, visitors will find themselves immersed in a serene and shadowy interior space, quietly experiencing nature in a way that they never have before,” says Xu. Those keen to see the Periscope Hut can visit the eighth edition of Le Festival des Cabanes until 15 November.; ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SPONSORED BY V-ZUG ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 03/07 DESIGN NEWS / VILLA VIPP, ITALY REST ASSURED Danish furniture firm Vipp has, since 2014, built guest houses as a way to showcase its wares in real, lived-in environments. The result is stunning places for visitors to stay and experience the design nous of the family-owned brand first-hand. Its newest offering is in the picturesque town of Ostuni, Puglia, where the firm has created a country home, called Villa Vipp, in partnership with Dutch design studio and renovation specialists Studiotoff. The guest house pays respect to the traditional whitewashed buildings of the region and features three double bedrooms, two bathrooms and communal spaces that are tastefully kitted out with Vipp furniture and appliances in neutral hues. “While the surroundings ooze Italian old charm, the interiors are resolutely Danish,” says third-generation owner and Vipp CEO Kasper Egelund. “We wanted warm minimalism that doesn’t scream for attention but conveys subtle sophistication.” Sitting pretty on top of a hill, the villa offers its guests views of olive trees, dry-stone walls and red soil from the rooftop terrace, where enjoying an aperitivo after a dip in the pool below is strongly encouraged. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 04/07 WORDS WITH... / RAHUL MEHROTRA, INDIA FUTURE FOCUS Rahul Mehrotra is an architect, urbanist and founder of the award-winning practice RMA Architects. Professor at Harvard University’s Department of Urban Planning and Design, he has long advocated for hands-on learning alongside rigorous academia. Having taken this approach to his own work for more than 30 years, Mehrotra is well-placed to comment on the future of design and planning. What are the design issues that you consider most pressing for architecture students? We have to take research, practice and building seriously. Being an architect is not about being a researcher or a practitioner. We have to push ourselves to do it all. Every one of these components nourishes the other. When you research and you’re familiar with a city, you can understand its problems and contextualise its architecture in a more nuanced way. We can’t be ostrich-like and avoid the broader context that’s evolving around us by taking refuge in buildings; sometimes buildings are the problem. How does your work approach contemporary design? I ask myself whether we are making permanent solutions to temporary problems. It’s difficult for architects, urban designers and planners because time is often missing from their thought process and isn’t consciously articulated in briefs or projects. Considering how a project will stand up to the test of time can be instrumental in deciding whether the investments that we make are worthwhile. Your installation titled ‘Loops of Practice, Thresholds of Habitability’ is currently on show at the Venice Biennale. How does this project reflect your body of work? My fifth invitation to the Venice Biennale forced me to reflect on how the event has affected my work. I decided to make my installation an homage to the event’s previous curators and to the four that I have attended in the past. My colleague Ranjit Hoskote, who acted as a curator for this project, distilled my work in a way that allows people to better understand what my practice consists of, ranging from advocacy and research to teaching. Through these connections, the viewer might be able to imagine what architectural practices could be like in the future. For more from Rahul Mehrotra, tune in to ‘Monocle on Design’ on Monocle Radio. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- V-ZUG   MONOCLE V-ZUG is renowned for its commitment to timeless design and durable elegance. Embracing minimalism, its Swiss-made appliances exude understated sophistication that transcend trends. Built to endure, these appliances seamlessly integrate into changing environments while retaining their timeless appeal. With a focus on essential elements and a minimalist philosophy, V-ZUG products are ideally suited to modern open-plan kitchens, creating a sense of spaciousness and lightness. Discover the captivating allure of V-ZUG – an exquisite fusion of durability and elegance in every meticulously crafted appliance. Discover more. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 05/07 FROM THE ARCHIVE / LUCIE RIE TEAPOT, UK POUR FORM The potter Lucie Rie is known to have told students that their work was hopeless, ordering them to make teapots “for discipline”. The rationale is clear: a teapot cannot leak, must be easy to pour from and be safe to handle when hot, making it difficult for undergraduate arts students to indulge in the design flourishes that they can be prone to. Austrian-born Rie, who spent most of her seven-decade career in London, had certainly perfected the craft herself, as this roomy, refined vessel with a bamboo handle shows. Rie made this teapot in 1950, a time when her studio’s pieces started to become popular at upmarket department stores in London and New York. Today, similar objects are on display in a vitrine at Lucie Rie: The Adventure of Pottery, a touring retrospective currently on show at The Holburne Museum in Bath. Despite creating quotidian objects, Rie’s work is treated as art – a status that reflects her ability to carefully distil essential functions into beautiful forms. Students today would do well to heed her advice. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 06/07 AROUND THE HOUSE / 1966 ADJUSTABLE CHAISE, USA COASTING CLEAR When Florence Knoll – one half of the powerhouse couple behind US furniture firm Knoll – moved to Florida in the mid-20th century, she sent an envelope to famed designer Richard Schultz that contained rusty pieces of furniture. The corroded bolts were meant to represent the poor quality of existing fittings and the need to develop products that could stand up to the rigours of a coastal environment. The correspondence between Knoll and Schultz eventually led him to develop The Leisure Collection in 1966 – and its adjustable lounge chair has been populating poolsides since. Now available in a host of colours, it is a chic piece that should continue to be a summer essential for decades to come. For more sunny terrace furniture, pick up a copy of ‘Mediterraneo’, Monocle’s seasonal newspaper. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 07/07 IN THE PICTURE / MAGMA, ITALY HOT OFF THE PRESS The rich tradition of 20th-century art journals or revues d’art was the inspiration behind Magma, a new publication created with the support of Italian luxury fashion house Bottega Veneta. The inaugural issue of the magazine, which launched in July, showcases 18 artists and more than 80 works of art and literary texts that have been curated to invite contemplation and surprise readers with unexpected pairings. Across its pages, readers can find French filmmaker Agnès Varda’s writing from 1976 intertwined with modern photography by Claude Nori. oMy 3 A HOGM BT EXPRESSION Les o it s Ureta i ergmaan. I rausum HurisBHMNN “I wanted to give artists and writers a voice by creating a dialogue between them and weaving their work together,” says Paul Olivennes, founder and editor in chief of Magma. “I imagine it as an intimate dive into art – the creative magma.” Printed in large format, the bilingual journal is published in French and English – and while the first edition, limited to a run of 2,000 copies, has sold out, we’re eagerly anticipating the second issue. Here’s hoping that it kick-starts a broader revival of revues d’art. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------   Feedback? get in touch   Read this email online   Manage Newsletters   Share on Twitter   Share on LinkedIn Images: Pia Winther, ELSE, Getty Images, Baker & Evans  from The Monocle Minute On Design To stop receiving all Monocle newsletters, please click here This email is from Monocle whose registered office is at Midori House, 1 Dorset Street, London, W1U 4EG. You have received this email because you have previously provided us with your email address and subscribed to Monocle bulletins. © 2023 Monocle. M Stay up to date in your downtime with Monocle’s new weekly newsletter.
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