Sustainable lessons from ‘The Art of Earth Architecture’

The city of Yazd is nestled deep in the desert in Iran’s central plain. This world heritage site is home to a mighty collection of domes – structures made entirely from local raw earth bricks and covered in kah-gel, a protective layering of earth and straw. They are intersected with ingenious wind towers too – early air-cons sending cool air into homes. Then,... Read More

Flexi Pix City learns from self-driving cars

We are at a really critical time in history – more than 70% of the world’s population is migrating to cities over the next 30 years, and technology is completely altering our reality. We have to rethink how we live, work, interact, consume … I see this as a hugely exciting time. And there are some very exciting innovators and thinkers and designers working on... Read More

Brave new word: Reflections on 2019, predictions for 2020

Needless to say, it has been a turbulent introductory decade to the new millennium with so much profound change and so many challenges ahead. Yet, even as dark as it is politically around the world, and hopeless as it feels with our planet’s health and our people’s happiness, we may have climbed the steepest part. Joan Didion wrote, ‘I write entirely to find out what... Read More

Insight: Paolo Pininfarina on the past and future of the famed Italian design studio

Pininfarina is responsible for some of the most enduring and exotic motor cars in design history. Founded by Battista ‘Pinin’ Farina in 1930, the carrozzeria has sketched products that have become icons for Ferrari, Fiat, and Alfa Romeo – to name a few. The studio works within the wider creative world too, designing jets, yachts, trains, buses, and other industrial... Read More

V&A takes on the car as a design object in new exhibition

Robert Bosh electronic control unit and wiper blade, 1926 (c) Bosch The motor car has shaped our modern world and is about to define its future. In its 130 years, this object of desire and destruction has been critical in enforming our lives – from the design of our cities and our relation to the countryside, to how we work, live and communicate with one another. In... Read More

‘Women In Design’ – the alternative design history

Women have made an immense contribution to design history. And it isn’t a huge surprise that historically it hasn’t always been an easy ride for female creatives battling in a male-dominated world. This is, of course, true of most professional fields, be it the arts or science. Many icons of design, typically attributed to leading male figures at the time, were, in... Read More

Clean, green and urban: Zbee is a progressive electric auto-rickshaw

With the climate in crisis, a wave of progressive designers and makers are rethinking the traditional transport model with some brilliant and exciting ideas. Meet the latest, the three-wheel Zbee urban shared run-around by Clean Motion. Take a closer look at this global initiative from Sweden.  Read More

Is this the future of the urban commute?

I’ve been exploring some interesting mobility concepts lately. Together they tell a compelling story of the multi-transport model we should expect in the future. This, of course, isn’t a new way of mobility. The motor car, train, tram, bus, aeroplane, helicopter, taxi, hitchhike, cycle, walk, carriage, horse, carriage, donkey – we have long explored on a variety... Read More

Junya Ishigami designs a giant slate bird for Serpentine Pavilion 2019

‘Public sculpture attempts to fill the gap between art and public to make art public and artists citizens again,’ so wrote artist Siah Armajani. And this is (almost) always the case with the Serpentine Galleries’ annual Pavilion commission in Hyde Park.  This season’s contribution is by Junya Ishigami. The Japanese architect is continuing his conversation... Read More

New books celebrate the Bauhaus centenary and its legacy

I attended an art and design foundation course much like the famous Vorkurs run by Josef Albers and László Moholy-Nagy, a year-long requirement for all new Bauhaus students before they could progress to study in a specific workshop. In a similar way to how the Bauhauslers ran the famous art school a century ago, mine was a place that taught experimentation and encouraged abstraction,... Read More