Playful seesaw installation at Trump wall wins 2020 Beazley Designs award

The images are captivating. They show smiling children playing on pink seesaws installed across the crude brown steel slats that divides the US/Mexican border – the Trump wall. The interactive installation went up on 28 July 2019 and lasted just 40 minutes before border guards ordered its removal. Then the pictures went viral online. Now ‘Teeter-Totter Wall’ has... Read More

2020 in review: A year in design and rethinking the future

‘No One is an Island‘ by Random International, Superblue, Studio Wayne McGregor © BMW AG We will enter a decade premiered with a very dark storm. Yet much of what we are witnessing since the pandemic was already in progress: a planet in deep ecological crisis, systemic race and gender inequalities, unsustainable economic disparities, rise of populism and the... Read More

Studio Wayne McGregor investigates the human/machine relation in the information age

Contemporary dance company Wayne McGregor has teamed up with experimental art studios Random International and Superblue to explore the human relation to machine and technology. Informed by the technology behind BMW i, ‘No One is an Island’ combines sculptural, performative and musical elements. Through electrified movement steered by advanced algorithms and... Read More

From wabi-sabi to crafting sustainable surfboards, why we should all take up making

Wabi-sabi is the belief in the beauty in imperfection. The ancient Japanese philosophy seeks charm in the incomplete object, in the worn and weathered – products with a storied past. A growing movement is championing wabi-sabi, and it is being largely led by generations fatigued with the fetishization of busyness and the cult of perfection. Echoing the Arts and Crafts... Read More

Race, identity, technology are themes leading Rolls-Royce’s latest arts commission

Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, from “That which identifies them, like the eye of the cyclops” 2016 Rolls-Royce has chosen four shortlisted artists for the inaugural ‘Dream Commission’ for moving-image art. Chosen by an independent jury of leading international figures in the art world, the work this dynamic group produce is highly relevant, reflecting our current... Read More

Book review: Takenobu Igarashi A-Z explores 3D graphics of cult designer

Takenobu Igarashi’s bold and brilliant three-dimensional letters introduced new ways of expressing symbols. The cult Japanese graphic artist created new forms of visual communication – design that has conceptually altered how we view the medium. A new book celebrates the work of this visionary creative. Takenobu Igarashi: A-Z is an exhaustive guide to his life’s... Read More

Interview: Virgil Abloh and Gorden Wagener imagine a new kind of luxury design

Project Geländewagen is a fictionalised G-Wagen/G-Class racecar, stripped of all clichés of opulence. This experimental project is the collaborative work of the Mercedes-Benz creative chief Gorden Wagener and Louis Vuitton’s menswear artistic director and founder of fashion label Off-White Virgil Abloh. The product they have imagined together is the antithesis... Read More

From #MeToo to #BlackLivesMatter: How the car industry could do better

As Ford design manager and one of the only women in a senior position, in the 1970s and 80s Mimi Vandermolen helped pioneer the current ergonomic approach to interior design © Ford I entered journalism through the automotive corridor. Fresh from university and with a background in the arts, a Design History degree and absolutely no real-life working skills, I took the first... Read More

Why businesses should support the arts post-pandemic

Sculpture by Leelee Chan, winner of the BMW Art Journey with Art Basel © Leelee Chan As head of BMW’s cultural engagement, Thomas Girst is deeply passionate about arts and ideas. He involves the company in some really interesting projects which not only help these artists and institutions – many of whom rely entirely on corporate sponsorship – but the... Read More

Time for change after the coronavirus pandemic

I’ve taken to keeping a daily diary in isolation – though I suspect I’m not alone here. Most of us locked up our diaries to collect dust in the attic when we left our teens. Its job was complete, navigating those unpredictable and impressionable years. This pandemic needs its own navigation. For many, cocooned in the safety net of the western world, trauma of such... Read More