‘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

Should true sustainability be about breathing new life into existing objects?

In the age of mass-production, fast fashion, hyper-consumption, and the growing awareness of the environmental damage caused by all this careless consumption, we should rethink our approach to how we shop and of ownership. And in the auto context, it is one thing to subscribe to electrification, but surely true sustainability is about maintaining the value of objects already... 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

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

Guido, the self-driving, self-mixing urban bar-on-demand

Guido is a self-driving robotics bar by the Italian design and research studio Carlo Ratti and robotics bartender experts Makr Shakr. It uses an autonomous vehicles platform and features two mechanical arms that can precisely prepare and serve any cocktail combination in a matter of seconds. Much like an Uber of the bar world, Guido offers an app-based on-demand system with... Read More

Tokyo to Paris: a car as an expression of David Bowie

This is a brilliantly curious project. ‘A portrait of db’ is a sort of art car, created as an expression of David Bowie and his life and music. It is also a tribute to the singer-songwriter following his death in 2016. Yet the story happens to begin some 21 years ago in Tokyo with a young Takumi Yamamoto, the former Citroën designer responsible for GranTurismo‘s... Read More

Japan House London presents ‘Prototyping in Tokyo’ to illustrate design-led innovation

‘I’m told there is something Japanese in my prototyping,’ says professor Yamanaka Shunji, ‘that it has this “Japanese style”’, he smiles as he guides us around ‘Prototyping in Tokyo: Illustrating Design-led Innovation’ (until 17 March, 2019). The design engineer and University of Tokyo professor continues: ‘I don’t go about trying to be so, but perhaps there... Read More

Top car creative partnerships of 2018: Art, design and architecture

Car cultural collaborations have to be relevant to our time and to the brand, otherwise they can feel a touch ornamental. As the industry dips its toes ever-deeper into the creative world, eager to build brands based on not just vehicle sales but offering a broader lifestyle, here are my top art, design and creative collaborations of 2018. #gallery-9 { margin: auto; } #gallery-9... Read More

Best new books on architecture and design for 2018

Once-upon-a-time design theory was considered art history’s inferior sibling – a bit of a side-subject. When in 1989 Terence Conran and Stephen Bayley opened the doors to the cubic white Design Museum at Shad Thames, it was such a revelation. Finally, the applied arts were given a platform to talk. Some years later I recall my excitement at discovering a university course... Read More

Modernist Design Complete, a book review

Modernism impacts on every aspect of our lives. This progressive aesthetic and philosophical movement, which emerged in the late 19th and early 20th century in the midst of modern industrial societies and rapid urbanisation, and the horrors of the world wars, continues to shape our lives. Modernism has set a powerful framework for how we think and create, how are homes are built... Read More