Nearly 40 years after her death, many of Irish designer Eileen Gray’s works – such as the Bibendum chair and her E-1027 villa in France – still resonate today. Alongside Le Corbusier, Gray is considered a pioneer of the modernist movement. This weekend marks the release of Gray Matters in London’s Bertha Doc House. The documentary chronicles the many phases of Gray’s multifaceted career: she started working with lacquer before switching to furniture design and then architecture, leaving an indelible imprint at each stage. As Philippe Garner, Christie’s international head of photographs and 20th-century decorative arts and design, puts it: “It’s the fascinating story of one woman’s determined journey to stay relevant through the decades, true to her muse, true to herself and true to the changing times.”
A recent spate of books about brutalist buildings (those impersonal concrete sorts from the 1950s-1970s) has done much to improve the image of the once-reviled style, but author Peter Chadwick’s success lies in making these unyielding brutes feel all the more human in his new title This Brutal World for Phaidon. A graphic designer by trade, it’s Chadwick’s words as well as images that weave an irresistible narrative, starting with his upbringing in Britain’s industrial north and first experiences of these post-war provocateurs – namely the ICI chemical plant and Dorman Long blast furnace – that he experienced as a child. Readers can expect a chronicle of the concrete creations of masters such as Eero Saarinen, Le Courbusier and Harry Seidler, interspersed with contemporary buildings from Daniel Libeskind, Zaha Hadid and John Pawson, which bear the stamp of the brutalist ideals. All in all it’s a monochromatic melee of metamorphic, powerful and inspiring buildings and quite simply the best in class for books on brutalism.
The Urbanist Live
Join us for this special live episode of The Urbanist, hosted by Monocle editor Andrew Tuck.
Monocle pop-up shop in Merano
The Monocle Seasonal Shop in Merano contains exclusive collaborations. Open throughout the summer-holiday period.
Featured podcasts and chapters
Royce Wood Junior
He is perhaps best known for producing Jamie Woon’s debut album ‘Mirrorwriting’ but now Royce Wood Junior is stepping out from behind the scenes and this year released his first solo record, ‘The Ashen Tang’. Royce Wood Junior plays live tracks from the album and speaks to Monocle’s Holly Fisher about making the swap from studio to stage.
Moscow: Stalin’s Seven Sisters
When it comes to totalitarian architecture, Moscow is hard to beat. The Russian capital’s look is defined by the famous seven skyscrapers commissioned by the late dictator himself. And some present-day Russian architects are trying to copy what has become known as the Stalinist style.
We meet the founder of pioneering textile brand BeatWoven, which uses audio technology to create unique patterns in fabric.
Musician Emmy the Great explains how her dual English and Chinese heritage is informing her new music and we hear from author Catie Marron about some of the world’s most inviting city squares. Plus: we chat to Mark Dunhill of London’s Central Saint Martins school of art about its place in the city’s creative scene.
Design heavyweight Alberto Alessi sits down with Josh Fehnert to discuss the ills and advantages of running a family business and the fine line between art and design. Plus: a few choice tips for success in business.
Imagine growing up as part of the Rothschild dynasty, surrounded by great art and great minds. Contrary to what some might think this family has had its struggles, namely the fight to reclaim its paintings from the Nazis. Hannah Rothschild, chair of London’s National Gallery, grew up heavily involved in family matters and has turned her insider's view of the art world into a fascinating novel. ‘The Improbability of Love’ is joint winner of the Bollinger Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction 2016 and has been shortlisted for the Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction 2016.
Monocle preview: June issue 2016
Our June issue makes a splash with the launch of a brand-new Boats and Coast Survey, featuring a fleet of well-navigated reports and fresh photography. It is accompanied by nautical-themed reports throughout the magazine – so we hereby encourage you to drop anchor and meet us on deck. Available now at The Monocle Shop.
Nagorno-Karabakh: limbo land
The republic of Nagorno-Karabakh in the Caucasus lies in purgatory. Despite its violent history, peace and PR is seen as the fastest route to normality; we visited just before the most recent flare-up to see if it can succeed.
Making it in the city: Vienna ateliers
Vienna provided the perfect backdrop for this Monocle Quality of Life Conference session. Monocle Films paid a visit to six of our favourite ateliers to discover that you can create jobs and wealth with downtown workshops – and the sound of the odd hammer.
Issue 94 ∙ June 2016
Chart a fresh course. Rub-a-dub-dub, time to buy a sub. Our editors, correspondents, first mates and midshipmen take to the high seas to cover disputes, handsome hulls and good tackle.
Issue 93 ∙ May 2016
Meet the new village people. Is it time to beat an urban retreat? Our premiere survey on the best villages and hamlets to set up shop, office and goat hutch (and all the little folk you'll need in your life)
Free to read in this issue
Diving deeper: Mare magazine
Open the pages of a sumptuous German publication that pays homage to the high seas.
Go with the flow
For a more sedated on-board experience, search out these two North American rowboat makers.
Subscribe to the Monocle newsletters
Sign up to Monocle's email newsletters to stay on top of news and opinion, plus the latest from the magazine, radio, film and shop.
Thank you, you are now signed up.
The Fast Lane
Back on home turf
The bank governor and I settled in for a breezy chat about French leadership, sharp haircuts, and Brexit
The Bulletin with UBS
As global shoppers go from streets and shopping centres to online outlets, our panel of international experts explains the winners and losers of e-commerce. We ask if it’s a threat to overall corporate profits and consider whether the right balance is being struck between online and offline commercial activity.