David Plaisant - Contributors | Monocle

Contributors / David Plaisant

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Back on solid ground

Art and music have been a driving force behind the cultural and literal recovery of the earthquake-struck Italian city that is reopening to the world.

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Top of the class

It’s not just what you learn; it’s also where you learn it. From a school that’s open to the elements to a curvaceous nursery, architecture can help to give children a head start in life. We visit three educational insti…


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Back on track

Launched in 1960 during a wave of postwar, pre-Olympics optimism in Rome, the ETR 252 train was the height of ambitious rail travel. Designed by leading architects, L’Arlecchino boasted jet-age levels of onboard luxury with…

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Broadcast views

Italy’s largest rolling news channel now sits within a Renzo Piano-designed ‘workshop’ TV studio.

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Common currency

Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo has embarked on a mergers and acquisition programme with cultural clout, turning prestigious buildings in Milan, Turin and Vicenza into the Gallerie d’Italia – public art museums displaying the…

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Sunny outlook

The salt-kissed island’s capital Cagliari is both bustling city and laidback beach town – and somehow unlike anywhere else in Italy.

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Art direction

How can the Uzbek capital become an art city? The plan: to eschew starchitects and take things slowly.

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20. Call the tune

Whether you have a song up your sleeve or ambitions to host a podcast, time in a recording studio is a sound investment.

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Healing hands

Clad in white coats and working with a surgeon’s precision, these Rome-based fine-art restorers are on a mission to preserve the city’s cultural heritage.

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Brave new world

For decades the Belice Valley was a byword for bureaucratic bungling in the face of disaster. Now, 50 years after a devastating earthquake struck the region, the bold aesthetic legacy that bloomed in its wake is finally…

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Making a scene

Palermo’s patched-up palazzos make the city the perfect backdrop to the stirring artwork on display at Manifesta, the roving biennale.

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Writ large

The Palace of Serbia is a vivid reminder of the region’s past and a testament to its mid-century modern design credentials.

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Reflected glory

Oscar Niemeyer’s modernist citadel near Milan was designed for publishing giant Mondadori, a powerful Italian brand whose identity and culture has been shaped by the building for decades

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Good on paper

Italy is a land of print. One such publication is the punchy periodical ‘Internazionale’ that, since the 1990s, has been selecting what it considers to be the best of international journalism and translating it into Italian…

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Cinema paradiso

With its central-European soul and Italian accent, this Adriatic port could easily have an identity crisis. Trieste, however, is used to occupying the space between one culture and another, as its unique film festival…

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Fonts to run with

Olympic branding is a hot topic and graphic designer Lance Wyman’s seminal work for the 1968 Mexico Games changed the way we see them. Monocle catches up with him to talk wayfinding and the future of fonts in our cities.

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Right minds

From London to Mexico City, Monocle has selected five of the best practices with the architectural flair and interior ingenuity right for your next project.

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Chivalry isn’t dead

The Sovereign Military Order of Malta is a 1,000-year-old institution that played a role in the Crusades and issues its own passports. Now it is fighting a very different battle: defending its honour as a paragon of Chr…

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Blown away

David Plaisant reporting from Trieste: The ever-present Bora wind isn’t the only thing that provides an air of frisson in this intriguing city: it’s also down to its complex history and fascinating geography.


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