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Inside Tokyo’s colourful community bus
An electric bus service has injected a new playfulness into a borough of Tokyo in need of a revamp. We hop aboard and meet Eiji Mitooka, its creator and Japan’s foremost train designer, who explains why he puts fun at the top of his list when designing public transport. All aboard! Read more in the June issue of the magazine.
Yinka Ilori’s 3D-printed basketball court
Designer Yinka Ilori discusses the design inspiration behind his temporary installation in London’s Canary Wharf and the importance of play in adulthood. Hear more on ‘Monocle on Design’ on Monocle 24.
After the devastating port explosion of 4 August 2020, Beirut's creative community is battling to rebuild amid power-cuts and petrol shortages. A year on from the blast, Monocle joins its designers and architects on the streets of the city to see how they hope to make the city anew.
Monocle Design Awards
Monocle launched its inaugural Design Awards in early 2021 to celebrate the world’s best and brightest talents in architecture, graphic design and industrial design. We invite you to meet a global cast of winners as we celebrate pioneering design projects that make our lives healthier and happier, our cities smarter and our work more creative.
Christchurch School: sunny modernism
We explore a New Zealand take on mid-century modern architecture that fused British brutalism with a Scandinavian aesthetic. The simple construction methods of the Christchurch School’s creative homes have endured changing tastes – and earthquakes too.
A different view with David Alhadeff
Perched above the buzz of Beverly Hills sits Casa Perfect, a gallery of contemporary design set in a spectacular modernist home. Its founder David Alhadeff shows us the wealth of remarkable art and architecture that is to be found in the varied neighbourhoods of this sunny city. Monocle Films has partnered with Beverly Hills Conference & Visitors Bureau to reveal hidden gems through the eyes of local creatives.
The home of the Finnish art scene
We tour the breathtaking studios of artists’ residence Lallukka in Helsinki, which hasn’t changed its purpose since it was completed in 1933. The landmark functionalist building offers spaces at low rents so that its tenants can focus on one thing: making art.
The master craftsman: Shimada Takayuki
The unassuming Shimada Gama workshop in Gotsu doubles up as an open-air museum of traditional stoneware pottery. It specialises in creating large pieces that are burnt in a sloped wood-fired kiln. We talk to the 73-year-old master Shimada Takayuki about the challenges of passing the rare skill and aesthetic sensibility down to his son and grandson.
The talent-seeker: Ryutaro Yoshida
Japanese company Time & Style knows how to inject innovative spirit into traditional crafts. Over the past two decades its founder Ryutaro Yoshida has criss-crossed Japan to woo reluctant artisans to collaborate on modern designs. We meet him in the remote region of Shimane as he develops a series of handmade washi paper lamps.
The international icon: Kengo Kuma
The beauty of Japanese design has won fans around the world but it takes great panache to translate it to large-scale projects. We sit down with architect Kengo Kuma in his Tokyo office to talk about the recently completed Japan National Stadium. It’s a building that has given a new lease of life to traditional craftsmanship and stimulated local economies.
The bold business owner: Takeshi Yamanaka
In 1928 Maruni Wood Industry was born out of a fascination with the masterful carpentry in ancient shrines. Today its furniture is found in the Californian headquarters of Apple as well as airport lounges, galleries and restaurants around the world. We meet the company’s president to talk about the challenges of managing a family-run business.
The future of Japanese craftsmanship
To celebrate our book about Japan, we are presenting a new film series that dives into the intriguing ecosystem that has preserved Japanese traditional skills over centuries. Meet the people who are future-proofing the age-old know-how.
Building a place for culture
We visit a Kengo Kuma-designed art museum in Eskisehir that’s set to become Turkey’s new cultural hotspot.
Campus of creativity
“Fostering independent thinking” is a key phrase in modern education but it’s not easy to do. We visit Madrid’s Colegio Estudio to meet its enlightened teachers and alumni.
Zürich: co-operative living
We head to Mehr als Wohnen, a unique mixed-use development housing a happy and healthy community.
To celebrate the collaboration between Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer and Japanese designer Hiroshi Fujiwara, we contemplate the pursuit of perfection to achieve timeless appeal.