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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.
Tbilisi’s architectural revival
Rather than erase all evidence of Georgia’s Soviet past, the country’s architectural community is keen to preserve its history and give its once-foreboding buildings another – happier – lease of life.
Zürich: co-operative living
We head to Mehr als Wohnen, a unique mixed-use development housing a happy and healthy community.
Day and night
To celebrate the launch of A. Lange & Söhne's limited-edition timepiece Datograph Up/Down Lumen, we speak to architect Joe Morris and photographer Polly Tootal about their creative processes – and how light informs their practice.Find out more about the watch here.
Nairobi: building better cities
Kenya’s Karura Forest offers not only respite from the bustling capital but also a sense of pride for its citizens.
São Paulo: building better cities
Brazil’s business capital has reinvented its city centre through clever urbanism. We meet the architects, gallery owners and transport visionaries powering this change.
Venice: finding Freespace
Monocle editor Andrew Tuck navigates the Arsenale to find out how architects have responded to the curatorial theme of this year’s Venice Biennale of Architecture.
Funkhaus: on the same wavelength
We tour the stunning studios and recording halls of Funkhaus, east Berlin’s former communist broadcasting house.