50

February 2012

Issue 50 indexes the businesses, brands and nations that have the charm factor. Also, don’t miss our Japan Travel Guide and reports on Ghana’s oil wealth and Tsutaya – which could be one of the best media stores in the world.

Issue 50 cover
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Design Briefing

A round up of news, products and projects, including stools from Mexico, cutlery from Germany and a definitive book on Danish design.

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Hanging by a thread

Iranian carpets are works of great craftsmanship. But with the souring of relations with the US and fewer Iranians prepared to endure the hard toil and low pay, the industry is in danger of decline.

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A silver lining

Monocle cracks the mysterious and intriguing world of safes and vaults by paying a visit to family-owned locksmiths Parma Antonio & Figli. Fortuitously the Italian economic situation is working in their favour.

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Putting on the charm

Embrace the charm. It’s all around us this issue – from the compilation of a Charming Index (yes really) to features that just make us feel warm and cosy inside.

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NY Chocolate Show

The Big Apple’s annual ode to chocolate is packed with punters unwrapping exotic bars of the brown stuff from around the world. The push this year – chocolate as a sophisticated and healthy option for a nation that conti…

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Kungsholmen

Traditionally the favourite of academics and young families, Kungsholmen runs as a small town within Stockholm. For decades it’s been a neighbourhood waiting to be discovered, but now the young creatives and entrepreneurs…

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Northern exposure

The Chinese city of Harbin is quickly establishing itself as a regional power, bringing in investment and cashing in on its food and fashion. Although it’s still a long way off Shanghai, it’s proving that it’s far from grim…

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Battle hardened

Norway’s minister of foreign affairs is a firm believer in dialogue, which includes analysing the painful massacre last July. But that doesn’t mean he isn’t prepared to send in the troops overseas if deemed necessary.

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The guru

Christian Stadil is the owner of Hummel, a Danish sports and fashion company, author of management books and a regular face on television. He tells Monocle about his business-model-with-a-conscience.

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Novel ideas

As the big media store chains disappear, Japan’s most successful book, music and magazine seller has opened a project that challenges everyone. We visit the floors of a refreshed retail landscape.

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Expo 50: Secure influence

In a former jail, now home to the American College of Building Arts, students are learning traditional restoration techniques and preserving their city of Charleston, South Carolina, in the process.

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Floating on air

Nicolas Godin and Jean-Benoît Dunckel, aka French ambient electro band Air, talk to Monocle about their working life, from a reluctance to dance on stage and their inner maths geeks to finding studio voodoo power.

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Observation

Monocle’s man at the helm Tyler Brûlé celebrates the charm of Japan – and our first travel guide on the country – looking at the little touches that make it such a joy to visit. As if we needed an excuse...

Global

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Source of energy

Houston, in oil-rich Texas, isn’t a city you might associate with progressive or green credentials. And yet its inhabitants have just re-elected Annise Parker, a liberal who has put renewable energy firmly on the agenda,…

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Culture Briefing

Top tipping for 2012 and a round-up of the best books, music, and cinema, including Martin Westlake's Asian photography.

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Asia Briefing

The view from Kabul, the Taiwanese president's modest motorcade and health insurance for Tibetan monks.

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Art market Briefing

A pioneering art gallery project in Oslo, a Q & A with Brussels-based publisher Andreas Qvist and a sleek new digi-radio.

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