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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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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Media 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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That's charming

We present 10 of the world’s most charming places, from an airport to a restaurant. And on page 113, the venerable Stephen Bayley explains why charming the pants off people will always get you through.

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Bach life

Tucked inside woodland and backing onto a beach, this residence in New Zealand’s North Island is the most ambitious project to date from local practice Herbst Architects, using plenty of wood to blend into the scenery.

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