The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 21 November 2015

Image: Fox Duo Design

Take note

Milanese stationery maestro Moleskine has made a design-minded addition to the notebooks that the brand is famous for. Bob Noorda Design is a glorious new tome that celebrates the life and work of the late Dutch graphic designer. Like the man himself – a dashing, moustachioed smoker by the look of the pictures inside – there’s an admirable simplicity to the work portrayed here. Noorda’s career is divided into five productive decades of design that include the Milan, São Paulo and New York metro systems, as well as work for tyre firm Pirelli and Italian oil company Agip. “Noorda helped establish a modernist vision of graphic design,” says the book’s editor Mario Piazza. “An essential thought without frills or decorative throwbacks.” It’s fitting that Moleskine has managed to convey this sense of precision with this promising new publishing arm.

Image: James Harris

Good ride

Hail! Hail! Boneshakers one and all! The final show at the London Design Museum’s Tower Bridge site celebrates the humble (and not so) bicycle. From rattly commuter donkeys (humble) to Chris Froome’s Tour de France-pulverising Pinarello (not so) to those annoying foldable ones (oh so humble) and Eddy Merckx’s orange one-hour record bike from 1972 (elegantly not so), there are enough frames, drop handlebars and taut chains on the walls to satisfy the most far-gone cycling connoisseur. There is also a good room on urbanism and how cities are changing their ways to become bike-friendly; the usual suspects are Amsterdam, Copenhagen and – happily – Bogotá and London too. Of course, there are discounts for men with shaved legs and one trouser leg rolled up to prove it.

Image: Photo courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Photo by Timothy Tiebout

Mau pow-wow

Opening with an award for design excellence, the Philadelphia Museum of Art unveils the first retrospective for designer and branding master Bruce Mau this weekend. Work on What You Love: Bruce Mau Rethinking Design traces Mau’s career, ranging from work in countries such as Panama and Guatemala, for institutions such as Moma and corporations from Emeco to Coca-Cola. “What is so interesting about Bruce Mau is the way he combines aesthetics with ethical and social considerations, from his earliest work for Public Good Design and Communications to his present multidisciplinary consultancy, Massive Change Network,” says curator Kathryn Hiesinger. The exhibition is open until 3 April at the museum’s Collab Gallery.

Image: Martin Olman

Show and tell

This weekend Australia’s capital kicks off nine days of Design Canberra, a festival that brings together the city’s “creative communities, from artists and designers to manufacturing and retail businesses”, says Avi Amesbury, the artistic director. Though the city isn’t well known for its design, the festival is an attempt to change that: 750 designers, architects and other creatives will participate and the public will be free to move around Pavilion X, created by the University of Canberra and the Australian Institute of Architects. After a successful launch last year, the theme of this second edition is “Connect. Create. Collaborate”.

From Monocle 24

Image: Elena Walsh

The next generation of South Tyrol’s wine business

Tune in to The Menu to discover how the South Tyrolian wine business is evolving.

From Monocle Films

The high life, Lower Engadine

Each Swiss valley has its own culture – even language. Locals make the most of their isolation but also know how to sell their skills. The Lower Engadine has perfected this lost-world vibrancy.

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