The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 30 January 2016

Image: Alamy

Brute force

James Bond creator Ian Fleming was so offended by the construction of the boxy concrete Trellick Tower in west London that he named one of his most prominent villains after its architect: Ernő Goldfinger. Few architectural styles have prompted as much awe, chatter and red-cheeked ire as brutalism. For some context we’d suggest leafing through Christopher Beanland’s Concrete Concept, a dazzlingly shot whistle-stop of the much-maligned style’s greatest hits, which is published next week. From Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oiza’s batty 1960s-built spaceship-esque towers in Madrid to the curvy palaces of Brasilia and a (frankly bonkers) post office in Skopje, the book showcases the confidence, clarity and historical importance of the movement. It’s easier than you think to love a brute.

Important matters

As faithful champions of print, we were happy to hear about Dubai-based pop-up bookshop Print Matters. A welcome collaboration between cultural centre Artspace and the Ayiad Gallery, the shop offers not only beautiful books on art, design and fashion (it’s the only place in the UAE you’ll find a Taschen title) but also cards, handmade rugs and even art courses. “We are interested in finding innovative ways to interact with our community so we created a platform where we can support collaborative projects and provide affordable and accessible art,” says Maliha Al-Tabari, founder of Artspace. “We love art, we love handmade crafts, we love books, we love being inspired and that’s why print matters.” The pop-up runs until the end of March.

Image: Getty Images

Drink space

The Winter Craft Beer festival takes place today in Toronto at the Roundhouse Park just steps from the CN Tower. It’s a day-long celebration of the best independent provincial breweries, including Collective Arts Brewing, Left Field Brewery and Railway City Brewing, who will dispense their best tipples. The venue is particularly apt: the roundhouse is the brewery of Steamwhistle, the official Czech-style pilsner served on Porter Airlines. Don’t let the day’s boozy festivities belie the fact that craft beer in Ontario is serious business: independent breweries raked in more than CA$290m (€189m) in sales in 2014.

Dog house

For all those design-lovers who eschew canine companionship to avoid strain on furnishings, fear not: Thai furniture company Deesawat has designed a new outdoor sofa that includes a moveable seating unit perfect for housing our furry friends. The teak unit, with a slatted box for pets, is upholstered in durable outdoor fabric and equipped with a canopy though the clean design is simple enough to work in most spaces. Deesawat is known for its clever use of teak and is one of the leaders of Thailand’s wood industry. It’s nice to see someone sprucing up the look of the traditional dog bed; cosy homes should extend to man’s best friend too.

From Monocle 24

Image: A. Strakey

Espionage

Sneaking in the shadows dressed in our Burberry trenches, we assess the spy scene in the cinema. From Michael Caine in The Ipcress File (1965) to Alfred Hitchcock’s Saboteur (1942), author and social scientist Toby Miller stitches together the clues to determine how espionage thrillers impact our view of the world.

From Monocle Films

The Monocle Travel Guide to Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is one of the few global cities to strike a balance between cosmopolitan hub and natural wonder. In addition to its openness and unique mix of people, the city has a wide range of galleries, restaurants and world-famous beaches. Our new travel guide will help you discover every pocket of the city. Published by Gestalten, The Monocle Travel Guide to Rio de Janeiro is available now at The Monocle Shop.

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