The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 5 March 2016

Made to measure

Population growth can be the bane of good urban design but Seattle has shown in recent years that a rapidly expanding city can also be a well-planned one. Following successful affordable housing and public-transport initiatives, now the Emerald City – one of the US’s fastest-growing hubs – is unveiling a public space dedicated to thoughtful design with the Center for Architecture and Design, which opens today. The warehouse-style space was conceived by local firm Suyama Peterson Deguchi and will host exhibitions, lectures and workshops that consider “the role of design in shaping cities”. An exhibit on the importance of design in promoting active lifestyles will kick off proceedings, while a future workshop will focus on urban gardens. Bravo Seattle: a space that encourages members of the public to think about how design affects their booming city can only be a good thing.

Cheers Canada

A spirited future is brewing for Canada’s drinks scene thanks to a new batch of craft distillers. Once dominated by rye whisky, the country’s alcohol industry has seen a loosening of regulations, which has led to some promising upstarts. Since Alberta eased its minimum-capacity rules – which limited alcohol production to big companies with the resources to produce large amounts of alcohol – a number of small-scale firms producing spirits such as single malts, gins, vodkas and rums have sprung up. The trend is also spreading elsewhere in Canada: the far-flung northern territory of Yukon has seen the birth of its inaugural batch of single-malt whisky in Two Brewers.

Image: Alexandra Stapleton

French connection

The Swiss have always made an impression in typography and Germany is pulling away from the pack in print but what comes to mind when you think of French design? France is more than au fait with fashion but the country has long lagged behind in visual design. A new book series called Design Origin, however, has turned its editorial gaze to decoding and displaying the best Gallic offerings of the day: from art directors to photographers, illustrators and graphic designers. The beautifully bound edition showcases the work of 42 choice studios – ranging from the distinguished to the promising – and shines a light on the nation’s budding, brash, beautiful and sometimes-sublime contributions to the creative industries. The 250-page-plus paperback from Hong Kong-based imprint [Viction:ary](http://victionary.com] shows that French design, although little-known and often ignored, is anything but gauche.

Image: Driskill Hotel

Get a rare room

Chicago-based hotel company Hyatt is launching a new brand that hopes to tap into the growing market of travellers who are after more than a generic spot to rest while on the road. For the Unbound Collection, Hyatt has partnered with existing upscale boutique hotels with the goal of providing unique stays; as an increasing number of people are now choosing room-sharing options over hotels, it’s a way for Hyatt to offer something distinctive. The hospitality company, which operates more then 600 properties in 52 countries, launched the new concept with The Driskill, a historical hotel in Austin, Texas; the traditional Hôtel du Louvre in Paris, France; the Carmelo Resort & Spa, a rustic retreat in Uruguay; and the Hawaiian Coco Palms Resort in Kauai.

From Monocle 24

Image: Shinichi Ito

Reel deal

Kent Jones, film critic extraordinaire and director of new documentary Hitchcock/Truffaut, discusses his passion for film-making as an art. Plus: actress Jeanie Drynan on her brilliant performance in 1994 Australian classic Muriel’s Wedding and director Neil Jordan on his relationship with film-making.

From Monocle Films

Typisch Deutsch

Punctual? Rigorous? Romantic? What does it mean to be typically German? Rolf Sachs, a half-German, half-French artist and designer with a wry eye and a scarf made from dusters, explores the clichés that form his notion of a nation in a past exhibition at Köln’s Museum of Applied Arts. Monocle’s culture editor Robert Bound went along to sort the schadenfreude from the sehnsucht.

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