The Monocle Minute

In association with Brand Hong Kong x Monocle logo

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Wednesday 9 March 2016

Image: Alamy

Arctic athleticism

Athletes from across the Arctic have descended on Nuuk, the capital of Greenland, for this year’s Arctic Winter Games. Held every two years, the Games began in 1970 to give athletes above the 55th parallel north a shot at international competition. There are nine teams at this year’s contest representing Alaska, five Canadian provinces, Greenland, Russia’s Yamal peninsula and the Sápmi region. The showpiece competitions are those described as Arctic sports: “snow snake” requires participants to slide a pointed arrow across the ice as far as they can – a cross between the javelin and lawn bowls, you might say – and is derived from a method of hunting seals; the wince-inducing “knuckle hop” (pictured), meanwhile, sees competitors bounce across a sports hall while maintaining a press-up position. The Games end on Friday.

Image: Marvin Zilm

Joint enterprises

A new exhibition that opens in Munich a week today will explore the role played by co-operatives in the creation of housing across Europe. The Museum of Architecture at the Technical University of Munich will present 12 current cooperative building projects and examine each one with regard to design, management and liveability. Among the projects being showcased are the Hunziker Areal in Zürich – built by the Mehr Als Wohnen housing association and featured in Monocle’s 2016 edition of The Forecast – and the expanding Sargfabrik in Vienna. With urban populations swelling across Europe and housing needs constantly changing, this exhibition hopes to open visitors’ eyes to a cross-generational, socially mixed and flexibly structured form of living that may just hold the answer to some of the continent’s most pressing questions.

Image: Design Shanghai 2016

Spotlight on Shanghai

China’s budding design industry goes on international display today at Design Shanghai 2016. European heavyweights such as Vitra, Hay and Miele will be joined at the Shanghai Exhibition Centre by more than 150 Chinese exhibitors, ranging from familiar names such as Jamy Yang and Maxmarko’s Derek Chen (pictured) to talents to watch, including Sheng Yin and Cai Liechao. “Our mandate is to educate and elevate the appetite of this emerging audience,” says Ross Urwin, creative director of the four-day event, which is staged by the UK’s Media 10 Limited. Curious and critical-eyed visitors will get to hear the V&A’s Luisa Mengoni speak about her experiences on the frontlines of Chinese design: the London-based museum is opening a new design gallery in Shenzhen next year in a building designed by Japanese architecture studio Maki & Associates.

Image: Weston Wells

Change of tune

The US's Billboard Hot 100 chart can’t get enough of its international acts: this is the 35th week in a row that non-US-born musicians have held the number-one spot in the chart. The last time a US act was seen at the top was back in July 2015 (for those whose memories don’t extend that far back it was Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again”). Since then a string of pop acts from Jamaica, the UK and Canada have come out on top; the current number one is Rihanna, a Barbadian, with her song “Work” featuring Canadian rapper Drake. What’s behind the boom in international pop music? Gary Trust, Billboard associate director of charts/radio, says, “YouTube and social media have brought international music to the US more easily, and quickly, than ever before.”

From Monocle 24

Image: Ana Cuba

Design in the city

This week’s edition of Monocle 24’s weekly design show Section D is all about design in the city. In this extract writer, brand consultant and former Monocle Design editor Hugo Macdonald talks about his new book How to Live in the City, a handbook for mastering the art of living in an urban environment.

From Monocle Films

Istanbul inspired

Istanbul is a city that is constantly in flux. We meet a selection of influential cultural and commercial players to hear their thoughts on the evolution of their city.

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