The Monocle Minute

In association with Tracksmith x Monocle logo

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 14 May 2016

Image: Andres Putting

Hitting the high notes

Tonight Europe’s eyes and ears will be fixed on Stockholm for the 61st edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the continent’s annual music extravaganza. Sweden is no stranger to the contest: it has won six times, most recently last year with Mans Zelmerlow’s “Heroes”. Unsurprisingly the Swedes take the event very seriously and the viewing share in 2015 was an impressive 85.6 per cent. For Stockholm’s mayor Karin Wanngard, playing host to the competition has meant getting everything from city decorations to security in order. Sadly for the Swedes, though they have a strong entry this year with young singer Frans, the favourites are the Russian and Australian entries. Check out this week’s episode of The Foreign Desk for insight into why Eurovision is one of the greatest expressions of Europe’s soft power and tune in to Monocle 24 live throughout the day for dispatches from our Eurovision correspondent Fernando Augusto Pacheco.

Image: Charlie Schuck

Movers and Shakers

Furnishing Utopia debuts this weekend during NYCxDesign as a group of 11 international designers showcase furniture inspired by the Shaker tradition at Sight Unseen Offsite. “When people think of pioneering American designers they usually think of Eames and Nelson or Bertoia but the Shakers were the first American Modernists,” says John Arndt of Studio Gorm. “Most designers know their work but rarely get to see more than one or two pieces in a museum.” With furniture trends consistently leaning towards minimal bare wood, the group spent a week workshopping at two preserved Shaker sites – a collaboration with Hancock Shaker Village and the Mount Lebanon Shaker Museum. Standout designs include ash and oak rakes by Chris Speece, ash and granite doorstops by Gabriel Tan and a maple rocking chair by Studio Gorm.

Image: Ben Quinton

Khan-do attitude

As London’s new mayor Sadiq Khan settles into his first few weeks in city hall, his urban policies have begun to emerge. Heavily featured in his campaign, “The Hopper” – a bus ticket that allows numerous changes in the course of one hour and is capped at £1.50 (€1.90) – will be brought in as early as September. The latest policy to be announced focuses on increasing the boundaries of London’s clean-air charging zone where the most polluting vehicles are penalised; the area is being increased by more than 100 per cent in the fight against pollution. If you want to engage in the debate about these ideas and more, come to The Urbanist Live on Thursday 2 June, where Monocle’s editor Andrew Tuck will lead the discussion of how to build a better London with guests including professor and city-planning expert Peter Wynne Rees, Museum of London director Sharon Ament and Christopher Choa of architecture firm Aecom.

Image: Lee-Anne Inglis

Horses for courses

While Toronto’s citizens have long found that cycling is the quickest way to get around in the downtown core, a few have taken to using their bikes to revive another activity: polo. Bike polo is the latest sport to take off in the city, with 10 to 12-minute games that see two teams of three players attempting to score goals using mallets. Bike Polo Toronto is a grassroots organisation that has been leading the charge by organising classes and tournaments at Dufferin Grove Park – and it’s expected that this season will be the hottest one yet. If you’re in the city, catch a live game from 15.00 to 19.00 tomorrow.

From Monocle 24

Image: Sergey Norin

Worry about the bomb?

Dr Strangelove gave a us a glimpse but just how close could we come to unintended nuclear war? We then chat to Aquascutum’s head menswear designer abput the brand’s collaboration with Humphrey Bogart’s estate to revive the classic trench, visit Vienna’s Rosenhügel Film Studios and a look at Woody Allen’s opening-night film in Cannes.

From Monocle Films

Cosy Homes: Hellerup Estate, Funen Island, Denmark

Monocle Films visits the residence of Knud Erik Hansen, managing director of Carl Hansen & Søn and grandson of the company’s iconic founder. Hansen has transformed an impressive Danish estate into a comfortable family home, filling it with beautiful furniture and preserving the property’s charm.

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