The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 3 June 2016

Image: iStock

Isle trial

China’s expansionist ambitions in the South China Sea are likely to dominate discussions at the Asia Security Summit in Singapore today. Yet a territorial tussle of a different kind has also been making headlines in the region: a blunder on the marketing material for a development called Funtasy Island marked the island as Singaporean territory rather than Indonesian, causing uproar in the Indonesian press. Jakarta’s dramatic response was to send out the navy to plant a flag on the island. Singapore’s foreign-affairs ministry noted being “deeply puzzled” by the situation, which demonstrates the fragile nature of security relationships in the region, even when China is taken out of the mix.

The Urbanist Live

Make public transport free, put an end to mass tourism and ditch the mayoral post – these are some of the fixes for London proposed by members of the panel in last night’s special episode of The Urbanist, recorded live to a packed audience at Monocle’s HQ. The conversation zipped from the perils of Brexit to the capital’s housing market, with Sharon Ament, director of the Museum of London, staking her claim for a return to Charterhouse thinking and more affordable, accessible places to live for senior citizens. Peter Wynne Rees, professor at University College London’s Faculty of the Built Environment, had a rather different vision: “Its the twenty-somethings that London is made for and who make London. We need to be able to accommodate them at the start of their career. We need to provide professionally managed rented housing. That's the way to provide housing in London." Missed the live show? Tune in to The Urbanist now.

Image: Paul van de Velde

Milk float

Rotterdam is looking to the sea to bring its urban life and agriculture closer together. A new project, Floating Farm, will be home to 60 dairy cows – producing milk, cheese, cream, butter and yoghurt – on a structure floating in the city’s harbour. Also serving as a research laboratory, the farm will grow 20 per cent of the grass needed to feed the cows through vertical farming that will require half the space needed on land. The farm is a collaboration between Courage, the innovation institute of the Dutch Agriculture and Dairy sector; Uit Je Eigen Stad, the country’s leader in city farming and Dutch engineering firm Beladon. It may seem elaborate but it’s a bold plan for how to produce food in a city’s limited space.

Amiable annual

Anyone looking for a lesson in creating a superb company yearbook should look no further than Hiut Denim Co’s offering. The four-year-old denim outfit based in Cardigan, Wales, has released a company yearbook for the past three years. Their latest edition, called Makers, features the inward-looking missives – think manifestos and lessons learnt – that are standard across company yearbooks. But the volume also looks outward, featuring essays as well as a Makers and Mavericks section dedicated to the people, things and ideas that inspire the company. It also doesn’t hurt that it is smartly designed by Nick Hand and filled with photographs by Andrew Paynter and illustrations by Bjorn Lie. The result: a yearbook you actually want to thumb through.

From Monocle 24

Image: Gage Skidmore

Do facts still matter?

We are living in an era where we have more information at our fingertips than ever before. And yet the quantity of information is not matched by the quality. Outright lies, genuine misunderstandings, quotes out of context – how do you separate the wheat from the chaff?

From Monocle Films

Flights of fancy

From state-of-the-art evacuation slides to the perfect mid-flight chocolate mousse, Monocle Films sampled the innovation on offer at the 2015 edition of the world’s leading trade fair devoted to enhancing the in-flight experience.

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