The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Friday 2 September 2016

Image: Edgardo W. Olivera

Connecting people

Amman is an Arab capital with more will than most when it comes to investing in design – Jordan’s government even furnished the city with its very own typeface – but until now it has never had a public-transport map. Local studio Syntax has spent the last seven months mapping the city’s coasters and through-routes so that Amman can use its buses to better effect and hopefully cut down on its notorious traffic. The so-called “Amman’s Unofficial Transport Map” is being presented as part of Amman Design Week (until 9 September), which showcases regional talent and, like Syntax’s creation, aims to get the city’s design scene better connected.

Image: Felix Amsel

Doing it for themselves

“We are terribly excited,” says Malte Brenneisen, co-founder of Indiecon, the independent-magazine conference whose third annual edition begins today. More than 140 participants and speakers are expected to descend on Hamburg’s historic Heinrich Heine villa for the two-day conference. The day will begin with franzbrötchen pastries – a snack popular in the German city, which you’ll know if you’ve picked up a copy of Gentle Rain, the new magazine launched by Die Brueder, the group behind Indiecon – and continue with discussions about communities of makers and readers. Guests include The Gentlewoman art director Veronica Ditting and editor Richard O’Mahony as well as the teams behind Flaneur magazine and London’s Courier. As part of this year’s theme designers Max Weinland and Timo Durst will launch the first edition of Pioneer Paper, a magazine created and produced during the conference and presented on Sunday’s Indiemag Day, the adjunct magazine fair that last year drew more than 1,000 visitors.

Image: Tan Hai Han

Green zone

There’s a haze over Singapore – but not the usual kind. This week Credit Suisse released a gloomy forecast for the trade-dependent island in the shape of its 2016 report on Asian export leaders. Rising wages, stagnant productivity and curbs on foreign workers have left Singapore ranking just eighth out of the 10 countries surveyed by the Zürich-based bank, while Vietnam, the Philippines and China scooped the top spots. But there is a silver lining: Singapore has become a successful case study in eco-friendly urbanism thanks to its sustainable building techniques. The city-state will be showing off its expertise on Wednesday when 450 companies and about 12,000 visitors arrive at Marina Bay Sands for Build Eco Xpo, Southeast Asia’s preeminent showcase of sustainable design. Business here may have its ups and downs but Singapore’s chops as a centre for green urbanism are taking root nicely.

Image: Oliver Lang

Out in front

The 25th edition of Eurobike, the continent’s biggest bicycle trade show, is well underway in Friedrichshafen, southern Germany. This year the event’s organisers have refreshed the format to create more engagement between cycling companies and consumers. Three days of business will be followed by this weekend’s Festival Days, during which bike enthusiasts are free to try out the latest products. Among the exhibitors is Japanese-Italian cycling-apparel company Pedal Ed, whose brand director Luca Mathia Bertoncello thinks that cyclists are becoming increasingly sophisticated consumers. “Nowadays more and more people who are approaching cycling aren’t interested in looking like professionals,” he says. “Their approach to buying cycling apparel is the same as their approach to buying clothes for their everyday lives.” With their toned-down colours and minimal design, Pedal Ed’s garments should appeal to cyclists who want to look their best in the peloton.

From Monocle 24

Image: Ksenia Shaykhutdinova

Moscow: military parade

We head to the Moscow military tattoo, one of the country’s largest cultural festivals, to watch military bands from across the world get their marching orders.

From Monocle Films

Australia’s roadhouses

The roadhouses along the Great Northern Highway in Western Australia are vital sanctuaries for the truck drivers who frequent them. Monocle Films hits the road to meet the characters who rely on these outback pit-stops.

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