The Monocle Minute

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Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Tuesday 25 October 2016

Image: Ullstein Bild/Getty Images

Host with the most

The most important and arguably best-loved news programme on German TV caused something of a stir last night. Public-service broadcaster ARD’s Tagesthemen (literally “issues of the day”) entered a new era as host Ingo Zamperoni stood behind the famous desk for the first time. Previously the channel’s Washington correspondent, reporting on the presidential election among other things, at 42 Zamperoni is the youngest man ever to hold the post. The Tagesthemen job has traditionally been given to more experienced ARD reporters such as Thomas Roth, whose retirement has led to Zamperoni’s new role. While the newcomer has big shoes to fill, ARD helped alleviate some of that pressure yesterday when it released a jovial video of Zamperoni struggling to think up a Schlusssatz (final sign-off) before his big entrance into the annals of German TV.

Image: Big River Strategic Initiative

Bridging the gap

The Harahan Bridge, a railway cantilever structure that spans the Mississippi River, has been given a new lease of life as one of the country’s longest pedestrian and cycle bridges. Known as Big River Crossing, the new 1.6km-long boardwalk connects West Memphis in Arkansas and Memphis in Tennessee and runs alongside Union Pacific Railroad freight trains that continue to traverse the bridge. Though the Harahan Bridge has been in operation since 1916, its roadways for vehicles haven’t been in use since the 1940s so ordinary citizens haven’t been able to make use of it. The Big River Crossing is just one part of a larger $43m (€39m) Main Street to Main Street Multi-Modal Connector project that aims to strengthen the core of each city’s downtown; in addition to the crossing, the project will see streetscape, lighting, pavement and roadway improvements to each centre.

Image: Dubai Design Week

Dubai’s creative approach

When news first hit that Dubai wanted to build a design district, it was met with a few cocked eyebrows. But now the area is open for business and starting from yesterday plays host to the second edition of Dubai Design Week. There are a few initiatives that have caught our eye: rescuing Bahrain’s overlooked ceramics industry; a look at how material reuse happens in contemporary Cairo; and a keynote speech by Aziza Chaouni, who led the architectural team restoring the world’s oldest library in Fez, Morocco. But the most significant gathering will be the Global Grad Show, presenting work from 50 universities in 30 countries – from the Middle East’s institutions to Rhode Island School of Design. It’s a pulse check for an emergent generation but also a chance to see what kind of punch the region’s design departments can pack.

Image: Estrop/Getty Images

Singapore’s got the look

Singapore Fashion Week, which starts tomorrow and runs until 30 October, promises a shake-up to boost a rising regional creative scene. Previously reliant on international fashion headliners to draw the crowds, this year’s line-up looks inwards with a focus on Asian designers from Singapore’s Max.Tan to China’s Guo Pei and Malaysia’s Han Chong (pictured). The programme shift aims to inspire confidence in the region’s talent pool and to pounce on opportunities available thanks to the rising consumer power in Asia. Along with new sideline initiatives – such as smaller, more flexible settings for emerging designers – the event was also pushed back from its usual slot at the end of May to better align with international fashion weeks showcasing spring-summer collections more fitting to the region’s climate. A fresh venue within the historic National Gallery of Singapore is the cherry on the top: an ideal set-up for the industry’s grand ambitions.

From Monocle 24

Mmuseumm, New York

When curator Alex Kalman was searching for a space in 2012 to house his museum collection, he never imagined the final destination would be in an abandoned elevator shaft down a near-deserted cobbled street. But the tiny space has become an integral part of viewing his collection of things, a Pamuk-like array of everyday objects. Monocle’s Clarissa Pharr drops in to find out more about Mmuseumm.

From Monocle Films

Retail special: chocolate shops

Monocle Films goes in search of the perfect bar of chocolate. In Cape Town, Tokyo and Chicago we sample sugar and spice and all things nice.

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