The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 10 November 2016

Image: Toru Yamanaka/Getty Images

Uneasy alliance?

During his presidential campaign Donald Trump made some less-than-complimentary remarks about Japan. Most worrying was his suggestion that he would rethink the terms of the US-Japan alliance, the cornerstone of the US’s security policy in Asia for more than half a century. Prime minister Shinzo Abe’s congratulatory message effusively described the president-elect as a “very successful businessman with extraordinary talents” but it also served as a firm reminder of Japan’s position as the US’s most important friend in the region: “Japan and the United States are unwavering allies tied firmly with the bond of universal values such as freedom, democracy, basic human rights and the rule of law. In the 21st century the US-Japan alliance serves as an ‘Alliance of Hope’.” Many are now wondering if this will still be true under a Trump presidency.

Image: Robyn Beck/Getty Images

What now?

The conciliatory tone from the US’s political leaders following Wednesday morning’s presidential election result has been remarkable in its contrast to the vitriol that became the hallmark of Donald Trump’s campaign. The bridge-building needs to begin immediately. Trump’s first act should be to start working on a cabinet that represents the people and groups that he so freely offended during his run. He should forego the obvious (old, white, male) suspects – such as Chris Christie, Rudy Giuliani and Newt Gingrich, all of whom supported him during the campaign – and ensure that his top table includes former opponents, women and figures from the US’s Hispanic and African American communities. This might sound fanciful but Trump is not a natural Republican. He has a prime opportunity, should he wish to use it, to apply the rule-breaking bullishness that brought him to power to constructive ends before he takes his seat in the Oval Office in January. Wishful thinking? It shouldn’t be, Mr Trump.

Image: Massimo Vitali

House party

The renovation of Rotterdam’s Justus van Effen complex, a modernist 1920s apartment block, is a masterclass in how to restore a historic building to its former glory. Designed by Michiel Brinkman, the yellow-brick pile set a new benchmark for communal living when it was unveiled in 1922, boasting generous shared facilities – including a bathhouse – and open-air bovenstraats (walkways), which many say were the world’s first raised streets. But in the 1970s the complex was painted white and grey and fell into a state of decades-long disrepair. From 2010 to 2012 the architecture firms Molenaar & Co, Hebly Theunissen and Michael van Gessel went about restoring the brickwork to its former glory, increasing apartment sizes and cultivating the communal gardens. Now their hard work has been rewarded: they are the recipients of the 2016 World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism prize, which will be presented at Moma in New York on Monday 5 December.

Image: Danny Lyon

Picture perfect

Paris Photo opens today with collectors, galleries, curators, art dealers, publishers and photographers descending on the city for its 20th edition. The Grand Palais will once again play host, this year to 153 galleries from around the world and an estimated 60,000 visitors across four days. The festival’s Prismes programme, which launched last year, will display large-format works and installations by up-and-coming and renowned photographers that include Edward Burtynsky, William Klein and Noémie Goudal, while a series of simultaneous solo shows will feature artists such as David Hockney, Michael Schmidt and Pieter Hugo. It’s worth checking out the exhibition dedicated to US photographer and film-maker Danny Lyon’s 50-year career, particularly the prints from his most celebrated body of work, The Bikeriders.

From Monocle 24

Music to your ears

What does a label sound like? This week we meet an entrepreneur and DJ who believes that every brand should have a strategy for sound. Brian d’Souza of Open Ear explains how to curate a musical identity.

From Monocle Films

Kioskafé: London launch

Last year we talked to to Monocle editor in chief Tyler Brûlé about the concept, branding and enduring appeal of print and took a look inside the then newly launched Kioskafé, a space that draws inspiration from the newsstands of Europe.

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