The Monocle Minute

Today’s top stories, opinion and opportunities
Thursday 17 November 2016

Image: 1+1>2 Architects

Homes of the future

The design industry’s gaze has turned to Germany this week for Berlin’s World Architecture Festival, which aims to start a dialogue around the best architectural projects of the year – and massage a few egos through an extensive array of awards. This year’s theme “Housing for Everyone” is a nice follow-on from the Venice Biennale’s “Reporting from the Front” concept and will showcase a selection of projects from high-end Zaha Hadid condominiums in Singapore to a smart housing development designed for Papua New Guinea’s Pacific Games. While the awards recognise industry excellence, we’re hoping the biggest win will come out of the conversations about housing. With more people displaced than ever before, the role architects play in solving the planet’s social problems has never been more urgent.

Image: Juan Mabromata/Getty Images

The fight continues

There’s no love lost between Argentina’s president Mauricio Macri and its former leader Cristina Fernández de Kirchner. The two regularly scrapped when Macri was mayor of Buenos Aires before assuming the country’s top position. The latest falling out centres around Fernández de Kirchner’s mother, Ofelia Wilhelm, who has been accused of corruption. The former president recently penned an open letter to Macri accusing his government of a “persecution” against her family through made-up accusations. “No, Macri,” she railed. “Argentina’s problem continues to be the same as always. You people.”

Image: Alamy

Trialling viewing

Japan’s national broadcaster, NHK, has announced that it will be pairing up with Netflix on a four-part drama for the first time. The name has yet to be revealed but the topic is a controversial one: the Tokyo war crimes trials in the wake of the Second World War. Netflix, which came to Japan in 2015, has already made a couple of forays into original Japanese programming with private broadcasters but this is its first partnership with publicly funded NHK, a giant organisation renowned for its conservative outlook. Since its revenues come from the public via license fees, NHK has been focusing on television broadcasting rather than online output (which might not be accessible to all) but it looks like it’s going in a new direction. NHK will have the initial broadcasting rights in Japan, while Netflix will air the series online nationally and abroad.

Image: AppleL Design Gallery Berlin

Shaping our world

Industrial designer Dieter Rams made a name for himself with his creations for Braun and the famously minimalistic furniture of UK brand Vitsoe. Now the exhibition Dieter Rams. Modular World at the newly opened Schaudepot wing of Vitra’s Design Museum in Weil am Rhein, Germany, will showcase his greatest works until 12 March. Whether razors, radios or shelving units, his designs share a remarkably stripped-back aesthetic. And, more than five decades after many of them were dreamed up, Rams’s tropes of sustainability, functionality and understated design remain just as relevant.

From Monocle 24

Road ready

Cousins Robert Nightingale and Jonathan Cazzola discuss the origins of their motorcycle-inspired luggage and accessories brand Malle London, and why they tested products on a 16,000-kilometre road trip across North America.

From Monocle Films

Cook school

Monocle Films has handpicked the best cooking schools from around the world, including a Tasmanian cook leading guests from garden to kitchen and a chef’s guide to the markets of Israel.

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