The Monocle Minute

In association with Nomos

The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 26 November 2016

Image: Iwan Baan

Lessons in architecture

Yesterday Riba announced the Universidad de Ingeniería y Tecnología building in Lima as the winner of its inaugural International Prize. It's a bold choice and a good one. For Lord Richard Rogers, who headed up the panel of judges, the concrete “vertical campus” is a model of striking adaptability in the midst of an evolving urban environment. "Schools are changing in response to outside pressures. You have to assume that whatever size classes are today, they won't be that size tomorrow. It is a skeleton on which you can hang different activities and a very dramatic statement," says Rogers. The studio behind the building is Dublin-based Grafton Architects, whose CV includes several other celebrated university buildings across Europe. Academia remains a fruitful sector for architects to work in: this year, three out of six buildings shortlisted for the Stirling Prize – Riba’s annual award for buildings in the UK – were educational establishments.

Battle for the skies

Airbus’s new A350-1000 took to the skies for the first time this week for a four-hour test flight ahead of safety examinations that will last the best part of six months. Taking off from the company’s headquarters near Toulouse, the inaugural flight was overseen by airline executives who set aside $356m (€336m) to develop the long-haul twin-jet aircraft in a move that is intended to challenge Boeing’s monopoly of the market segment. According to Airbus the -1000 variant of its A350 family is lighter and 25 per cent more fuel efficient than its Boeing counterpart the 777-300. Such stats have prompted fighting talk from Airbus CEO Fabrice Brégier, who told USA Today: “The -1000 has killed the 777-300ER. What we wanted has been achieved.”

Image: Alamy

Firm ideas

The annual Business of Design Week (BODW) will launch its 15th edition at the Hong Kong Design Centre on Monday. As it’s Asia’s most important event focused on design and innovation, speakers from all corners of the world will be present to share their expertise, including representatives from Airbnb, Aesop, MVRDV and the Art Institute of Chicago; the latter is particularly fitting as this year’s theme is “ChicagoMade”. BODW will be introduced by the two-day Fashion Asia 2016 Hong Kong Forum, where renowned designer Jason Wu and Andrew Keith, president of retailer Lane Crawford, will take to the stage among Asia’s rising design talent. “We are an advocate of marrying design and practicality in business,” says the chairman of Hong Kong Design Centre Eric Yim. “Good business is usually the result of good design, not vice versa.”

It’s a gin thing

Cocktail connoisseurs tapped into Southeast Asia’s nightlife may have realised that there’s been a recent resurgence in the local use and production of gin. This shouldn’t come as a surprise as Asia forms the heart of the trade for botanicals, a key ingredient in the spirit. At the helm of this revival is Singapore’s annual East Imperial Gin Jubilee festival, which will come to an end today with the Gin Lane city-centre street party and the crowning of Asia’s best gin and tonic. Since the inaugural event in 2013 the organisers – Singapore-based East Imperial and Proof & Company – have expanded their reach to Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Phnom Penh and Bangkok. Masterclasses, tours and salon tastings help to take brands and distilleries to new heights.

From Monocle 24

Image: Manuel

Around the world in 80 films

Join us on an expedition exploring the sights and sounds of world cinema. We touch down at the Cairo International Film Festival, visit the home of Austrian film-making, pop into the Cine Dore picture palace in Madrid and take a walk through the London of the movies.

From Monocle Films

Club scene

We visit the members’ clubs where foreign journalists find a home away from home (and a good supper) in Tokyo, Bangkok and Hong Kong.

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