Saturday 3 June 2017 - Monocle Minute | Monocle

Saturday. 3/6/2017

Monocle Weekend
Edition: Saturday

Image: MOMA - Iwan Baan


Revolutionary renovation

Consumer habits are changing and that’s not just affecting the media and retail industries; museums, too, have to adapt. This week New York’s Museum of Modern Art (Moma) unveiled the final designs for its €400m renovation-and-expansion project, envisioned by architectural firm Diller, Scofidio + Renfro in collaboration with Gensler. The idea is to rethink the way that art is showcased, by moving away from galleries organised by discipline and towards a more chronological format that mixes genres – from photography to sculpture – and creates more space for minority and female artists. While Moma’s expansion won’t be complete until 2019, the museum’s first phase has just been wrapped up and includes a new shop and lounge, the extension of a Bauhaus-style staircase and gallery expansions. By the time the makeover is complete Moma will be ahead of the curve again.

Image: Getty Images - Tristan Fewings


Impossible universe

Many of the nooks and crannies of London’s Barbican Centre have been used to house its new exhibition “Into The Unknown: A Journey Through Science Fiction”, which encompasses art, design, music, books, videogames and film. Much as science fiction is a genre with a split personality – is it about the future or an alternative present? – this show is concerned with both the high and low culture of sci-fi and goes from JG Ballard and Ray Bradbury to Star Wars and Steven Spielberg. The Swiss curator Patrick Gyger, who will be a guest on The Monocle Weekly on Monocle 24 tomorrow, was a childhood sci-fi fan and there’s a sense of a very controlled fandom throughout. How into the unknown is the Barbican’s “Into The Unknown”? Not very but don’t worry: it’s a fine survey of the genre that promised the future.

Image: Getty Images


City slicking

The Expo 2015 gave host city Milan a reason to spruce up the metropolis. One of the major projects was the restoration of the Darsena, a once neglected water basin that’s now a pristine pool surrounded by bars and promenades. Two years later and spurred on by the Darsena’s success, there is talk of reopening the city’s historic network of canals, first developed in the 12th century and paved over in the 1920s. Even though the world fair is long over, Milan’s newfound spirit of regeneration hasn’t slowed. In Milan’s northern neighbourhood of Cascina Merlata, which served as the Expo’s village for foreign delegates, a big urban-planning project is underway: by 2019 it’s set to become an entirely new and sustainable neighbourhood called Uptown, featuring a network of luxury apartment blocks as well as a huge park, primary school and retail centre.

Image: Alamy


Happiness is...

Two decades after her much-loved debut novel The God of Small Things won the Man Booker Prize, Arundhati Roy’s second work of fiction will hit the shelves this Tuesday. At more than 460 pages, The Ministry of Utmost Happiness, published by Penguin, is an expansive work with a bewildering cast of characters spanning half a century. Fans of Roy’s non-fiction writing over the past 20 years will find a more political message at the heart of this novel (one of the protagonists gets caught up in the sectarian violence scarring Kashmir). Meanwhile, those with a soft spot for the sumptuous prose that won Roy the Booker in 1997 will also be satisfied: there are razor-sharp observations of human frailty alongside arresting imagery but also whimsy and humour.

Image: Marco Verch

Handcrafted movies

It’s been more than 20 years since work first began on bringing Wonder Woman to the big screen. We ask whether it was worth the long wait. Plus: the handcrafted side of movie-making with poster-designer Sam Smith.

Parc de Belloch: the home of Catalonian design

Show-stopping design firm Santa & Cole takes inspiration from the Catalonian countryside and the fact that it’s just far away enough from bustling Barcelona.


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