The Monocle Minute

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The week ahead, opportunities and observations
Saturday 27 January 2018

Culture

Image: Kitmin Lee, Michaël Borremans

Grand opening

David Zwirner’s first outpost in Asia will occupy an impressive space in H Queen’s, the new gallery and lifestyle tower in Hong Kong’s Central district. 

David Zwirner, the German art dealer and Caesar Augustus of the blue-chip gallery world, celebrates 25 years since opening his first space in New York in fittingly expansive style: by inaugurating a brand-new spot in the previously untested turf of Hong Kong. It is situated in the H Queen’s building – a purpose-built skyscraper defined by natural light, versatile space and proximity to a plethora of retail ventures. Zwirner has chosen Belgian painter Michaël Borremans to open the gallery with Fire from the Sun, a show of new work depicting toddlers on a scale, by turns cherubic, devious, possibly demonic and interspersed with strange machines rendered in oils. There’s an atmosphere of Lord of the Flies and the spirit of skewed Old Masters in these strange and beautiful paintings. A suitably strong and bewitching show to ring in Zwirner’s quarter century.

Technology

World in motion

Want to network with others in the creative industry while on the go? There's an app for that.

Networking for creatives just got easier. The Dots, the London-based networking site for those working in the design, advertising, technology, fashion and media fields (think of it as a sleeker, less-dusty version of LinkedIn), has launched an app. Though it may seem that every technology company in the world has an app, whether it's useful or not, extending The Dots platform from a desktop to a mobile phone makes sense for the types of people and teams being catered to: creators, entrepreneurs and freelancers who might not be regularly sat at a desk but moving between projects and meetings. Founder and CEO Pip Jamieson says the app will allow The Dots’ 250,000-plus members to “connect, collaborate, be inspired and apply for roles wherever they are”.

Books

Just my type

A new title reveals the long-forgotten history of Letraset: a firm responsible for a hands-on revolution in the graphic arts.

Long before designers clicked and wiggled ligatures or lines of text on backlit screens, a UK company invented a rather more manual system of splicing and sticking typefaces together. London-based Letraset was founded in 1958 and its kits – of plastic-printed fonts, transfers and illustrations – defined a collage-like homemade look. The result was an outpouring of creativity that’s been captured in a new title, Letraset: The DIY Typography Revolution, by those talented folk at Unit Editions. Expect rare fonts from the company’s heyday, catalogues, adverts and a string of insightful essays that wax nostalgic about the precision, art and timeliness of this outmoded (but rosily remembered) time. Perhaps predictably, the firm’s fortunes have faded since the advent of digital design but this handsome and inquisitive retrospective is an intriguing flick for anyone from paid-up designers to dilettantes.

Design

Image: Getty Images

Building a better future

Today’s symposium, ‘The Risk Society’, brings together leading designers, artists and thinkers to discuss design’s engagement with global risk.

How can design address global issues? That’s the question London’s Design Museum has been grappling with as part of the Beazley Designs of the Year awards, which were handed out this week. The big award went to David Adjaye’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington – and the subject will be revisited at today’s symposium at the Design Museum. It will explore what role design can play in events such as the refugee crisis and recent natural disasters. Glenn Adamson, curator of this year’s Beazley Designs, will lead a discussion on how design can tackle such challenges with notable guests including the author and urbanist Adam Greenfield and Grainne Hassett, founder of The Calais Builds project, without which the Calais refugee camp would have lacked community infrastructure. 

From Monocle 24

Cults

New York indie-pop duo Cults perform and tell us what they were up to in the four years between their sophomore album ‘Static’ and their latest, ‘Offering’.

From Monocle Films

Funkhaus: on the same wavelength

We tour the stunning studios and recording halls of Funkhaus, east Berlin’s former communist broadcasting house.

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