Wednesday. 9/10/2019

The Monocle Minute

Opinion / Tyler Brûlé

Skilled renaissance

It won’t come as news that we’re fans of the open kitchen. Aside from the drama, the flames, the energy and the (hopefully) tasty bites that such a set-up generates, we also like that a transparent system demands tidy working practices, polite conduct and for people to be on top of their game. We feel the same about most businesses, save for banks that like to make a lot of huff about transparency in their architecture but fail to do the same in their daily operations.

Yesterday evening, Chanel gave colleagues, collaborators and media a sneak peek of 19M: a 25,500 sq m facility at the edge of Paris that will soon be home to 600 artisans renowned for pleating, embroidery, millinery and more. Chanel's president of fashion, Bruno Pavlovsky, told us that 19M “is unique in the world as it brings together so many craftspeople under one roof”.

Designed by architect Rudy Ricciotti, the building will be unveiled in a little over a year and marks a further step in the revitalisation of the 19th arrondissement. Other luxury-goods companies and cities should take note. Not everyone wants to write code, work in service, draw up contracts or even be a journalist. Imagine. There’s money and satisfaction that comes with skilled craftsmanship. Chanel just might be sparking a mini-manufacturing renaissance in this corner of Paris.

Politics / Austria

Green light?

Austria’s conservatives have long had a trailblazing quality when it comes to stealing the thunder of right-wing populists. The conservative People’s party (ÖVP) first brought the populist Freedom party (FPÖ) into a coalition in 2000 – and then won big when the FPÖ imploded halfway through its term in government. Now history is repeating itself with the ÖVP, led by Sebastian Kurz, having won a major victory in September’s snap elections, brought on by the infamous “Ibiza” corruption scandal that rocked its erstwhile FPÖ partners. It is now up to Kurz to form a new government and he may be seeking a new ally. Enter the Greens? Kurz meets the party’s chief, Werner Kogler, later today. It would be quite the ideological swing but speculation is rife in Vienna.

Urbanism / Munich

Shaping the city

The 22nd edition of Expo Real, Europe’s biggest real-estate trade fair, wraps up in Munich today. With more than 2,000 exhibitors from around the world, it brings together international investors and representatives from every sector of the real-estate industry. This year the overall mood has been cautiously optimistic – perhaps unsurprising, given the current global political uncertainty. Brexit is a much-discussed topic, as is the future of urban living.

The consensus from a panel discussion about city life was that, by 2030, neighbourhoods will consist of digitally driven walkable districts that combine working, living, retail and leisure spaces, while bringing different demographics together. Will that idea become a reality? That is in the hands of many of those treading these halls today.

Aviation / The US

Revised flight plan

Expensive schooling and lengthy training periods mean US airlines are facing a shortage of commercial pilots. With nearly half of United Airlines’ aviators set to retire over the next decade, the Chicago-based carrier has launched Aviate, a new recruitment and training programme. Aspiring pilots accepted into the scheme will receive a conditional job offer from United before being trained at universities, aviation centres and regional airlines. On average, new recruits arrive at United with 6,500 flight hours at regional carriers – but the airline is slashing its minimum requirement to 2,000 hours. United is hoping that a quicker path to the cockpit will allow it to hire more than 10,000 pilots by 2029. But it will be in a dogfight: Southwest and Delta have already announced similar efforts.

Society / Japan

Emperor’s new wheels

Although he ascended to the throne in May, Emperor Naruhito’s official enthronement ceremony and public parade will take place on 22 October. This week the Imperial Household Agency showed off the custom-built convertible Toyota Century that will transport him and his wife, Empress Masako, along the route from the Imperial Palace. The car – the choice of many a company president in Japan – is a stately sedan and this one-off ¥80m (€680,000) version, with white leather seats and imperial crests, has been designed to give onlookers a clear view. The public will be able to have a closer look at the car after the parade: it will go on display at state guesthouses in Tokyo and Kyoto. Dignitaries from around the world will be flying in for the enthronement ceremony but one who is unlikely to attend is South Korean president Moon Jae-in. With relations between the two countries at rock bottom, diplomatic sources think it more likely that the prime minister, Lee Nak-yeon, will make the trip instead.

Radio / The Big Interview

James Ellroy

Once called the demon dog of American literature, the author has won numerous awards for his Los Angeles Quartet novels, ‘The Black Dahlia’, ‘The Big Nowhere’, ‘LA Confidential’ and ‘White Jazz’. Ellroy has returned to LA with a new quartet. ‘This Storm’, the second novel in his latest series, was released earlier this year. He sits down with Augustin Macellari to talk corruption and collusion, the LA of his past, and why he writes.

Monocle Films / Australia

Perth: opportunity and regeneration

As Perth attempts to shed its reputation for being nothing more than a mining city we explore the architecture, art and hospitality initiatives that are shaping this outpost.

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