“In a manner, the bench is the apotheosis of urban life, the city’s most democratic place and a forum from which to watch life happen. In a commercialised public arena in which we have become recognised as consumers and customers rather than citizens, the bench remains an unalloyed public good.” Edwin Heathcote, FT
This excellent essay by FT architecture critic, Edwin Heathcote looks at the role of street furniture – public seating, streetlights, newsstands and post boxes – in a fast-changing urban landscape. Populating the city’s liminal spaces like familiar friends, I always loved the newspaper dispensers in New York (do they still exist?) and the green metal chairs in Paris’s Jardin des Tuileries.
Like silent supporting actors in oh-so-many classic movies, they’re not just essential street kit for locals, they also serve as perfect photo props for tourists. Here’s a favourite photo of James Lee Byars’ The Golden Sphere surrounded by the essential green chairs (top) (more…)
“We want to use the language of a foundation or a museum; moving away from the idea of being a gallery. I want everybody to feel they can come in and educate themselves about design. We want diversity, not only in the artists that we work with but the people that visit us, whether that’s a local school or someone from fashion, the arts or design. We’ve been very successful as a business and now want to give back. We’re seeding things here – we’re not sure what, but we know something beautiful will grow.” Loïc Le Gaillard, Financial Times
News just in: Ladbroke Grove is getting a very zhuzhy arts hub for SS23. (more…)
“I want to keep the roof open. And this is what we do with 1774 – invite influential and creative people to come and have a picnic with us. I don’t need the money; I need their energy stream. Their view and interpretation of the brand.” Birkenstock CEO Oliver Reichert, on the secret sauce of the $5 billion brand, How To Spend It (more…)
You should by now be no stranger to Veja. You know, the cult French eco-trainer brand seen on every tastemaker of note, recognised by its minimalist white V10 sneakers with the distinctive V logo. There was a good piece in the FT recently (sub req*) on how the brand rose to €60 million turnover.