Monocle #154

Monocle’s latest issue sets out the benchmarks (and benches) for a better world as we put the 50 recipients of this year’s Monocle Design Awards in the spotlight. Elsewhere, we visit the rugged terrain of northern Norway to witness one of the biggest military drills in Nato’s history and meet the Russian émigrés making Tbilisi their home. Plus: France’s manga obsession.

Issue 154  - June 2022

At the front
  • Editor’s letter: Rebuilding a nation devastated by war isn’t just about bricks and mortar: it must embrace more intangible concepts, such as community and identity. You can’t ignore the link between the physical and the emotional, writes editor in chief Andrew Tuck.
  • The Opener: Fresh beats from DJ Kungs, plane bad behaviour and Berlin’s U-Bahn tunes in.
  • Taking charge: The actress who plays Danish politician Birgitte Nyborg in TV series ‘Borgen’ on resurrecting the character for a new season.
  • Wild at heart: A major new wildlife crossing will help wildcats navigate LA’s man-made structures.
  • Right on cue: Behind the camera trained on TV presenter Charlie Pickering stands a multi-talented team who ensure that ‘The Weekly’, Australia’s lively news round-up, is well researched, informative and, most of all, funny.
The Agenda: Global briefings
  • Russia’s Nuremberg: Will Russian defendants ever stand trial for war crimes in Ukraine?
  • Affairs: Independent Russian news outlet Meduza and Titi Ogufere, Nigeria’s design pioneer.
  • The Comment: As Sri Lankans mark the country’s new year, protesters are campaigning for a fresh start.
  • Business: A US boat-repair co-operative on the crest of a wave and the case for making luggage in India.
  • Culture: A pioneer bringing a feisty female to Saudi TV screens and Ukraine’s Eurovision entry.
  • Design: The summer design-fair calendar and is Zagreb’s new cable car the height of folly?
Global views: Long reads
  • Out of the rubble: Despite the ongoing war, Ukrainians are beginning to prepare in earnest for the national reconstruction that will follow.
  • New direction: We speak to Lithuania’s foreign minister about his ambitious blueprint for shaking off the nation’s dependency on bad actors. Bigger countries should take heed.
  • Balance of power: More than 80 years since the attack on Pearl Harbor, the surprise military strike still looms large in Hawaii’s memory. Now, amid rising tensions with China, the US is working to shore up its dominance in the Pacific.
  • Electric valley: As the new base for the electric-vehicle industry, America’s fastest-growing city is revving its engines.
  • Flying start: A new electric flight school is inspiring a future of emission-free aviation. Monocle takes to the sky.
  • Cycle of life: We tour a bike repair workshop that is a cheery hub for cycling enthusiasts who aren’t afraid to get their hands a little dirty.
  • Lined up: The long-awaited Elizabeth line is the crowning glory of transport chief Andy Byford’s track record.
  • State of the arts: The art world is back – renewed and reinvigorated. From the transformation of a cargo port into a public cultural centre in Singapore to the collectors funding the artists they admire, we survey the best of what the summer has to offer. Plus, we meet the man with big ambitions for Ghana’s cultural scene.
  • Bright sparks: From Polish thrillers and Argentinian documentaries to the perfect soundtrack for entertaining this summer, we survey the most exciting new releases in culture.
  • Making by hand: Aarhus School of Architecture’s new home is encouraging students to step away from the screen – and it’s making them happier.
  • Pump my ride: When it comes to fire engines, every last design component could prove critical in the heat of the moment. That’s why Swiss firm Brändle’s recently reconfigured vehicles meet the highest standards of engineering – and they look hot too.
  • Sounds good: A landmark music venue is back in business after an imaginative refit that pays tribute to its varied past.
  • Blue-sky thinking: A compact modernist home in Portugal gets a new lease of life thanks to a smart renovation that honours its architectural heritage and coastal surroundings.
  • Common thread: The Japanese capital’s fashion scene is brimming with new brands that are blending high fashion with outdoor styles.
  • Booting up: Shoe-maker RM Williams is a big Australian exporter. Now it wants to bring its production back home.
  • Best-case scenario: How a commitment to Italian craft and smart collaborations revived a long-dormant heritage trunk-maker.
  • Packing light: As the world gets on the move, it’s time to refresh your travel wardrobe. From the right-sized backpack to handy phone cases, we round up the season’s best travel accessories. So don’t leave home without them.
  • Seen the hues?: Summer is all about bringing a pop of colour into your wardrobe, whether it’s bright or muted. So put away the greys and throw some shade on those safe choices.
  • Fine vintage: Verona is filled with the sound of corks popping as Vinitaly, the trade fair that offers a taste of the best wine from the ‘Bel Paese’, returns after a two-year absence. As Monocle finds out, its attendees’ glasses are much more than half full.
  • Bread winners: A new crop of bakeries is resurrecting the art of Spanish bread-making, a tradition disrupted by civil war and industrialisation. We sample the upper crust.
  • Small wonder: Roka, an intimate ryokan, is now welcoming art lovers on the island of Naoshima. It offers exquisite interiors, fine food and soothing open-air baths in each of its 11 rooms.
  • Staying power: Checking in at an intimate bolthole in a Portuguese hilltop town, a shrine to wine in a former newspaper building in Arizona and more, we survey some of the world’s most characterful new hotels.
  • In the saddle: An innovative two-wheeler that’s bound to get you back in the saddle.
  • If I can make it here...: Mallorca might be an idyllic magnet for holidaymakers but not everyone here wants to make their money from tourism – and the island is also home to manufacturers, makers and artists determined to create vibrant businesses and singular art. These are people who have fought hard to succeed, gaining an international reputation in the process.