Monocle #155

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 155 - July / August

At the front
  • Editor’s letter: The world’s urban centres are flourishing once more despite pandemic-related predictions of their demise. Editor in chief Andrew Tuck celebrates our cities’ resilience, vision and innovation, as evidenced in Monocle’s Quality of Life survey.
  • The Opener: Filming toilets in Japan, an error of biblical proportions and a potato-based conflict.
  • Dreams take flight: The pilot and author on how he fulfilled his childhood ambitions and why he is fascinated by cities as well as the view from the sky.
  • Above water: An exciting, high-inducing watersport that helps you escape the lockdown blues has finally arrived in Hong Kong.
  • My cabinet: Inspired by Québec, taking Denmark by storm: this special bar and shop is a social hub that plays a unique role in its neighbourhood.
The Agenda: Global briefings
  • In the hot seat: Europe’s first chief heat officer reflects on a year in the hot seat.
  • Affairs: A radical Lebanese MP, and Andrew Mueller on the Australian election.
  • Comment: A Dutch flower-and-plant fair is teaching the world how to green its urban environments.
  • Business: Croissant-mania consumes Berlin, and talent leaves China as a result of lockdown fatigue.
  • Culture: The 75th Cannes film festival, a Finnish art fair and the oldest bookseller school in France.
  • Design: The Royal College of Art in London has a new wing and Venice’s Procuratie Vecchie reopens.
Global views: Long reads
  • The world’s most liveable cities: part oneMonocle’s 15th annual Quality of Life Survey charts 25 outposts on the up and ranks the best places to put down roots. Did your city make the cut?
  • The world’s most liveable cities: part twoMonocle’s 15th annual Quality of Life Survey charts 25 outposts on the up and ranks the best places to put down roots. Did your city make the cut?
  • Pursuits of happiness: Whether it’s walking, drawing or playing tennis (badly), six writers and artists share their thoughts on the things that bring them joy.
  • Meeting in the middle: Long the first stop for migrants coming into the US, Miami is now bursting at the seams with New Yorkers heading south for the city’s sunshine, music and burgeoning technology scene.
  • Cities, slicker: Neglected industrial parts of cities, from Rome to Istanbul, are in the throes of thrilling regeneration.
  • Talking point: Learning a language opens up the world but studying in a classroom can feel dull. Why not throw aperitivos and K-pop ballads into the mix? We immerse ourselves in schools with a novel approach to the business of teaching.
  • Sea change: A staple of the Spanish coastline is in the balance. We meet the people behind Formentera’s chiringuitos.
  • Read all about it: There’s a bookshop boom in Malaysia aided by unconventional business models and pandemic-changed reading habits.
  • Strawberry yields: In a warehouse outside Jersey City, a Japanese-flavoured start-up is growing berries so coveted that people happily pay $50 for a bowlful. Is this vertical farming’s first luxury brand?
  • Different beat: Portugal is a recording mecca for acts from across the Lusophone world. But can it export its stars?
  • Follow your art: Away from the French capital, creatives head to the Med for a slower, more affordable way of life.
  • Screen time: Far from the bustling, buzzing multiplexes, with their packed screenings and sprawling footprints, these small cinemas offer their own unique ways of watching a movie – and being part of a city’s culture and community.
  • Artistic intake: From a sculpture park to record shops, these are the cultural hotspots to hit this summer.
  • Summer’s soundtrack: Monocle’s senior culture correspondent has fashioned the ultimate holiday playlist full of fresh releases and timeless classics.
  • Force of nature: Italy’s leading landscape designer Pietro Porcinai, who brought modernism to traditional gardens, was passionate about the importance of nature in design and ensuring that greenery was part of any built environment. His legacy is more pertinent than ever.
  • Best in town: From architects to street-lighting experts, these firms are keeping our cities liveable.
  • In plain sight: A sensitive city hall revamp opens up this storied building to foster dialogue and democracy.
  • Keep cool: In the island sun sits an innovative new apartment block that could reshape the city’s design ambitions.
  • The new wave: Surfwear, footwear, city shorts and relaxed shirts – summer holidays are all about breezy, effortless dressing. From Bali to Brazil, we’ve found the new generation of retailers selling the best summery brands.
  • Pack it in: Pop some sturdy sandals, no-nonsense trunks and cool stripes into your holdall and you’re away. Just add a crisp white for the cooler box (and don’t forget the corkscrew).
  • Ebb and flow: The Canal St Martin offers a chance to contemplate. And when Paris empties in summer, you’ll have it all to yourself. Get comfy, stay cool and head to the water.
The Monocle Guide to Dallas
  • Urban upswing: Dallas has sprawled in all directions but much of the action still comes from the city centre: from the Arts District and newly-built parklands to the neighbourhoods that are being brought back to life as new residents move in. Here’s a guide to the historic downtown and its immediate surroundings.
  • Changing tides: Dallas has gone from a deserted downtown to a place where people want to be – but it didn’t happen overnight. Here we look at how this urban turnaround was made.
  • New kids in town: Thousands of Americans have decamped to the Lone Star state over the past two years: Dallas-Fort Worth’s population grew by more than 97,000 residents between 2020 and 2021. Meet the city’s latest arrivals.
  • Southern style: There’s more to Dallas than cowboy hats and big belts. Here are the collections, curators and creatives to know in a city where vast swathes of downtown are dedicated to art and design.
  • Local flavour: Southern hospitality done well is about personability and attention to detail – and Dallas has a crop of well-appointed hotels that’s honed the craft for years. It’s also a city that makes a point of mixing a good martini – or margarita – come sundown. Here’s our edit of where to eat, drink, shop and stay.
  • Taking to the waters: The Swiss city of Baden is named after its baths but only recently has it embraced its curative waters and revived the riverfront. We dive in to find out how.
  • Sleep easy: Three new hotel openings are offering a multitude of reasons to stay in Manhattan. They’ve made the beds, so now we lie in them.
  • Let’s go outside: Swiss chef Ralph Schelling shares his tried and trusted recipes for perfect outdoor dining, from savoury nibbles to tasty bakes and even a tipple or two. As soon as the sun’s shining, grab your picnic basket and load it up with plates, cutlery and some of these irresistible goodies.
  • Checking in: Bringing a sense of fun and colour to Spain’s capital, the newest Edition hotel is revitalising hospitality in Madrid. Oh, and it has the city’s biggest rooftop pool.
  • Now hear this: The sounds of summer are upon us, so this issue we focus on the best ways to listen to music anywhere – but especially outdoors.
  • Cold comfort: A diddy drink that’ll stay cool no matter how high the mercury rises.
  • 25 things to make you happy: Summer is all about taking a break and doing the things that enhance your quality of life. And we’ve devised a modest checklist of ideas to set you on the right course – to make life just a bit nicer. So grab your swimmers and sunnies – we have places to go.