# Design & Innovation

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The judges of RIBA Prize probably did not imagine that, to take a look one of the projects in their final shortlist, they would have had to go as far as to the edge of the Amazon Rainforest, in northern Brazil, a few hundred kilometers north of Brasilia. And yet, right here in this remote part of the world with such an extreme climate condition, they saw the greatest ambition of architecture materialize: becoming a tool for social change. The Children Village is a building complex designed to accommodate over 500 children between 13 and 18 years during the school week. Each of them gets there via long and difficult routes, and along streets often made impracticable by the weather, the heavy rains and an average temperature above 40 Celsius degrees.  But once they get there, they’ll find is a "home away from home" where they can study and be together, sleep in comfortable rooms and share recreational spaces. Acknowledging of the value of education as a driving force for the human and professional growth of young people, the Bradesco Foundation, which commissioned the project, has accompanied and assisted over 100,000 children in their path of education since 1956, bringing schools and accommodation to the most remote areas of Brazil. Architecture studios Aleph Zero and Rosenbaum have given form to this ambition and chosen a precise path, using materials, shapes and structures that are typical of traditional Brazilian architecture, and chenged them to meet the specific needs of the place. The two main buildings that make up the Children Village, identical and specular, are made with local raw materials processed using local techniques. Blocks of soil have been turned into walls with natural thermoregulating properties and local wood has been used for the frame in order to make the buildings look familiar to the community and blend with the surrounding landscape. With "humble heroism", as the award jury pointed out, the designers integrated local materials and building techniques into contemporary aesthetics, putting themselves in the shoes of the boys and girls who will experience this place on an everyday basis to allow them to feel comfortable and at ease. 

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Some like it hot, but not the Earth. While thousands of scientists are working on climate change and the progressive increase in the average temperature of the planet generated by the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the air, The New York Timeshas created a small online simulatorthat allows anyone to get an idea of the actual heat increase in any city of the world. The idea is to take your hometown as a parameterand to use the simulator to check if the temperatures have truly changed as compared to when you were younger. What did you wear on your first day of school? A sweater or a T-shirt? What do children wear today?All you need to do is fill in your place and date of birth and you will find out the average number of days when the temperature exceeded 32 degrees. The system also provides the current average number of days with temperature above 32 degreesand predicts how many warm days there will be on your 80th birthday, based on a range between the best and the worst chance. For instance, in 1975 the city of Rome had an average of 7 days a year with a temperature above 32 °. Today there are 30, in 2055 there are bound to be 80. This amazing tool byThe New York Timesis a simple and intuitive way to understand how a global phenomenon has tangible consequences. Summer 2018 has been particularly hot throughout Northern Europe, with around 30 degrees in London and 28 degrees in Ireland and Scotland. Spain had 40 degrees even in the northern regions, while the Mediterranean area was affected by particularly intense and frequent meteorological phenomena.  That seems to confirm the report published on September 27 by the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. The result of 6 years of work by a pool of 209 scientists and 1500 experts, the report stated that it is now basically impossible to avoid the negative consequences of global warmingon the Earth’s climate, despite the numerous (and mostly disregarded) international agreements. This is all because of us, and we have the tools to limit the damage. Until the pre-industrial era, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was around 280 particles per million; less than two centuries later, there are over 400 particles per million with an average annual increase of 2 particles per million, and we run the actual risk of overcoming the critical threshold of 421 particles per million within 10 years. The temperature increase of planet Earth is estimated between 1.7 ° and 4 °, the limit that should not be exceeded is 2 °: today, the pool of scientists working on these issues is no longer required to understand if that threshold will be passed, but when and but how to limit the consequences. For our planet this would not be the first revolution, but this time there are billions of human beings involved. So what should we do? Drastically reduce the use of fossil fuels, stop deforestation, improve energy efficiency, maximize the use of renewable sources, and change our lifestyle by changing our consumption model. Not only can all of this be done -it must be done. Now. 

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Christian Moullec has always been a birdwatcher. Today, at 58, he is also a birdman, i.e. a man who flies with birds. Literally. Almost every day, from March to October, Christian takes off with his ultralight aircraft from Saint Flour, in central France’s Cantal department on the slopes of the Massif Central, for a truly out-of-the-ordinary experience: flying with a flock of birds. Moullec says that it’s a bit like ‘touching eternity’ - and no doubt taking part in a ritual that, despite being as old as the Earth, has always been inaccessible to humankind, must be somewhat magical. Christin’s purpose is to spread love and respect for animals in general and for birds in particular, raising awareness on the risks connected with our impact on the life of wild bird species in Europe, whose population has suffered a dramatic reduction over the last 30 years due to pollution and the disappearance of their natural habitats. The experience of Voler aver les oiseaux(“flying with the birds”)was born in the mid-1990s. In his studies, Christian Moullec had focused on the migratory routes of lesser white-fronted geesethrough central France bound for Lapland. Because of human activity, the migration was becoming increasingly difficult and the destination did not always offer the protection and food that the birds needed in order to survive. It was necessary to help these animals, but that could only be done by flying with them and thus by earning their trust. Thanks to his knowledge of Konrad Lorenz, Moullec used the imprinting technique to establish a relationship with the geeseand persuade them to follow him. He learned to drive an ultralight aircraft and within three years he was ready for his first flight to Sweden. Today, Voler avec les oiseauxis a unique travel experience available for anyone wishing to try it. Clients may fly by ultralight aircraft or on a balloon and choose among different flight durations. The flight is usually individual, but couple flights are available on request. The route allows you to fly over a wild and beautiful mountain area that laps the Plomb du Cantal, the second highest mountain in the French Central Massif. All profits are invested in Christian Moullec’s research and educational activities, all aimed at spreading the idea of respect of the natural world in the hope that such beauty will persuade more and more people to embrace a new lifestyle in harmony with nature and the animals. 

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Tokyo-basedstart-up company ALE is preparing to take science and entertainment to a new level and paint the night sky with manufactured shooting stars: this is the Sky Canvas Project. ALE creates artificial shooting stars by sending micro-satellitesinto space. These artificial satellites will release pelletsmade with a special material which burns entering the atmosphere, creating the effect of shooting stars visible to the naked eyeover an area 200 kilometresin diameter. Dr Lena Okajima is the founder and CEO of ALE. A Tottori-native, after completing a Ph.D. in astronomy at he University of Tokyo, she worked in bond investment and private equity at Goldman Sachs Japanand, in 2009, she founded two companies, an online gaming company and a business consulting company. During her time at the online gaming company, Dr Okajima was selected as a member of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency’s (JAXA) open lab. In 2011, she founded the world’s firstspace entertainment company, ALE Co.,Ltd, whose operations are scheduled to begin by the end of 2018, with the cooperation of four Japanese institutes. Others members of the ALE team include space engineers involved in research on space robots. ALE stands for “Astro Live Experiences”. The mission of the Sky Canvas Project is to contribute to the development of science and knowledge about the universe, bymeans of an unprecedented,shared experience of entertainment, featuring the world’s fist artificial meteor shower. Scientists at ALE hope to reach a better understanding of the mechanics of naturally occurring shooting stars and meteorites,by studying the path of artificial shooting stars where the angle of incidence, velocity and materials are known.Furthermore, by studying the path and mechanics of their artificial shooting star particles passing through the upper atmosphere, Dr Okajima and her team intend to contribute to scientific understanding of the upper atmosphere,which so far has few means of observation and remains one of the least understood portions of the atmosphere. Two launches are being prepared.The first satellite is scheduled tobe launched into space by JAXA by March 2019.The second will be launched in mid-2019 on a privately sponsoredrocket

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Meditation and Yoga are two very important elements in the world of Alice Manfroni, a Milanese fashion stylist deeply convinced that the wellbeing of the body and that of the mind are inextricably linked to one another. Based on this idea, Alice created HereAfter, a collection of essential oils designed to put the body in touch with the soul through our senses. A synthesis of flowers and herbs grown and harvested following the rhythms of nature, essential oils are the primordial element that Alice perfectioned to trigger emotions and act as a bridge between body and spirit, just as it happens with Yoga and meditation. What link do you see between essential oils and meditation?AM:The bond is very tight. Each oil serves to relax and get into deep contact with oneself, which is also the goal of all meditation practices. Aromatherapy as a bridge between body and spirit: does it make sense to you?AM:Sure: to me, it is crucial to value to the environment in which we live and work, to pay attention to what we breathe every day, to the air and the smells. I mainly use natural incenses like palo santo wood and white sage, which purify the air, renew the environment and are free of chemical additives. You started a collaboration with Casa Nika, a beautiful property on Pantelleria island in Italy: where does the link between the island and the HereAfter world come from?AM:Islands are magic. In the case of Pantelleria, the volcanic nature of the island amplifies this feeling of being closer to the primordial force of the Earth. Its landscapes and sunsets are meditative experiences with open eyes, changing our perception and relationship with what surrounds us. For Casa Nika, I created a special oil using the natural ingredients offered by the islandsuch as lemon and oregano, creating an unmistakable aromatic note linked to the essence of Pantelleria. 

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In 2016 theSolar Impulse Missionmanaged to turn something previously deemed impossible come true: an ultralight aircraft with a pilot on board traveled around the world without fuel, feeding exclusively on solar energy. The aim was to show what could really be done with clean technologies, promoting their use and research to generate a better quality of life and benefit the environment. It was a 40,000 kilometer flight with 10 stops along the way both to allow the two pilots to take turns and to retrieve all the information on material reaction and technology. The aircraft was developed by a pool of companies and engineers from all over the world and flown by André Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, to whom we owe this historical undertaking with epic moments like the five-day flight over the Pacific Ocean, from Japan to Hawaii. The departure from Abu Dhabi was planned with the aim of filling up with solar energy: the decisive variable for the success of the company was to be able to store it and release it during the night. Having solved this issue, the plane could fly continuously, while the team of engineers and meteorologists who supervised the route from Munich guaranteed its safety. The other necessity was to achieve maximum lightness and isolation possible for the aircraft: the materials developed by Covestro, an international company that develops innovative plastics, made this possible. The accomplishment of the Solar Impulse mission marked the beginning of a new path based on the information acquired, with an extra challenge: today, the Solar Impulse Foundation founded by Bertrand Piccard aims to show that sustainablity and economy can work in synergy, not just on an ethical plan, but as an opportunity for growth. In May 2018, the Solar Impulse Foundation launched the Efficient Solution Label: a special recognition that will be awarded to 1,000 projects combining sustainability and the ability to stay on the market judged by independent experts. A group of pioneer companies that will make a difference in the world, with the same visionary power of those who put together the best of energetic technologies and materials to fly around the world without fuel.  

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Take a few canvas scraps, enough to create a layer a few centimeters thick. Compress them well and secure them to each other with the most resistant string you have. Shape it following the outline of a foot and sew it to a piece of embroidered canvas or velvet, chosen among the best ones you have at home: this is what the women of Friuli, in north-eastern Italy, have been doing for centuries to create an ancient type of footwear called scarpet, a tradition jealously preserved and handed downfor generations. Although the first written records of this tradition date back to the nineteenth century, it certainly has its roots in the previous centuries, when it started in the Friuli region only to reach the Belluno Dolomites and the Treviso pre-Alps. Venetian gondoliers, who needed practical and flexible footwear to protect them from the summer heat and the winter cold, were also great fans of the scarpets. Each family had its own scarpet tradition with special symbols for the embroidery on the toe. In a time when reuse was a daily necessity and waste an inconceivable luxuryfor most people, scarpets were the shoes worn by the whole family on special occasion, made in different variations of fabric for the upper part, from canvas to velvet, to suit the season, padded and embellished with jute from grain sacks – somebody even went as far as adding a rubber sole made from recycled bicycle tires. Among the market stalls of Udine and in the mountain artisan workshops, scarpets are still sold both as pieces of local craftsmanship and daily commodities. Whether they maintain their vocation as poor footwear or are embellished with embroideries and sophisticated fabrics, scarpets tell the authentic story of the people who invented them. 

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On the Atlas Mountains, in Morocco, carpets have been at the core of family life for thousands of years. Handed down from mother to daughter, the art of weaving and processing raw wool is preserved with extreme care. The typical decorations of the Berber tradition are expressed in the form of irregular geometric shapes and lines that symbolize protection, respect, fertility and good omen for the life of the family. The result is an object dense with meaning and tradition, absolutely natural and extraordinarily appealing to our contemporary tastebecause of its timeless aesthetics.  Beni Rugs is an online platform selling woolen rugs of the Berber tradition created by Robert Wright and Tiberio Lobo-Navia, who fell in love with these artifacts back in 2012 during a Moroccan holiday and later decided to build a bridge between those who love and appreciate them and Berber artisans, allowing customers to choose their favorite size and pattern (or even to suggest their own pattern). The manufacturing process has been the same for thousands of years, and it stays unchanged even in the digital era. In summer, the sheep are shorn to obtain the wool that is essential for producing the carpets. The woolen bundles are carried to river Oum Er-Rbia where they get beaten, washed, and dried in the sun. The village women then proceed to spinning the wool, which is subsequently dyed with natural substances to create the necessary color contrasts to weave the designs. Finally, the knotting begins: every woman works on a carpet from the beginning to the very end, in a slow and careful process that may take up to a month's work. The finished carpet is then drenched with water, washed and dried in the Atlas summer sun and air. Through to Beni Rugs, the modern digital world helps passing on and spreading the charm of this ancient tradition. 

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Tracing the origins of a cosmetic product and learning about how it is made is no easy task, but Oway – short for Organic Way - has made traceability and transparency its two distinctive features, the ones that define its own identity. Everything can be traced back to Bologna, or rather to the Bolognese hills: here, Oway - a brand of the local cosmetics group Rolland, a historic manufacturer of natural essences – has established its Ortofficina, a 50,000 square meter field where it grows the officinal plants from which its zero-mile oils and plant extracts are made and turned into beauty products. The plants are grown according to the biodynamic method, a type of cultivation which considers the soil as a living organism and aims at finding the perfect harmony between nature, soil and manto obtain healthy, vital and strong fruits and plants without relying on chemicals.We spoke to Luca Laganà, Managing Director at Rolland and a member of the family which founded the company some 60 years ago. SJ: Can you tell us about the Oway's origins?LL: Rolland's evolution towards the Organic Way began around the nineties, with the transition to organic and later biodynamic agriculture. For over 25 years we have been working on formulas rich in organic ingredients, and experiencing the Organic Way values ​​in our everyday life, "cultivating" the idea of ​​an ethical and sustainable beauty able to promote positive values ​​both for the people and the environment. Today, we create our cosmetics and design our products with a sustainable approach towards every stage of their life cycle, up to the final reuse of containers. We have been the first company in the beauty industry to completely eliminate plastic from all containers and choose 100% recyclable glass and aluminum.  SJ: Today, real innovation lies in a return to nature and purity. Is this also true for the cosmetic industry?LL: Considering that external beauty is also influenced by how we feel, by our physical and psychological health and by what we receive from the environment, we must always strive for balance. Even in cosmetics: we need to go back to pure nature, essential oils, hydrolytes, vegetable extracts rich in nutritional properties, and combine them with the active principles that science provides us with, the safest and most effective ones. When we conceive a product and its packaging, we have to find a way to minimize its impact on the environment, all along its life cycle. In a sense, I agree that this is a return to a healthier past - but with a look to the future, and with the help of the tools that science and research are offering us. SJ: It appears that the Oway concept goes far beyond the product: it is a vision, a lifestyle. LL: We call it Organic Way of Life: we like the idea of ​​promoting a healthy and positive lifestyle. Starting from our work environment, because a pleasant working environment is a necessary condition for what we do. In addition to this, we have opted for renewable energy, electric company cars and eco-sustainable furnishings. We recycle, offer yoga lessons in the office, and collaborate with local farms to bring organic, fresh and seasonal fruits and vegetables directly to our headquarters. By cooperating with international fair trade organizations, we support the economic and social development of local communities in strivng countries helping them access the market by using precious plants from Africa, South America, Indonesia, Indochina and Aboriginal Australia to obtain botanical extracts and oils. Finally, we support the Ocean Cleanup project, Boyan Slat's incredible sea cleaning enterprise. How does the Organic Way of Life translate into your personal lifestyle?LL: I commit to dedicating some time to all the things that take me back to a "slow" dimension: I perform breathing exercises every morning, and in my spare time I practice Chinese calligraphy and engage in farming activities at Ortofficina. A real blessing both for the mind and the body.  

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Ever since it opened its first boutique on Chiltern Street back in 2010, Trunk Clothiers has set a new standard for independent menswear stores, both on the London scene and internationally. More a refined curator of men’s clothing than your average fashion retailer, Trunk stands out for its accurate selection of brands, balanced style mix, and the warm and sophisticated atmosphere of its boutiques, purposely located away from the most crowded shopping streets Mats Klingberg, a Sweden-born former financier with a genuine passion for fashion, style, and everything beautiful, is the talented guy behind this enterprise. We talked to him to learn more about his background, the genesis of the Trunk concept and the recently launched Trunk Clothiers boutique in ZürichSJ: How and why did you get into the fashion retail business? Tell us a bit about your love for fashion and when it was born.MK: I’ve loved beautiful things as long as I can remember - beautiful buildings, interiors, art, views, and of course also clothing. My mother’s father was always very well dressed and I don’t remember seeing him many times without wearing a tie, so I think he influenced me quite a lot although I didn’t realise it at the time.T-shirts and polo shirts was one of my earlier passions and when I lived in Brazil as a ten year old I remember having lots of Ocean Pacific t-shirts and Lacoste polo shirts. After that I moved on to sweaters and I still today tend to have way many more sweaters than I need.When I was in Business School in Sweden several of my friends that I got to know when I lived in Paris just before starting business school were studying fashion in New York, so I decided to spend one semester in New York studying fashion merchandising management at FIT. After business school I worked briefly at Nordiska Kompaniet, the main department store in Stockholm and then for Giorgio Armani before venturing in to financial services and various marketing and communication roles. I then ended up in London with American Express in Global marketing looking after all the fashion brands like Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, Ermenegildo Zegna, Gucci, Prada, Burberry, Dunhill, Ralph Lauren, etc. etc.After five years at American Express, I thought it was time to try something on my own. While there was no shortage of menswear shops in London I thought there was room for something smaller and more intimate, where the man I had in mind would be able to find a nice mix of clothes from different parts of the world, smart to casual, in a shop that was a bit away from the main shopping streets and that felt warm and welcoming. Trunk was born with lots of inspiration being take from primarily Japan and Italy.  SJ: What is it that distinguishes Trunk London from the local independent menswear stores and how did you come up with that formula?MK: There are quite a few good independent menswear stores in London and what I think (and hope our customers agree with) sets Trunk apart is our excellent customer service, warm and welcoming atmosphere and selection of clothes ranging from casual to smart. This is what I thought was missing in London and therefore want Trunk to be all about. SJ: You recently expanded from London to the world, including Lane Crawford in Hong Kong. Why did you choose Zürich as your latest location?MK: With Lane Crawford we took our first baby steps outside London, so it’s very exciting to now be opening our first standalone shop outside London in Zürich. I used to live and study in Switzerland many years ago, so it feels a bit like coming home. People from all over the world live in Zurich, so while it’s a very different city from London, there a many similar minded people living here. SJ: Can you tell us about the new Zürich store and the vibe of the area you selected for Trunk?MK: Like Marylebone in London, we want to go with a quieter area that felt more residential than retail. Wanted it to be a destination. Seefeld is right next to the lake and has always been one of my favourite areas and ticked all the boxes of what I was looking for.  SJ: What do you personally love about Zürich?MK: Zürich and London are both very international, beautiful and dynamic cities when it comes to the people living there and what’s on offer in terms of restaurants, retail and more. Lots of people still think of Zürich as a city full of banks only, but this is far from true. Lake Zürich is at the heart of it all (if you ask me) and then up and around it you have different areas similar to the areas you have in London. Kreis 1 in Zürich is similar to Mayfair in London, Kreis 4 is similar to Shoreditch and Kreis 8, where Seefeld and Trunk are in Zürich, are similar to Marylebone where Trunk is in London.What I particularly love about Zürich is the ease of travelling in and out of the city, the closeness to nature, the good restaurants and the lake! Can’t think of a nicer way to start the day than going for a run and then jumping in the lake. SJ: Trunk was quite a breath of fresh air on the London scene, and you definitely are an innovator when it comes to store concepts. How do you think stores will change in the near future?MK: Retail is evolving all the time and while there’s been a very clear and strong trend towards digital for a long time you’ve now also started seeing a move to brick and mortar from pure online retailers, so I think we’ll be seeing more of a mix of both going forward. To what degree will vary across the board, and in the space Trunk is playing in I believe personal interaction will remain essential to create the best possible customer experience. Commodities work perfectly in a digital environment, but in order to build a strong relationship with a customer and be able to sell new brands and unique pieces that you have to try on in order to appreciate, the personal interaction and physical space is very important.For sure, you will start seeing more digital assistants in the shops, where you can get more information about the products you see in front of you and also what’s not on the shop floor, but in the stockroom or in a nearby warehouse and available to order in if requested. If done well, the personal, physical and digital will blend together in a seamless way enhancing the overall customer experience. SJ: Finally, we would love to know something about yourself and the way you dress.How would you define your style?MK: Effortlessly elegant. I like to have a wardrobe with items ranging from very casual to fairly smart and that can easily be combined in different ways. SJ: Is there any particular rule that you go by when picking, mixing and matching pieces?MK: Keep it simple, so not too many colours or patterns at the same time. Navy, beige and grey are my main colours. And basically no patternsSJ: What should never be missing in a man’s wardrobe?MK: A good navy jacket. SJ: What’s your idea of the modern gentleman?MK: Someone that sets himself high standards when it comes to everything in life and then lives by them, treating everyone around him in the most respectful way.   MATS’ RECOMMENDATIONSWhen in Zürich..ShopTrunk on Dufourstrasse, 90 Limited Stock in Old Town for nice objects.Neumarkt 17 for beautiful furniture Eat & DrinkKronenhalle for great classic dishes and their incredible art collection (and the bar next door)Cantinetta Antinori for good ItalianSprüngli on Paradeplatz for breakfast or lunch or some nice chocolatesSternen Grill for a good sausageRimini Bar for evening drinks by the riverLa Stanza for a good coffee EnjoyBadi Utoquai for a dip anytime of the day. When in London…ShopTrunk on 8 and 34 Chiltern StreetDaunt Books, Mats’ favourite bookshop in the worldThe New Craftsmen for nice objects made in England.Perfumer H for beautiful fragrances in laboratory on site.Another Country for nice furniture Eat & DrinkThe Chiltern Firehouse for cocktails and dinner Monocle Café for good coffee.Dinings for Japanese with a subtle twistLurra for a bit of charcoal grilled piece of meat or fish ‘Basque’ styleRiver Café for ItalianGranger & Co for breakfast, lunch or dinner by Bill Granger from Australia 

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"In architecture, what we create for private use becomes the structure of public space", saya Paolo Baratta, president of the Architecture Biennale, to explain the concept behind Freespace, the theme of the 16th International Architecture Exhibition to be held in Venice, between the Arsenale Gardens and the streets, from May 26th to November 25th. Freespace is the public space generated by any architectural work, no matter who the client is: every thought and action revolving around space changes the light, the proportions and the balances, interacting with our own view. According to curators Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara, founders of Grafton Architects studio in Dublin (b.1977) and awarded with the Silver Lion at the 2012 Architecture Biennale, Freespace has the aim of promoting the desire for architecture as a conscious thought on space, and the role of every architectural element in the choreography of everyone's daily life. The Freespace manifesto will gather 71 participants from 63 countries to describe their idea of ​​free and liminal space between architectural object sand every event, individual, and point of view that surrounds them. Studios and professionals from very different backgrounds will bring to the Arsenale an exceptional variety of points of view, regenerating architectural culture through practice. The tiled concrete seat designed by Jørn Utzon and placed at the entrance of Can Lis in Mallorca is one of the examples that the curators mention to explain how an architectural object can be welcoming: modeled on the human body, it provides comfort and well-being, turning into an invitation to share. Something similar can be found at the entrance to Via Quadronno, 24, in Milan, where architect Angelo Mangiarotti designed a slightly sloping corridor with a seat on the threshold, inviting guests to stop. Finally, Lina Bo Bardi added a public belvedere to the project of the Museum of Modern Art in São Paulo, mixing public and private spaces in a way that reminds of the stone seats on the facade of Palazzo Medici Riccardi in Florence, conveying power and hopsitality at the same time. The Biennale will delve into the Freespace theme through the Meetings on Architecture, involving the people behind the exhibition, and other events aimed at stressing how the educational aspect is in perfect harmony with the focus on generosity, openness, and reception that will be the trait d’union among all the selected and exhibited works.  

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In Osnago, between Milan and the Alps, there is a house with a courtyard, a vegetable garden, and a bunch of grazing chickens. It is the home of Alberto Casiraghy ​​and PulcinoElefante, a small publishing house specializing in little art books created out of love for typography, words, and human beings. Everything revolves around the Super Audax Nebiolo monotype machine that sits in the heart of the house and prints Bodoni characters from wood-case typographic cliches carved by Adriano Porazzi. Objects of art and culture, all the small books printed by Alberto Casiraghy ​​ have the same structure: two sheets of fine ivory colored hahnmuehle paper produced in Germany, folded and sewn by hand on the back for a total of 8 pages. Each book is home to words that freely follow the train of thought and become aphorisms, poems, small and yet mind-blowing reflections. The name of the publishing house, PulcinoElefante (literally “the chick and the elephant”) is inspired by a nursery rhyme by Gianni Rodari, an Italian poet who wrote several children’s books using language with a freedom that only rarely accessible to grown-ups. Alberto Casiraghy ​​embraces this freedom and pours it into his small artist's books, putting it at the service of his daily encounters with poets, philosophers, and artists like Maurizio Cattelan, Emilio Isgrò, Franco Loi, Fernanda Pivano and, above all, Alda Merini, Milan’s late and much loved poet, whose human and artistic partnership with Alberto Casiraghy ​​lasted for many years. From the aphorisms, the images and the objects born out of these encounters Alberto has created his beautiful limited edition books (reproduced in no more than 40 specimens each), that he sells at the symbolic price of 20 euros: a choice of independence and accessibility according to which books and art objects are meant to travel around the world conveying energies and thoughts. Palazzo delle Stelline in Milan recently housed a major solo exhibition of Casiraghy, ​ honoring a career that has seen Alberto spread his poetics in his own discreet and joyful way to the world of Italian contemporary art through frequent exhibitions, often held at the Milanese art gallery Gli Eroici Furori owned by Silvia Agliotti, gallery owner as well as Casiraghy’s friend and muse. In 2016, film director Silvio Soldini cast him as the protagonist of the documentary The river is always right alongside pianist Josef Weiss, focusing on the beauty and honesty of a refined and deeply human idea of ​​ art. 

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Hotels and inns are always charming and ideal for unwinding. However, if you truly want to experience nature to the full, camping is what you are looking for. After treading the mountains and woods all day, you will just love crashing in your highly functional khaki and red, Japanese-made Snow Peak tent. Founder Yukio Yamai started out as a hardware wholesaler. An accomplished mountaineer, he soon became dissatisfied with the existing mountain gear on the market and decided to set up his own company, Snow Peak, which was to become a synonym with functionality and originality. Headquartered in Sanjō, Niigata Prefecture, Snow Peak was relocated to Tsubame-Sanjō from the city area, where it continues to develop uniquely-designed camping gear, without losing sight of the consumers’ expectations. Snow Peak provides a wide array of tents, to meet the expectations of all campers, from the beginners to the more experienced, making them feel as comfortable as in a bedroom. The tents come in three main categories: entry level, standard level and pro level. And then of course, you can choose the size, material and style of your tent. If you are considering car camping, an all-in-one tent is the most suitable solution, with all the living area integrated and no tarpaulin needed, which makes it quicker to put up and take down. If you are looking for tranquillity, the all-in-one shelter will make you forget you are on a campsite, providing you with a large space where you can have a relaxing time with your family or by yourself. 

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Achille Castiglioni was born in Milan on February 16, 1918. Son of the sculptor Giannino Castiglioni and brother of Livio and Pier Giacomo, he was the pivot of one of the families that marked the aesthetics of the 20th century, picturing new shapes for everyday objects such as lamps, armchairs and tables, and turning them into functional works of art. The Achille Castiglioni Foundation celebrates the centennial of Achille’s birth with a series of exhibitions and events spreading from Milan to the world, as did the work of this amazing designer whose objects are on display at the MoMa in New York and have been exhibited in all the major design institutions of the world over the course of his long career. Until April 30, the Milanese headquarters of the Foundation will host the 100x100 exhibition, gathering 100 objects selected by as many designers from all over the world, each accompanied by a birthday wishes card: a little thought to celebrate Castiglioni's commitment to making the ordinary extraordinary, a sort of museum of the anonymous object whose design intelligence is only perceived by a careful eye. From May 25 to December 21, the M.A.X. Museum di Chiasso will host an exhibition devoted to Castiglioni, and the celebrations will terminate at the Triennale Museum in Milan with a retrospective curated by Patricia Urquiola and Silvana Annicchiarico. A designer and a professor of Industrial Design in Milan and Turin, with his work and his vision Achille Castiglioni contributed to redefining design: choosing an object, studying its shape until it is emptied and grasping its essence, using imagination and ingenuity to transfigure its image without losing its function or sacrificing its industrial reproducibility. The Sanluca Armchair, designed in 1960 for Dino Gavina, visionary owner of Gavina SpA, is a clear example of this process: starting from an eighteenth-century round and soft armchair, Castiglioni turned it into a thin line that follows the back of a person and cleaves the air, a minimalistic version of the original and yet just as convenient and functional. Toio, the famous lamp designed for Flos, is yet another example. The parts that make the object functional are all there: light, stem, supporting base. However, these functions are replaced one by one by other elements: the light is a car headlight, the wire a fishing line, the base a transformer. Castiglioni also designed the famous Arco by Flos (1962), the first overhead lamp without a ceiling suspension, a nodal point in the development of design applied to interior lighting. Over the years, Castiglioni worked with the most important international design firms, including Cassina, Knoll, Kartell and Zanotta, just to name a few. Among the founders of ADI (the Industrial Design Association), he won 9 Compasso d'Oro awards, promoting quality in the field of industrial made-in-Italy designs. In addition to designing an extraordinary sequence of iconic objects, Achille Castiglioni has left us a whole concept of design based on research, curiosity, and a touch of irony, which prompts designers to always start from scratch, preventing their experience from finding shortcuts. 

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Arsenic Green is a strong green pigment used in the wallpaper industry since the 1770’s, with the drawback of becoming toxic in damp conditions. Chinese Walppaper is simply wallpaper produced in China for the export market that reached a peak in popularity in the second half of the eighteenth century. Anaglypta is the name of a type of embossed wallpaper made by feeding paper through a pair of profiled male and female rollers giving a relatively deep ‘hollow’ back, often designed to be painted over once hung. These are just a few of the fascinating things you can learn about by browsing the online glossary of the Wallpaper History Society, the not-for-profit English institution established in 1986 to preserve, enhance and spread knowledge on the cultural and historical role of this form of decoration, which has been popular in Europe ever since the 13th century and has its roots in the ancient art of paper. And those are very deep roots indeed, reaching as far as 2nd century BC China, where the art of decorating with paper became an undisputed form of art. In Europe, the first official public document on paper was produced in Sicily in 1190, and the famous paper factory of Fabriano, which can still be visited today, was founded in the 13th century.Besides being inextricably linked with the invention of paper, the history of wallpaper also merges with that of its designs and drawings, which have been representing a sign of the time through the different eras, reflecting the aesthetics and of the social and economic context in which wallpaper was born. The Wallpaper History Society promotes studies on the conservation of older wallpapers and the creativity of contemporary designers, scholarships, events, publications, newsletters and events. The goal is to provide scholars and enthusiasts with a meeting place, promoting knowledge and raising awareness on the need to preserve the treasures of the past. Maintenance is one of the key issues because, with the increasing popularity of this decorative form since the mid-nineteenth century, the quality of the materials gradually became poorer, exposing the paper to quick deterioration. In perfect balance between the romantic nostalgia of a not-too-distant past and a contemporary taste for mixing patterns, prints, and decorations from all times and places, the Wallpaper History Society is here to remind us that every old roll of wallpaper tells a story, and that it deserves to be preserved with the utmost care. 

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Once upon a time there was a mobile app called Great Little Place, designed to help you find the quirkiest bars and restaurants and hidden spots in cities all over the world, with tips and recommendations from locals and insiders. The concept was that of sharing all the best of one's city or area, and it truly gave birth to an amazing community of people offering up their favourite places to go for others to discover. Great Little Prints was born off the back of that project, based on the idea that, if you love your city or somewhere you’ve travelled, you might want something to remember it by, a memento to be proud of. Which is why these maps are truly the opposite of tourist tats: created by talented illustrators from around the planet and printed on special paper selected to make the colors and the strokes stand out, the subjects include differet designs ranging from typographical maps inspired by word clouds to multi-coloured iconic buildings and building details epitomizing the world's big cities. By mixing graphic design and content, these maps use accurately chosen words to compose shapes and drawings, unveiling at the same time the spirit of a city and of its districts through their meanings with unique effectiveness. Turning the beauty of a place into unique and colorful  works of graphic design, Great Little Prints aims at decorating your walls with a city souvenir you won’t forget in a hurry, making a house a home  

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Indoor gardening is a great resource for city dwellers: besides cleansing your household air, plants can truly make a difference in your interior decor, not to mention the opportunity of growing fresh vegetables indoors throughout the winter. Either you choose classic container gardening or hydroponics – i.e. a subset of hydroculture which consists in growing plants in a soil less medium, or an aquatic based environment – there are plenty of creative ways to design and build your own DIY indoor garden, provided that you first take into account a few preconditions that are quite essential. First and foremost, the light: some plants need many hours of light, and that can be a problem during the winter months, even if your house is bright and your plants are close to the windows - simply because, well, winter days are short. So, either go for plants that do not need too much light, or get grow lights tailored to the specific needs of your own plants. While space is not an issue – you can basically grow plants and vegetables even in very confined spaces – the room’s temperature and humidity are crucial; for this reason, we recommend making sure that the temperature stays between 65 and 75 °F, and that the room does not get too dry, especially in winter with the heat running. Once you are all set with these preliminary aspects, you can start designing your indoor plant or vegetable garden. Here are a few ideas to help you get inspired. Vertical Hydroponic Salad GardenBesides being the best option for indoor vegetable gardening, hydroponics has plenty of advantages, the first one being that you will actually need approximately 10% of the amount of water generally used for growing veggies in soil. To build your own vertical hydroponic salad garden you will need creativity, good manual skills, and some of very specific equipment, including pumps and reservoirs for holding, supplying, and recycling water, hydroponic nutrients, and more. Alternatively, there are plenty of kits on the market, some of them very beautifully designed. Pallet Board GardenThe pallet board garden does not only look gorgeous, but it is also very easy to make. The hardest part might actually be finding the pallet, but once you have it, all you need to do is cover the bottom, back and sides with landscape fabric, and accurately staple it along the spine and anywhere the soil could fall out. Once this is done, lay the pallet on the floor, fill it with soil and plant around six plants per slot. That’s it! Now, all you need to do is hang your little vertical garden. Bookcase Garden Who said bookshelves are just for books? Try with plants, instead. Simple as it sounds, this idea might turn into the very centerpiece of your living room, provided that you choose a nice bookcase, some pretty, pastel matte ceramic pots and a good and diverse selection of plants. If you’ve got an old bookcase sitting around, consider renovating it with some fresh paint and maybe removing the back to leave more room for the pots – and may we also recommend a white bookcase against a white wall to let the leaves and flowers stand out?  

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The beauty of terrariums, a.k.a. miniature gardens contained inside glass walls, lies entirely in their tiny size: isn't it amazig how even a small glass vessel can contain such life, such flourishing, an entire and perfectly working ecosystem? A decorative object, an opportunity for experimenting in botanics and a small concentrate of British history, the terrarium dates back to the Victorian era, when a doc. Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward - hence the name "wardian case", by which terrariums used to be known back then - first invented it. And while Victorian terrariums with their sumptuously decorated glass and wrought or cast iron structures were very different from contemporary ones, which are definitely more minimalist and essential, there is still a lot of terrarium-making going on in London, as shown by the recent opening of London Terrariums. This gorgeous space in south London is entirely devoted to these exquisitely British objects, so if you are looking to buy a terrarium or learn how to make one, this is the right place. London Terrariums began out of founder Emma Sibley's sincere desire to engage with nature in the urban environment. She made her first terrarium using what she could source from her immediate surroundings; stones from the driveways, moss from the garage roof, cuttings from house plants and hand-made tools from wine corks and garden sticks. After making them for friends and family, Emma received her first commission and soon London Terrariums was born. Today, LT is a shop and a permanent workshop where you can not only learn how to build a terrarium but receive a comprehensive overview of their exciting history and explore a variety of plants and mosses learning how and why a terrarium creates its own water-cycle and self contained ecosystem.If you'd like to learn more about their workshops, here's the complete calendar. 

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Why should we invest resources, money and time in an effort to reproduce something that already exists? Why must reproduce the flavor, texture and smell of meat with vegetable ingredients, when we could simply eat vegetables? These are just a few of the issues generally raised when it comes to meat substitutes. The answers to these questions are complex but increasingly urgent, since the companies involved in the production of “fake meat” are coming up with some amazing results. Recently, Beyond Meat, an American company backed by Bill Gates which is famous for its “bleeding” veggie burgers (thanks to the presence of red beet juice), has come into the spotlight after having been financially supported by Hollywood  star Leonardo di Caprio. The other major meat substitute brand, Impossible Foods, is also American, and this should prompt us to reflect on the questions we asked ourselves at the beginning: why in the US, home of the burger and a land of carnivores, with a traditional cuisine is largely based on meat? Because fake meat is not meant for vegetarians or vegans, but for carnivores: it is for those who are more reluctant to give up on meat that we need to find a realistic alternative. With the future in mind, we cannot afford to continue feeding a constantly growing world population with quantities of meat comparable to those produced to date. In 2050, the world population will amount to 9.6 billion, and we know for a fact that intensive farming has a significant environmental impact, causing land and water consumption and the production of greenhouse gases. Reducing meat consumption and changing our livestock farming practices is therefore essential for the life of the planet. How Fake Meat Is MadeThe research work behind the production of meat substitutes that try to reproduce meat properties is truly incredible. Beyond Meat, whose investor list also include Twitter co-founders Biz Stone and Evan Williams and meat company Tyson Foods, has developed a recipe based on pea proteins, yeast extract, coconut oil and beet juice. While Beyond Burgers can be found at the meat counter in supermarkets across the US, Impossible Burger are only found in selected restaurants. Impossible Foods is the company founded by former Stanford biochemistry professor Pat Brown, a long time vegan determined to fight the problem of global warming first hand through the reduction of intensive farms. The process of making his Impossible burgers, which has recently been unveiled to the press, is fascinatingly complex. Impossible Foods has basically "deconstructed" every aspect of beef, from consistency to aromas, from color to a its different flavor shades. The recipe is similar to that of Beyond burgers - wheat, coconut oil and potatoes - yet Mr. Brown and his researchers believe that what makes their product unique is an ingredient called heme - the same that gives meat its specific flavor. In animals, heme is a chemical compound found in blood and muscles, respectively in hemoglobin and myoglobin, and it is responsible for the pinkish color and vaguely metallic taste of minced meat. However, heme also exists in the plant world. In soybean roots, for instance, heme can be extracted from a form of hemoglobin called a leghemoglobin. By inserting soya leghemoglobin genes into a special type of yeast, Impossible Foods produces and replicates heme with a significantly reduced environmental impact compared to growing soy. Impossible Foods even went further by "collecting" the aromas released by sizzling grilled meat and isolating them to identify the chemical compounds at their base, and taking care of the texture with the same scientific approach, isolating the proteins of meat and their properties to identify something similar in the plant world. Is It Really Worth It?Perhaps eating veggie burgers will not save us from global warming, but the growth of this new sector is definitely a sign, and it could make for an important contribution to changing our habits and mentality. And if biting on an excellent meat substitute can convince a carnivore to give up on a few hamburgers, then may all the Impossible and Beyond burgers of this world thrive. 

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The pangolin has a body shape similar to an anteater, can roll into a protective ball like an armadillo, with scales covering it from head to toe resembling a pinecone. It has a pointy snout and tongue (which is longer than its actual body) like an anteater and long claws it uses to dangle from trees like a sloth. If this is the first time you’re hearing about this weird creature, you’re not the only one. Even Prince William is involved, declaring that “the pangolin runs the risk of becoming extinct before most people have even heard of them”. So what even does this animal do? It lives in hiding all day and comes out at night to eat an estimated 70 million ants (and termites) per year. Its predators are tigers, hyenas, and pythons, but its keratin scales are so strong, and it can curl itself up so tight, that even a tiger can’t break its defensive holdSo why is this harmless nocturnal insect-eating little freak of nature on the verge of extinction?It’s the subject of a billion dollar international organized crime trade. Unfortunately, in Asia, it’s not viewed with the same severity as drug trafficking, for example. The penalties are mild and few and far between; there were almost 100 cases of pangolin trafficking in Hong Kong between 2010 and 2015 and only 9 were penalized. In 2013, 6 tons of live pangolins were confiscated in Vietnam, in addition to more than one ton of scales. Unfortunately, the demand for this shy creature is so high that even though international trade of the pangolin (all eight species) was banned in October 2016, in December there were another 3 tons of scales seized in Shanghai. Asia has such a high demand for pangolin that poachers in Africa are exporting to Asia, effectively endangering every species. Why are pangolins in demand in the first place?Currently, China (mainland) and Vietnam are responsible for most of the demand. Pangolin scales are considered to have a long list of (scientifically unsubstantiated) healing qualities according to traditional Chinese medicine such as: curing lactation issues, improving blood flow, improving dermatological issues, and even curing cancer. And the meat is considered a culinary delicacy- if ordered in a restaurant, the pangolin is brought to the table alive and it’s throat slit in front of those who ordered it, in order to prove that it’s real and fresh. Considering that the price of a kilo of pangolin meat at a restaurant (in Vietnam of course) can be over $300, and a kilo of scales can go for thousands of dollars on the black market, the less supply there is of pangolin the more demand there is, as it’s seen as a status symbol, or a way to show off wealth. Why do we rarely hear about pangolins?Honestly, not that much is known about them. Pangolins are so elusive that we don’t even know how long they live. They can’t survive in captivity because they get so stressed that they die, and they’re rarely seen in the wild. We do know, however, that the females have just one baby a year (which it then adorably carries around on its tail). Since little is known about the mating process either, it is almost impossible to expect to be able to breed pangolins in captivity, which is why you’ll probably never see one in a zoo. Some organizations estimate that pangolins make up for nearly 20% of the black market for wildlife trade, so why isn’t it all over the news? Perhaps it’s because pangolins aren’t lovable like pandas. There is no heartwarming pangolin narrative like how elephants have Dumbo or The Jungle Book or Horton Hears a Who!. Humans are a pangolins’ only real threat, and what the little creatures need is a safe alternative to their use in traditional Chinese medicine. Unfortunately, there’s not much that the average person can do to help besides donating to the cause or spreading the word and informing people about the existence of this unusual mammal. Sir David Attenborough says that the pangolin is “one of the most endearing animals” he’s ever met, and he’s met a lot of animals. Who knows, maybe Disney will catch on and make a movie about an endearing pangolin.   

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According to the most recent studies, we spend more than four hours a day on our smartphones: that is well over one whole day every week! Using the social media, and particularly instantly sharing private and public content, is our most frequent activity. Yet which risks hide behind this constant log-ins, registrations and releasing personal data and information? These are some of the issues that Pietro Calorio and Pietro Jarre, respectively the founders of Sloweb and eMemory, had to deal upon setting the goal of safeguarding the users without scaremongering, but instead fostering a responsible use of information technologies and devices, the Web and Internet application in general. How? Through information and education, and by constantly fighting against the improper use of the Web and promoting an ethical and respectful attitude towards people’s privacy and private time. We had a long and interesting chat with them. SJ: Privacy is one of the main concerns raised in public debates around the Web. Which solutions is the Sloweb movement recommending? Pietro Calorio: To fight against any improper public or private use of the Internet and the Web, Sloweb promotes courses, meetings and publications whose aim is that of raising awareness, offering a set of useful tools to help people understand what happens to the content and information released on the Web and how to protect their privacy - because after all they are the only custodians of their own privacy.We aim to fix the root cause of the issues, fighting for common rights in terms of personal data at digital heritage: the right to delete, to have full ownership, to select and reduce the quantity of personal data available online. Basically, we fight for an “ecological use of digital data”. SJ: What do you exactly mean by “ecological use of digital data”?Pietro Jarre: The idea is to reduce the consumeristic use of digital data cause by an irresponsible use of digital technologies.  As if often happens, the problem is not the intrinsic nature of the technology, but the way that we use it – or rather the way that the business models of the main industry actors induce us to use it.Using digital tools has become a sort of social coercion: not owning and carrying with you a smartphone all the time is deemed unconceivable, let alone not being familiar with the Internet. At the same time, the massive use of the social media has made the act of sharing compulsive and more urgent than the nature of the shared content itself: as soon as we get in touch with some data or a piece of information – no matter if it’s reliable or not – we proceed to sharing it even before analyzing, investigating or selecting it. Hence, in a way we waist our own and everybody else’s time, and the digital experience ends up filling every single moment of our life, even down times and waitsSJ: What are the negative consequences of this phenomenon?Pietro Jarre: The consequences are under our eyes: we entrust our memory to digital tools and devices. And it’s not just about avoiding to memorize telephone numbers, it’s about our personal memories – images, feelings, notes and opinions – often instantly shared on the social media with a significant loss of privacy and intimacy and without even allowing ourselves the time to process and elaborate events, to find a way to turn them into relevant storytelling.The same behavioral model that pushes us to execute a quick set of actions in order to buy, consume and accept conditions ends up being applied to our lives. What we need to do instead is affirm our own right to slow reflection, and begin to take advantage of technology rather than being exploited by it. Regaining possession of our time is the real challenge that we need to take up in the future, and we at Sloweb believe that the way to do this is raising awareness, promoting public discussion, make some room for reflection; in other words, giving birth to an opinion and action movement.The ecological use of digital data prompts the reduction of sterile data and the emerging of the fertile ones, allowing for a better employment of our time and of the digital spaceSJ: How does this happen in practical terms?Pietro C:  Sloweb gathers individuals, companies, professionals and organizations willing to practically help web through activities such as training courses on digital awareness and IT security, services aimed to protect and enhance digital assets, solutions to improve internet access for everyone, initiatives to promote full transparency around T&C and internet contracts in general, battles against dependencies and compulsive use of digital devices, and promotion of responsive and participatory behaviours in software development.Of course, members engaged in developing web platforms are also committed to comply with our principles in terms of personal data safeguarding and transparency. SJ: Still, digital tools and services can be a great resource when it comes to memory preserving.Pietro J: They certainly are, and based on this idea I created eMemory, a digital platform devoted to safeguarding and enhancing memories, emotions, personal and collective histories. My aim was to offer a different user experience, in a calmer and safer environment – a place where they could organize and preserve their own memories, and everything that they need to keep track of concerning their families and their jobs. SJ: How does it work?Pietro J: eMemory allows you to collect, select, arrange and store data and documents, turning them into stories to be shared, passed down or simply preservedSJ: So sharing is not necessarily wrong.Pietro J: Of course not, provided that it is done with a reason, and as the result of a reflection. Every eMemory’s core code has been written trying not to push or put pressure on the user. Every function has been studied to allow him/her to make relevant long-term actions and choices rather than instant outpourings. Although some of the classic features of the social media are included, they do not represent the service’s reason for being. eMemory was not born for sharing and socializing, but it may be used for that too. The same concept is behind the storing part: you may store every sort of things in your attic, but eMemory invites you to be more essential, to select, to clear your mind so that you will find a better way to tell your own story. The advantage for the user is the opportunity to tell your story in many different ways, thus discovering your own richness and complexity. SJ: Which are the specific aspects connected with privacy that you worked on in order to make eMemory a truly “ethical” service?Pietro J: Everyone’s will is clear and expressed: you can’t get more ethical than this. The ownership of the data is exclusively in the hands of the user. Our terms and conditions are very transparent; Pietro Calorio has done a fabulous job in adopting strict definitions, short and clear sentences. We even developed a game to help our users self-test their understanding of the T&Cs. Finally, the ownership of the platform is well spread - a necessary (but not sufficient) pre-condition for independence and transparency. We already have 30 shareholders, in the future we aim to 30 thousand.   

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There is a lot we don’t know about our oceans - we’ve only explored less than 5% of them. What we do know is that they are critical to life as we know it, and that it is not a neverending resource. The ocean plays a critical role in controlling the climate, weather patterns, absorbing man made CO2, and practically immeasurable economic value (think jobs, tourism, food, medicines made from marine resources, etc.) in addition to providing half of the world’s oxygen. If that isn’t of the utmost importance, you might as well say that cows don’t moo and that grass isn’t green. What’s Going On?Right now there are over 400 “dead zones” (areas where oxygen levels are so low, life cannot be supported). Occasionally this happens naturally, but the biggest dead zones have been found near bodies of water contaminated with lots of agricultural chemicals. Furthermore, there is so much plastic in the ocean that pieces have even been found in the arctic just 1,000 miles away from the North Pole; this kind of pollution affects the whole food chain as plastics absorb toxins. Plastic has even been found in the fish that we eat! Considering how much of the world has a diet dependent on fish, we should be concerned. It’s not just litter that is destroying the ocean: increased CO2 emissions are causing the ocean to acidify which has a domino like effect on marine life.  Ocean Cleanup: Cleaning From The Top DownOne company is trying to clean up our ocean - notably what is known as The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, an area extremely saturated with microplastics. To put this in perspective, the UN recently had its first ever Ocean Conference where it was stated that if nothing is done, plastic could outweigh fish by 2050.The Ocean Cleanup aims to cleanse 50% of the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in 5 years. Founded by 23-year-old Boyan Slat, this project would use energy neutral floating screens to act as a filter as the currents move the debris around. Once the plastic has been trapped, it can be recycled into other products that the company would sell, the goal being that the entire concept will be self-sustaining. The downside? There are 5 garbage patches in the ocean… Is it possible to clean up the entire ocean before it’s too late? Super Coral: Assisted Evolution From The Bottom UpA number of scientists such as Ruth Gates in Hawaii and Verena Schoepf in Australia, are currently working on a bottom up solution: “super coral”. Coral reefs sustain 25% of all marine life. While 25% doesn’t sound like a lot - did you know that there are approximately 18,000 known species of fish? - one billion people rely on fish as their main source of protein. Knowing that, it is safe to say that coral reefs are vitally important. There have been three huge bleaching events in the past couple of years due to increased water temperatures (caused by the growth of CO2 emissions that the ocean absorbs). However, scientists are looking to the coral that has survived for answers. These corals with apparently stronger genes than others, will be experimented on under different water conditions and then bred together. Essentially scientists are trying to speed up evolution to try to save and regrow what coral we have left. While this concept is still in early stages, it is geared towards the future. What can be likened to genetic modification isn’t a miracle cure, however. Coral reefs are an efficient ecosystem with almost no waste as everything is “recycled” by means of symbiotic relationships with the life dependent on the reef. This could prove to be tricky but it is essential that we do whatever we can to protect that which we depend on for survival.  

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Divided among Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei and surrounded by the South China Sea, Borneo is the third largest island in the world and the largest in Asia, and above all home to a 140 million years old rainforest ranking among the most species-rich places on the planet. Yet, although everything suggests that this unique and amazing place is an inestimable resource for the whole planet, the destruction of the Borneo forests has gone largely unnoticed and remains off the radar of most people.  But of course not for the people of Malaysian Borneo, who have been fighting for years to defend forests, sustainable livelihoods, and human rights. Indigenous communities in Sarawak have been struggling ever since the logging companies started rolling in and taking people’s land out from under them. Since then, palm oil proliferation, mega-dams, mining and wildlife poaching have caused devastation to this land. In the late 1980s, the people of Sarawak made world headlines when they staged a series of blockades in resistance to logging companies who were illegally encroaching on their lands. International observers came to bear witness to the gassing and mass arrest of protestors. Among them was Joe Lamb, a Berkeley-based writer, activist, and arborist who travelled up-river to the village of Uma Bawang to propose that Berkeley and Uma Bawang become sister cities. That was the very first step toward the foundation of The Borneo Project, an organization created with the aim of bringing international attention and support to community-led efforts, and out of the belief that preserving the rainforest is a moral duty and a necessary act for the future of humanity itself. Since its founding, the project has trained dozens of indigenous activists in community mapping, enabling communities to map areas of ancestral land claims and win legal cases and negotiations, supporting paralegal education and mobile legal aid clinics that have helped over 200 longhouse communities hold off destructive logging and industrial plantations. “Apart from the devastation of biodiversity”, says Fiona McAlpine, Communications and Media Manager of The Borneo Project, “the loss of land comes hand in hand with a loss of culture for the people who have been living in, relying on and protecting these forests for millennia. Sadly, the human story is often forgotten in these debates, which is why we strive to amplify indigenous voices”.   To put together the resources needed to launch an international campaign from the village level, the organization mobilizes support in the Bay Area with the aim of strengthening existing campaigns on the ground, relying on a surprising number of people in the Bay Area who are super engaged with the issues (academics at Berkeley, ex-Peace Corps who were stationed in Sarawak, climate justice gurus, etc.). “On a practical level”, says Fiona, “we listen carefully to the needs on the ground by keeping communications channels open and elevating voices from the grassroots, rather than ever speaking on someone’s behalf. We create opportunities for indigenous leaders to attend international meetings and forge alliances with other indigenous struggles around the world”.  One of the most successful campaigns that The Borneo Project supported so far was defeating the Baram Dam in 2016, which was the result of an enormous grassroots campaign that went on for many years. With two dams already built, communities displaced and dramatic environmental and social consequence, things truly reached breaking-point. Through picket resistance and strategically placed blockades that would pop up whenever they were removed, people resisted until the dam plans were shelved and land rights were restored. 

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 Furniture, fabrics, wallpaper, carpeting and sculptures: your talent certainly is multifaceted. Yet you started out as an art and design student. Can you mention a few of your favourite artists and designers in history?AH: That’s a long, long list. So many Renaissance heroes, among them Francesco di Giorgio Martini, Mantegna, Giulio Romano; architects like Borromini, Vanbrugh, Robert Adam, Ledoux and Sir John Soane; artists like Blake, Fuseli (master of the erotic hairstyle!) Sickert and Vuillard. I’m completely obsessed - and, I have to confess, very much less interested in people working today, which is not something one should ever admit! Your father David Hicks is acknowledged as one of the most important interior designers of the late twentieth century. Did you ever feel overwhelmed by such an extraordinary legacy? AH: Not exactly overwhelmed but he’s of course always been a huge presence in my life, only scarcely less so since his death 19 years ago. I worked for him briefly and rather unsatisfactorily, which didn’t really help. As a child I was very much ‘taught’ by him - to look at everything with a critical and interested eye, to learn historical styles and origins (in museums and collections as well as architectural periods) and to draw. I remember clearly his attempts at teaching me perspective, on a yacht in Greece, and how to draw trees, in a field in England. Since he died I’ve bolstered his reputation as much as I can, and exploited his legacy through ‘David Hicks by Ashley Hicks’ collections of wallpaper, fabric and carpet, while at the same time creating interiors and products in a style very much my own and determinedly opposed to his. I like to make comfortable, relaxing, complex interiors that are quiet suggestions of mood; his rooms were typically bold, formal, graphic and simple exercises in achieving a perfect photogenic interior. At the end of the day, I like to do things that would annoy him, but I’m still the first to recognise that he was an absolute genius.Which are the projects in your career that you are particularly proud of?AH: The most recent, usually. Like the ones I have made for Fuorisalone, Milan, in collaboration with Cabana magazine: a group of my ‘Mini-Totem’ sculptures in bright Renaissance colours for the panelled living room of a Renaissance house, the Casa degli Atellani; and a room setting featuring Corian objects I designed - obelisks and a desk - with a ‘faux collector’s cabinet’ (my own photos of museum treasures made up into a faux display case, printed with overlaid reflections of Versailles) and a pair of canvas screens that I painted with giant tulips ‘en grisaille’.What do you think of top-notch designers that collaborate with mass-market brands?AH: I happily consider partnerships with high, middle and low-end brands. Considering isn’t committing, but I’m convinced there’s space for all kinds of product in the same portfolio and the same design hand can be employed on both the most luxurious and the most simple collections without harming either. The depth and quality of craftsmanship, the value of materials used and, of course, the quantity produced all differentiate very clearly the different price-points and distribution so that none will compromise the others. The so-called ‘starchitects’ are celebrated while still living and often sanctified upon their death, to the point that whatever they do, create and design is considered a work of genius. Does such thing as a starchitect even exist?AH: The main differences between the very eminent architects of today and those of the past few centuries are their global reach, an inevitable result of global media and markets, and their presence in the popular imagination. Otherwise they are not really so very different from historical figures like Mansard, James Wyatt, Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. All of them were seen as both troublingly innovative and brilliant geniuses in their own times, too. People will always need to believe in geniuses and never want to accept that there are in fact very fine degrees of difference of talent and skill that separate the ‘great’ from the ‘ordinary’. That’s life! You grew up in Oxfordshire and still spend a lot of time there. What is so special about this county?AH: Honestly the thing I love most about Oxfordshire (apart from it being my lifelong home!) is that it is so close to London! It takes little more than an hour to get to the West End, while still being ‘real countryside’ - albeit with a touch of commuter belt! I’m an inveterate tourist wherever I am and love to visit everything, from little Ewelme Church next to us (with its amazing alabaster tomb of the Duchess of Suffolk, Chaucer’s granddaughter, carved in 1470 with two effigies of the good lady, in life on top, dead and decaying below) to Burne-Jones’ stunningly beautiful ‘Briar Rose’ paintings in the Saloon at Buscot Park; from the staggering baroque grandeur of Blenheim Palace to the intimate and extraordinary jumble of ethnographic treasures in the mysterious Pitt-Rivers Museum, Oxford.You have a lifelong relationship with London: what do you love most about your hometown and which places are you particularly fond of?AH: I’m endlessly fascinated by history, and London has such complex layers of it that I’m with Dr Johnson and never yet ‘tired of life’. I covered my kitchen wall with a huge map of the city in 1862 (very little has changed, streetwise, apart from the embankments along the Thames), marking my home in Albany, Piccadilly, with a red square so that I can plan where I want to go by walking, which I love to do. I love to wander from the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House, via Sir John Soane’s Museum to the British Museum, popping into churches as I go, or along the river to Tate Modern; or to the Queen’s Gallery and on to Tate Britain, passing through Lutyens housing estates in Victoria. I love Nash’s Regency triumphs and Hawksmoor’s City churches, the grandeur of Kent’s Horseguards and the Dutch oddity of Hans Town, the gleaming modernity of Foster’s Gherkin and the elegance of Georgian Spitalfields. I love London. 

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Before becoming the heart and soul of London's Condé Nast College of Fashion and Design, where the new generations of design and fashion professionals are educated and trained, Susie Forbes has spent over 25 years working in the fashion and media industries and she now divides her time between London and Somerset. We had a chat with her about her idea of ethical fashion, the College and creativity in general. London and creativity are always associated. Do you think it is actually the most creative place in the world? SF: I think that creativity is pretty borderless now. London remains extremely dynamic but I don’t think that one can ring fence creativity with a single city anymore – everything, everyone is global. What is the role of your school within the creative industry and what is the concept and the foundation idea that drives all your choices?SF: The role of the Condé Nast College is to grant a unique educational offering to students looking to work in the fashion industry. Our programmes are defined by academic rigour, extraordinary industry connectivity and the amazing career outcomes that result from having studied with us. Ecology and green life today are exploited by many fashion companies as their most important asset, yet sometimes we feel this is more a marketing message than a true belief. What's your point of view on this? SF: I think that, despite the best efforts of a few very progressive companies, the majority of fashion businesses still remain pretty quiet on this issue. Let’s hope that the minority can continue to engender change among the wider majority. Fashion has the biggest social and environmental impact after chemical and oil industries. An “ethical” approach to fashion is much needed nowadays, yet where do we start from? Is this up to fashion companies, political institutions or consumers? SF: I think it needs to be a combination of all three which, as we already know, makes the picture very fragmented. Can education be another starting point for these changes? SF: Ethics and sustainability are embedded into our core curriculum and the students are highly engaged with all of the associated issues. I do believe that their behaviours/approach as they start their careers in fashion will be far more conscientious than a lot of the generation before them. With over 1,500,000,000 clothing items produced every year, fast fashion has profoundly changed the way people consume clothing items. Yet is this still working or are consumers starting to react to fast consumption?SF: Between the students and my three teenage daughters I really notice a change in how and where they like to shop – and their preference for second-hand/thrift/charity store clothes is certainly a reaction to fast consumption.  What do you think of the now very widespread phenomenon of great fashion designers creating capsule collections for mass market brands?SF: I think that some of the collaborations are better than others but broadly speaking I feel it’s a win-win for the designers and the high street. When the trend first started there was nervousness around the idea for all parties but now there seems to be a new collaboration announced daily to it seems to have just become the new “normal”. Who is Susie Forbes in her everyday life? What do you like to do in your spare time?SF: My spare time is spent pottering about at home (in London and Somerset) with my friends, family and the world’s two most frenetic spaniels. If you could start a revolution on the planet what would be the first thing you would take into consideration?SF: I would begin by asking myself if what I am about to do is intrinsically kind to both people and the planet. 

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Carlo Scarpa must have loved his hometown dearly. Born in Venice in 1906, an old-school architect following the tradition of the great masters of the likes of Bramante, Palladio and Borromini - but also a great admirer of Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright - Scarpa he has left the mark of his exceptional talent on many places across the city. These include not only new and imaginative spaces, but also major restoration works in which he managed to intervene with subtlety and respect for the past. One of the most significant examples of intervention on an existing building is the Querini Stampalia Foundation in Campo Santa Maria Formosa. The restoration of the sixteenth-century palace by Scarpa, developed in 1949 and carried out between 1959 and 1963, includes, in addition to the access bridge and the entrance, even the ground floor, which was constantly threatened by high water, and the garden, then completely abandoned. Scarpa was able to juxtapose new and old features with great skill, integrating the water into his project and indeed focusing on this element through the bulkheads, the large garden tub and a small canal at whose ends there are two labyrinths carved in alabaster and Istrian stone. "If you want to be happy for life, build a garden", once said the great architect. And the garden was in fact one his favorite themes. His famous Garden of Sculptures at the Italian Pavilion of the Venice Biennial, built in 1952 and recently renovated, plays with light, shadow and water. Three heavy elliptical columns support a canopy roof which is shaped as if three circles would have been subtracted from a rectangle. Another must-see of Scarpa’s Venice is the Olivetti Showroom in Piazza San Marco, a small store on two floors that Scarpa designed in 1958 after winning the National Olivetti Award for Architecture. Despite the small size of the space, the architect was able to add amazing transparency and make it breathe, once again perfectly balancing the modernity of his design with the Venetian architectural tradition. The project showpiece is undoubtedly the magnificent staircase with staggered steps, placed at the center of the entrance to break up the store space. Finally, Scarpa worked on the restoration of the two major city universities, Ca' Foscari and the Higher Institute of Architecture. The restoration of Ca' Foscari was carried out in two successive interventions, in 1936 and in 1956, on different areas, including the entrance and the Main Hall. The renovation of the Institute of Architecture, where Scarpa had taught and which awarded him an honorary degree in 1978 (he had graduated from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vicenza) is actually posthumous. The project, developed between 1966 and 1976 but accomplished in 1984, involves the entrance of the athenaeum, where an ancient arch found during the restoration works was laid down horizontally turned into a decorative pool. 

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More and more companies and start-ups in the world are devoting their business to green economy, matching the need to create profits with a sustainable core business or a responsible attitude towards the environment. Here are five companies that have drawn our attention TreedomThe only platform in the world where you can have someone plant a tree for you and then follow it online. The trees are planted around the world by local farmers and you can see it photographed and geo-localized on the web. As it grows, your tree will absorb CO2 from the atmosphere and will offer fruits and opportunities to the farmers who are taking care of it. AirliteA technology in the form of a wall paint that can be applied to interiors and exteriors, Airlite absorbs pollutants (smog, bacteries, mold etc...) and purifies the air just like a plant if activated by natural or artificial light. AgroilsBy using a natural seed called Jatropha, Agroils develops sustainable biofuel and also focuses on the reuse of waste materials. Impossible FoodsA new and utterly delicious meatless burger free of hormones and antibiotics which consumes 95% less ground and 74% less water than meat, producing 87% less gas emissions. How? Mission Impossible! HaraThis start-up offers its clients a custom-made software measuring energy consumption. Already adopted by several large companies, Hara allows you to estimate your carbon footprint and to act accordingly. Once you know, you can do something!  

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With rising population density in urban areas and food scarcity and diminishing able land reaching an all-time high, the demand to find alternative solutions to maintain the human food supply has never been more prevalent. Though not a new phenomenon, urban farms are gaining popularity all around the world, especially in the US and UK where commodity farms have been popularized for many years as a means to combat food shortages. Traditionally, most societies relied on rural farms to meet food supply needs. However, with the increasing capability and techniques of growing fresh fruits and vegetables for your own consumption, a super trendy affair has emerged where city rooftops, unoccupied warehouse and community gardens have been transformed into lush food centers for the urban population. Picking up swiftly on the urban farm movement is the bustling metropolitan city of New York.  Despite the abundance of towering skyscrapers, buildings and infrastructure, New York is home to a multitude of indoor farms and garden centers. Driven by the desire for fresh, locally produced and organic produce, urban farming advancements have been gradually reaching the limelight in New York. Some of the most popularized alternative farming techniques is hydroponics, aquaponics and aeroponics, which are normally considered to be the more energy efficient and sustainable options to greenhouse farming. Here is a guide to five of the most remarkable urban farms in New York City and the techniques these use to reap the most organic produce in the concrete jungle. Bell Brook and Candle RestaurantA true sustainable gem, this restaurant ensures that its ingredients and produce are indeed the freshness of the bunch. By supplying 60% of the produce to the restaurant from its automatic hydroponic system rooftop garden these green growers were actually the first restaurants in NYC to employ this “grow what you need” commercial technique.   Riker island GreenhouseRun by the Horticultural Society of New York, this greenhouse acts more as land-based therapeutics. Located in New York City’s main Jail complex, this is where inmates are taught crop rearing techniques and gardening skills as a means to create a meaningful connection between human senses and nature.  La Finca Del Sur/ South Bronx FarmersTucked away between the Metro-North Railroad tracks and a congested highway in the Bronx is the unusual site of a farmland. Operated by women of color in the Bronx, this hideaway farm is used as a community unifying space where providing a means of education through nutritional awareness to the surrounding communities is that the core of their initiative. Growing an array of fruits and vegetables that reflect a diverse ethnic background such as English lettuce and thyme they truly bind the society together with the love of organic produce. Gotham GreensAs one of the most recognized commercial urban green rooftops NYC, Gotham Greens represent one of the most sustainable farms in the country. Powered by 100 percent renewable energy, it uses various forms of efficient farming techniques that are able to reap 50% more crops that the normal greenhouse using 25 percent less energy. Brooklyn Grange Another one of the most eminent rooftop green house In NYC is Brooklyn Grange. With over 50,000 pounds of organic produce harvested annually, Brooklyn Grange prides themselves as the largest soil based rooftop farm in the world. Beyond producing and selling vegetables to customer they have also incorporated the use of egg-laying hens to produce organic, free-range eggs. 

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The best way to learn more about Finnish hospitality is sleeping in a Finnish cottage, yet until May 5, if you live in Paris or nearby, you won’t need to go to Finland. Just head to the Institut Finlandais on the Rive Gauche, instead, where Finnish designer Linda Bergroth has created a living installation to show the best in Finnish hospitality and to create a complete immersion in the spirit of Finland. The place is called KOTI, which quite consistently means ‘home’ in Finnish, and it consists of six sleeping cabins, sleeping twelve people, open onto a shared space, where there is a communal dining table and benches designed by architects Mattila & Merz. And everything at KOTI is naturally Finnish-themed: on arrival for a sleepover, guests will be given specially designed robes and slippers by Lapuan Kankurit. The in-cabin entertainment package includes short films, documentaries, animations and Finnish travel guides by Visit Finland. The lamps are from Innolux, the piippu pots from Kaksikko, the breakfast of traditional specialties such as rye bread, salted butter and Finnish berries is provided by Food from Finland and the custom-made ceramic tableware has been designed by Nathalie Lahdenmäki. Whether staying overnight or visiting for the day, Finnish design lovers will enjoy a different kind of encounter that celebrates a sense of togetherness, the beauty of unique interiors, and a peaceful simplicity. In addition to the sleepover experience, KOTI is also playing host to a series of inspiring events throughout the 100 days, such as concerts and talks, film screenings and pop-up restaurant nights. “The KOTI installation highlights the experience of a common, shared home” designer Linda Bergroth says. “It is a bit crazy and experimental experience that requires the guest to engage in something completely new”. If you are willing to try it, be sure to book your room immediately, since the experiment will end on May 5. The booking for sleepovers is hosted by Airbnb. And in case it is fully booked, you’ve still got a chance to experience KOTI in Helsinki at the end of the summer, where it will take over the White Hall building in the city's historic center. 
 
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