Design

The rise and fall of Sony

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Here is a Japanese fairy tale for Christmas. An allegory of insight, opportunism and a fall from favour. It is…

Two wheels good: Belgian racing cyclist Eddy Merckx on the track, 1970

The bicycle may have triumphed over the car but it’s far from perfect

28 November 2015 9:00 am

It’s extraordinary that it took civilisation so very long to discover the benefits of putting little wheels on suitcases. We…

The Heckler: why we must stop Thomas Heatherwick's Garden Bridge

21 November 2015 9:00 am

Thomas Heatherwick is the most famous designer in the United Kingdom today and has an unquestionable flair for attention-grabbing creations.…

Hot seats: Charles and Ray Eames posing with chair bases

The couple behind the world’s most famous chair

29 October 2015 9:00 am

Peter Mandelson, in his moment of pomp, had his portrait taken by Lord Snowdon. He is sitting on a fine…

Edmund de Waal’s diary: Selling nothing, and why writers need ping-pong

10 October 2015 9:00 am

On the top landing of the Royal Academy is the Sackler Sculpture Corridor, a long stony shelf of torsos of…

Ravilious in Essex: ‘Two Women in the Garden’, watercolour, 1932

The only art is Essex

29 August 2015 9:00 am

When I went to visit Edward Bawden he vigorously denied that there were any modern painters in Essex. That may…

Why the boffin behind the Brompton is Britain’s greatest living designer

22 August 2015 9:00 am

Asked to name Britain’s greatest living industrial designer, most people might cite Sir Jony Ive of Apple or Sir James…

Bubble-wrap, berry-picking and the secret pleasures of destruction

25 July 2015 9:00 am

It’s not quite as bad as we feared: Sealed Air, the company in New Jersey that makes bubble-wrap, is not…

The new adventures of the adventure playground

25 July 2015 9:00 am

Mud, timber, junk, fires, splinters, rust, daubed paint… Suddenly people are talking about adventure playgrounds again. With the Turner Prize-nominated…

‘Combs, Hair Highway’, 2014, by Studio Swine

Luxury isn’t the opposite of poverty but the opposite of vulgarity - but don’t tell the V&A

25 April 2015 9:00 am

Different concepts of luxury may be inferred from a comparison of the wedding feast of Charles Bovary and Emma Rouault…

Cars are our cathedrals

18 April 2015 9:00 am

Imagine for a moment Harley Earl, head of design at General Motors, Detroit’s wizard of kitsch. Standing before him, in…

‘Propeller (Air Pavilion)’, 1937

Better than Robert? Sonia Delaunay at Tate Modern reviewed

18 April 2015 9:00 am

In 1978, shortly before she died, the artist Sonia Delaunay was asked in an interview whether she considered herself a…

The art of Coke

7 February 2015 9:00 am

In 1915 D.W. Griffith’s Birth of a Nation was premièred, Henry Ford manufactured his millionth Model-T (‘a million of anything…

Ukip's logo is quite successful – in communicating a spirit of gung-ho crapness

11 October 2014 9:00 am

Now that the conference season is over, we can compare not just the party policies, but their logos too. Last…

‘I wish my boyfriend was as dirty as your policies’, 2011,by Coral Stoakes

Agitprop, love trucks and leaflet bombs: the art of protest

30 August 2014 9:00 am

Titles can be misleading, and in case you have visions of microwave ovens running amok or washing machines crunching up…

‘The Sutherland Cup’ by Angie Lewin

The perfect excuse to get out all the best Ravilious china

16 August 2014 9:00 am

A day trip to the Towner Art Gallery in Eastbourne is a summer pleasure, and two concurrent shows are proving…

Portrait of John Piper by Peggy Angus

Potato prints, paintings and the Soviet Union: the real Miss Jean Brodie

2 August 2014 9:00 am

During the second world war, when not only food, but paper and artists’ materials were scarce, Peggy Angus made a…

How user-friendly is your house?

7 June 2014 9:00 am

Old Glaswegian joke: ‘Put your hat and coat on, lassie, I’m off to the pub.’ ‘That’s nice — are you…

The Seagram Building, Park Avenue, New York

The man who gave the world (but not London) the glass skyscraper

15 February 2014 9:00 am

Modern Architecture, capitalised thus, is now securely and uncontroversially compartmentalised into art history, its bombast muted, its hard-edge revolutions blurred…

How James Goldsmith's wisdom on mistresses could revolutionise mobile phones

18 January 2014 9:00 am

I wouldn’t worry much about the future of the British economy. Because I have a simple plan to make the…

Adhocism, by Charles Jencks - review

6 July 2013 9:00 am

Here, for time travellers, is the whack-job spirit of ’68 in distillate form, paperbound and reissued in facsimile (with some…