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Morning Brew

Monday musings on design, culture and hot topics, from the Mix Interiors editorial team.


3 min read

In attendance:

Harry McKinley, Managing Editor
Chloé Petersen Snell, Deputy Editor
Charlotte Slinger, Editorial Assistant

HM – Good weekend?

CPS – It was. Our piece on gendered workplace design has proved quite the conversation starter – plenty of thoughts from industry folks.

HM – Mostly women?

CPS – Well, obviously. But I did particularly enjoy the words of Kate Usher, the gender equity consultant, who called out the masculine focus of the office design industry in her response on LinkedIn: “while the industry doesn’t actively choose to do this, it blindly accepts the masculine limitations that it gives itself.”

CPS – You?

HM – Well, I finally made some headway with my latest read: Des Fitzgerald’s ‘The City of Today is a Dying Thing’. It’s a pretty consuming tome, assuming the future of urbanisation is your thing, of course. Thus far, it’s a celebration of cities in all their messy, glorious complication.

CS – Does he talk about the angst of delayed trams?

CPS – Well, some things will never change.

HM – You could always come to work on a skateboard. There’s actually a nifty exhibition on right now at The Design Museum about the evolution of the skateboard from the 1950s to today and its role in community building.

CS – I’ve never been one to hang around at skateparks, but they are an interesting example of the built environment being shaped by the people who use it; not unlike what Madeleine Kessler broached in her column on Smart Cities this issue.

HM – It’s amazing the difference a few years can make. I remember when King’s Cross was best avoided, now everyone wants to live there. Author King’s Cross, the new Conran and Partners-designed BTR project is pretty swish; definitely no skateparks in sight.

CPS – I’ve always been more at home in a gallery myself. What do we think of The Factory (Manchester’s OMA Architects-designed cultural hub)? It’s bedding in since its opening last year; the most expensive public investment in culture since London’s Tate Modern, if you can believe it. For me the design’s a bit flat but, love it or hate it, it’s good to see the North catching up I suppose.

HM – It depends how far north you want to go. I was just in Edinburgh and there’s a cracking exhibition at The Portrait Gallery: Making Space, Photographs of Architecture. It’s on for a few more weeks, so there’s still time to catch it if anyone is willing to brave Scotland in February.

CS – Lots of variations of grey.

CPS – Not so grey, Judith van Vliet’s Color Authority podcast which was my own (delayed) tram listen.

HM – Oh, wasn’t Laura Perryman (the colour designer and trend forecaster) on that at one point? I was filming with her on Friday. Who doesn’t love chewing the fat on colour?

CS – The more colour the better, as far as I’m concerned!

CPS – For someone who’s always in black, I think our most recent issue has given me my colour fix for the year. Who would have thought I’d be so onboard with maximalism?

CS – Didn’t Doshi Levien’s Nipa and Jonathan tell you design is all about colour and joy?

CPS – Black can be joyful, Charlotte.

HM – Not my favourite thing to wear, but how I like my coffee. “Black as midnight on a moonless night,” to borrow from Twin Peaks.

CPS – Bold move to have David Lynch at Salone. What an unexpected and pleasant surprise.

HM – He also said, “even bad coffee is better than no coffee at all,” and I’m all out.

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