beacons: Alice Rawsthorn

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Design and Gardens | 5. One of the most gifted landscape architects of the 20th century, Roberto Burle Marx based all of his design decisions on his intensive research into the native...

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Design and Gardens | 4. Bang in the middle of Vienna on Karlsplatz, one of the city’s biggest, busiest junctions, is the tranquil leafy enclave of Karls Garten. Founded five years...

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Design and Gardens | 3. One of the most charming and surprising sights in London is that of the tiny, higgledy-piggledy Duck Island Cottage on the south-eastern corner of St James’s...

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Design and Gardens | 2. Celebrating the local tradition of outdoor living was a defining theme of the brief given to the twelve teams of architects who have contributed to the “modern...

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Design and Gardens | 1. As spring has started (sort of), this week's posts will be devoted to design and gardens, beginning with the beautiful modernist grounds of Villa Tugendhat,...

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William Morris | 7. “This has been a jolly world to me, and I find plenty to do in it,” William Morris told a friend Henry Hyndman, who had come to pay a farewell visit having been...

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William Morris | 6. So prolific a writer was William Morris that he regularly published novels, political essays and poems, writing as many as a thousand lines of verse on a good day....

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William Morris | 5. Contradictory though William Morris’s political beliefs could be, he was committed to liberal and humanitarianism causes throughout his life, becoming progressively...

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William Morris | 4. Just has he had left London to live in Red House in the hope of giving his daughters a happy rural childhood like his, William Morris searched for a new country...

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William Morris | 3. While living in Red House in spring 1861, William Morris co-founded a decorative arts workshop with a group of friends including Edward Burne-Jones, Dante Gabriel...

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William Morris | 2. The original sketches for Red House were drawn by its architect Philip Webb on the back of a map when on a boat trip with his friends William Morris and Charles...

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William Morris | 1. The best way to begin a week of posts on William Morris, to mark the anniversary of his birth on 24 March 1834, is to quote the opening lines of Fiona MacCarthy’s...

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Bad Design | 7. What looks like good design to one person, can seem irredeemably bad, to another. Take these ominous chunks of metal known as anti-homeless spikes, which were designed...

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Bad Design | 6. It was a seemingly minor design decision that has shattered many people’s trust in a company once hailed as the glistening gold standard of corporate design. The company...

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Bad Design | 5. Rightly or wrongly, bad design can fill us with dread. Consider Uber, whose business model was designed to meet a genuine need for a relatively inexpensive, easily accessible...

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Bad Design | 4. A thoughtless design project is one whose consequences haven’t been considered rigorously enough. Take Predpol, a software program, which was designed to use artificial...

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Bad Design | 3. Even a design project that succeeds in fulfilling its function risks being condemned as bad design, unless that it does something we value. If not, it falls into the...

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Bad Design | 2. Among the most infuriating forms of bad design are the useless design projects that fail to fulfil their functions efficiently. Take the most requested products in rage...

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Bad Design | 1. This week's posts will be devoted to the theme of a talk I gave at Brainstorm Design in Singapore last week - bad design. Whenever design is discussed, it is generally...

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Design and Women | 7. This week of posts on design and women ends with design’s critical role in the work of Spring, an accelerator that aims to transform the lives of teenage girls...

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Women in Design | 6. When Evelyn Gleeson, a prominent member of the women’s suffrage movement as well as an embroiderer and tapestry designer, was told to leave smoggy London for...

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Design and Women | 5. This is the CM-2, one of the Connection Machines developed in the US in the 1980s by the gloriously named Thinking Machines Corporation, as an early experiment...

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Design and Women | 4. Happy International Women’s Day. What better way to celebrate it than by looking forward to reading Libby Sellers’ book on Women in Design, which will be published...