As an institution London’s Royal Albert Hall teaches us that regardless how illustrious and prestigious your history may be, you can never rest on your laurels, you are only ever as relevant and interesting as your next programme, as your next soloist..

With the 2017 Graduate Show the Royal Albert Hall’s next door neighbour, the equally illustrious and prestigious, Royal College of Art unveiled its 2017 programme and 2017 soloists.

But would there be a standing ovation…

Royal College of Art, London Darwin Building. Home of the Design School

Sited in the gentile calm of Pimlico, Chelsea College of Arts sits between the independent free-thinking of the Tate Britain, the original Tate with its collection of British and international art from 1500 until today, and the state control and surveillance of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, in their unobtrusive bunker on the opposite bank of the Thames

But where would the conformity/rebellion equilibrium be found amongst the current crop of Chelsea students…….

Chelsea College of Arts, London. Tate Britain on the left, the College builing on the right

Few materials can have claimed to have influenced architecture and design in quite the way plywood has.

And thereby remained as anonymous as plywood, easily overlooked in public and barely researched in an academic context as it is.

With the exhibition Plywood: Material of the Modern World, the V&A Museum London aim to redress both.

Plywood: Material of the Modern World at the V&A London

The Cass is situated in London’s Whitechapel, not far from the East London Mosque and in an area long a centre of London’s Muslim community. The day we visited the Cass Summer Show it was Eid al-Fitr, a festival of family, feasts and finery. The narrow streets of Whitechapel awash with smartly attired, good humoured locals, or possibly just smartly attired locals high on sugar, for Eid al-Fitr is also a festival of sweetness at the end of Ramadan.

Cakes and sweets as far as the eye could see. And far, far beyond.

But would we find any bonbons in the Cass Summer Show…….

Central House, home of the Cass, London

“What are you going to do this summer, Amory?”, Tom D’Invilliers asks of Amory Blaine in F Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise.

“Don’t ask me”, comes the somewhat languid reply, “same old things, I suppose. A month or two in Lake Geneva — I’m counting on you to be there in July, you know — then there’ll be Minneapolis, and that means hundreds of summer hops, parlor-snaking, getting bored…..”

Sorry Amory, but you’ll have to survive the magnificence of Lake Geneva on your own, would have been our response. We’ve got new design and architecture exhibitions in London, Berlin, New York and Holon to visit!

But we’ll definitely catch up with you afterwards in Minneapolis for a bit hopping and parlor-snaking…….

5 New Design Exhibitions for June 2017

Red and yellow and pink and green, purple and orange and blue…..

Life is so simple as a child.

Yet whereas in almost all other respects the progression to adulthood is one of simplicity to complexity, in terms of our understanding of colour we never lose our inner child.

With the exhibition Breathing Colour at the Design Museum London the Dutch designer Hella Jongerius encourages us to sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow, sing a rainbow new.

Noon colour catchers, as seen at Breathing Colour by Hella Jongerius, London Design Museum

She came from Greece, had a thirst for knowledge, studied sculpture at St Martins College and, according to Jarvis Cocker, had no understanding of the brutal realities of late 1980s British society.

Thirsty to know if the 2017 Central St Martins design graduates were more grounded in their contemporary reality, our 2017 #campustour headed to North London….

Central St Martins,London. The Granary

On May 1st 1851 Queen Victoria opened The Great Exhibition in Hyde Park London: the first “World’s Fair”, an event which celebrated the advances of the industrial age, and whose influence on industry, engineering, science, architecture and society was to resonate globally for decades, acting as it did as the motor for the quickening technological advances of the late 18th and early 19th centuries. While the profit generated from the 6 million visitors allowed for the construction of London’s Science Museum, Natural History Museum and neighbouring Victoria and Albert Museum.

If any of the numerous architecture and design exhibitions opening globally in May 2017 will become quite so pivotal remains to be seen. Our top five can be found in Hamburg, Atlanta, Amsterdam, London and Stuttgart.

5 New Design Exhibitions for March 2017

Five recommendations for new architecture and design exhibitions opening in December 2016, featuring shows in Copenhagen, Weimar, Nürnberg, London and Munich

5 New Design Exhibitions for December 2016

According to Axl Rose, “…it’s hard to hold a candle, in the cold November rain.” The question is surely, why

Pleasureground am Bad from Hermann Fürst von Pückler-Muskau's book, Andeutungen über Landschaftsgärtnerei 1834 (Courtesy of the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn)

Whereas April showers tend to make you wet, grumpy and late, May showers are much more agreeable – or more

Normally October is all about design festivals, October 2015 wasn’t. On the one hand we weren’t at that many this

"Community: Italy Architecture, city and landscape from the postwar period to 2000" at the Triennale Design Museum, Milan, Italy

December can be a trying month: always having to think of others; always having to patronise bars and restaurants you’ve

In our post from the Barbican Art Gallery exhibition “The World of Charles and Ray Eames” we noted the disappointing

The World of Charles and Ray Eames @ Barbican Art Gallery London

“The World of Charles and Ray Eames” It is inherent in the nature of America’s most productive 20th century creatives

Karl Gräser Sessel

We’re fairly certain most museum curators aren’t inherently nocturnal, it is however noticeable that the longer the nights become, the

robin day eames saarinen

“Rare is the human backside that hasn’t found solace and support in Mr. Day’s most famous creation”, thus, with just

kyle bean mobile evolution

“Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” asks Obi-Wan Kenobi, more or less rhetorically, in

Then and Now 50 Years of The London College of Furniture

For an institution associated with so many interesting and important figures in the UK furniture industry, there is a remarkable

Nadav Kander Chongqing IV (Sunday Picnic)

As many of you will be aware, among the myriad of things that regularly get our goat, architecture photography is

aram gallery future stars

The inescapable chill in the morning air and the deep-seated boredom in the eyes of school aged children can only

Pierre Charpin at L'Appartement 50, Marseille

Tradition being the predictable beast that it is, July and August tend to be quiet months in the design universe

Design Museum London Collection Extraordinary Stories About Ordinary Things What do you think

In 2015 the London Design Museum will move to its new home in West Kensington. Ahead of the move the

For the first time in over 20 years London is hosting a retrospective of the work of Swiss architect and

The shortlist for the Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award 2009 have been announced; and among the high caliber