icon 077 / November 2009
Do not adjust your set – the dizzying image on the front cover of icon 077 is a real building. It’s Chiaki Arai’s extraordinary Ofunato Civic Centre: part labyrinth, part cliff face, part Piranesian fantasy, all concrete. Not bad for an architect who almost gave up architecture. Similarly outlandish but on a completely different scale is MAD’s Hutong Bubble – a silver blob clinging to the side of a house in Beijing. Saviour of traditional Chinese urbanism or glorified outhouse? It’s actually both.
Also in the November issue, fashion designer Aitor Throup tells us about the inspiration he gets from the streets and the psychological advantage that the England football team is going to get from wearing his kits. And we explore the sudden revival of ornamentation in architecture – is this the inevitable decadence that comes from using digital tools we don’t know what to do with, or the welcome end of the minimalist stranglehold on taste? Do the old styles even make sense any more?
Adorning the front end of the magazine is a report on the best stuff we saw at the London Design Festival – and 2009 turned out to be a vintage year. We’ve also got two Portuguese museums and what we saw at Copenhagen’s design week. In Review, we visit the Climate Camp, read comics with Bjarke Ingels, ogle women with Stephen Bayley and watch TV with Philippe Starck. That’s icon 077, in shops now.