Legendary Austrian architect Hans Hollein was in London for a conference on hotel design. Icon went along for a chat about inventing the Bilbao effect, building underground and the problem with the Venice biennale.
“I had enough with fashion,” sighs Rosita Missoni, as she fetches more tea from the kitchen in her tiny apartment in Maida Vale, west London.
Now that “good” design is available to everyone, the definition of “design” is slipping away from the elite that has always controlled it and into the hands of the people buying it. In other words, it means a lot more than it used to.

“Bloody gorgeous that hull,” says Jay Osgerby, one half of furniture and product designer BarberOsgerby. We’re flicking through a series of photos of things that inspire them; we’ve already admired aeroplane wings and, rather less obviously, motorway crash barriers.

“She’s like a volcano,” someone said during the Milan furniture fair in April. “A hurricane,” according to another. Virtually unknown a couple of years ago, Patricia Urquiola stormed Milan this year.
The Matsunoyama Museum of Natural Sciences is a building dictated by weather. It is designed to endure extreme temperature swings along with the 5.5m deep snowfalls that characterise winters in Niigata province, northern Japan. And severe weather is also to blame for the fact that I haven’t seen the building or met its architect.
Acid-trip abstraction, vampiric mutants and rebelling Japanese schoolgirls: Warp Records’ videos have never been conventional. And we interview Autechre video director Alex Rutterford.
The multi-talented godfather of Generation X has a new novel out and an exhibition of his sculpture. We can learn a lot about design from the poet laureate of the McJob.

Plasma Studio have designed an exhibition consisting of a roomful of steel. It was the practice’s first in London, and appeared in a nameless gallery near Tate Modern on Bankside in October.