The battered white Mercedes van turns off the highway and enters a small, shabby industrial estate outside the small southern Dutch town of Eindhoven. A grand piano stands on waste ground in front of a lock-up unit. A blowtorch and a jerry-can of petrol lie ready.

These four Swedish designers are called Defyra.

To anyone who wants to be a guerilla designer the message is get yourself an orange reflective jacket. They’re the perfect camouflage for the battle zone of the urban environment. Enemy territory is occupied by local authority planners, property developers, utility companies and people with clipboards. Operating legitimately is a battle for permits and permissions. To blend in, you need to look official.

Lacaton & Vassal are in a chilly London to open an exhibition but Jean-Philippe Vassal’s thoughts are of the Sahara. “When you are on a beautiful carpet placed directly on the sand, with maybe some beautiful women, drinking some tea and with some very nice music, it’s really luxurious.” Vassal is one half of the French practice whose ideas of luxury and economy are creating a new value system for architecture.

Sir Christopher Frayling is Rector of the Royal College of Art, London. When we asked him to contribute to the “what is design?” debate in our last issue, he invited us into his messy office and gave us a potted history of what the word design has meant over the years.
Modernist design classics are the sidekicks to Pixar’s family of superheroes in a film glowing with nostalgia for yesterday’s future. We explore a strangely seamless retro world.
The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art in Kanazawa, Japan, does not look like a building responding to a crisis.

Moma was once the world’s greatest laboratory of modern art. Now it is merely its greatest repository.