In an unprepossessing warehouse off the Old Kent Road in South-East London sits an art factory, perhaps the most prolific and important place in the world where artworks are made.

We've had a busy month. First, we trudged round London visiting 100% Design and all the rest. Then we headed for the design shows in Valencia and Tokyo. Below we try to sum up the mood of the cities' design festivals...

Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec work in a studio in Saint Denis, a gritty northern satellite of Paris that smells of piss. When icon's photographer suggests they go outside to pose in the street, they express concern that the cameras will get stolen.

The French - who, with their grands projets, have so long been focused on trophy buildings - have noted that "sociability" and "liveability" are now the key criteria for urban design and have gone off in a new direction: towards the development of live, participatory events as ways of adding value to a place. Formal cultural festivals have been booming in France for years, but the new craze is for "les arts de la rue".

Rem Koolhaas has completed his first North American building, at the Illinois Institute of Technology.

"If you go into any high-street retailer and look at the consumer electronics, you are confronted by a sea of banal, ugly products which relate to nothing in the world except the other products next to them on the shelf," says Mark Delaney, design manager at Samsung Design Europe. Here, he sets out his vision for better-looking domestic electronic goods...

McLaren's new Technology Centre in Surrey is as meticulously designed as one of its F1 cars.

The seemingly relentlessly futuristic West End junction is actually a carefully preserved fragment of 19th-century London.

"Suddenly we think our lives are going to be different," exclaims Farshid Moussavi with genuine excitement. "There is a Sainsbury's opening nearby, just around the corner. And a Starbucks." Alejandro Zaera Polo, her husband and partner in foreign office architects, smiles in amused agreement.