“European designers, they do boxing. They punch people, like that,” says Oki Sato, principal of Tokyo-based design practice Nendo, sticking out his fist.
“You remember when you stayed at home with your family and talked about food – normal life things?” ponders Seyhan Özdemir, who co-founded Turkish design practice Autoban with Sefer Çaglar in 2003. “Everything was so basic – the world is not like that here. In Istanbul everything is confused and complex.”
“Have you seen the machine?” There is something slightly sinister about the question that everyone keeps posing at CERN, a vast research complex that straddles the border of Switzerland and France.
The co-founder of Office dA has been talking for ten minutes without pause. It’s early morning, Nader Tehrani and I are driving through south Boston in his jeep on our way to get some coffee, and my notepad is already full of questions.
This building is singing. A soft, rustling, jingling sound of metal on metal rises from it when the wind is up, which is often here in the eastern flatlands of the Netherlands. It’s metallic, but not harsh – the gentle sound of many chains growing successively taut and slack
Minimalism is now so well rooted in British architecture that it is like a quiet uncle sitting at the family table. Behind his chair, however, stands a figure who is almost out of view, but he needs a spotlight because he did it first and had a great influence on those who came after.
Ilya and Emilia Kabakov are known for sketching out ideas that will never happen, most famously in their sprawling Palace of Projects. But now they’ve proposed a project that they wish could be more than an artwork.
This China blockbuster somehow manages to live up to its insanely ambitious brief, says William Wiles.
We’ve had “slow food”, here’s the case for “slow stuff”. Justin McGuirk deploys 500 hand-picked words.
The best in graphic design is all here, says Adrian Shaughnessy. Just don’t expect to see it out in the world.
Issey Miyake’s vision of the future is a dreamlike world of dragons and vacuum cleaners that defies interpretation, finds Julian Worrall.
Rick Poynor dances to the tune of Pflumm’s catchy coporate critique.
Museums are the benchmark for future architecture and are out to colonise the world. Daniel Miller ducks for cover.

Jean Nouvel and Barcelona are getting on well. The French architect’s second major landmark for the city, a park in the Sant Martí district, has just opened.

A rogue iceberg has crashed into the eastern edge of Oslo’s harbour, trumpeting the brash arrival of waterfront regeneration.
A golden ceiling unites the restaurants, bars and concessions of La Rinascente, a department store in central Milan. The 1,900sq m food hall, designed by London practice Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands, fills the top floor of the neo-classical building.
“Like a Mondrian painting” is how architect Zhang Lei sees the facades of his two brick houses outside the town of Gao Chun, in China’s Jiang Si province.

A living roof covers the headquarters of the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, designed by the Genoa-based Renzo Piano Building Workshop in collaboration with local practice Stantec Architecture (formerly Chong Partners Architecture).

Tetris blocks frozen in mid air come to mind with Atelier Tekuto’s latest project, Twin Brick House in Saitama, a suburb of Tokyo.
The last design by Ettore Sottsass will be put into production in July by Italian manufacturer Serralunga. Faituttotu, a collaboration with his partner, British designer Chris Redfern, is a collection of home accessories made of rotation-moulded plastic.
Spam Architecture is a project by Romanian artist Alex Dragulescu that turns junk emails into abstract artefacts.

“It’s the place you go to buy a bedspread,” says Foreign Office Architects partner Farshid Moussavi, explaining why this John Lewis department store in Leicester is wrapped in patterned fabric.

There is a new breed of client who collects architecture like stamps. In Mongolia, Taiwan, South Africa and Brazil, private developers are commissioning big names and hot young practices by the dozen to build huge, diverse developments.

The return of the decorative arts was the unavoidable story of this year’s Milan furniture fair.