New issue: Icon 151 04.12.15

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From Lyon's experiment in public lighting, to Ireland's efforts to establish its international design reputation, our latest issue looks at the design that has a tangible impact on people's lives and moods

Those working in the design industry like to imagine that what they do has the potential to transform people’s lives. Our physical environment, of course, has a definite impact on our mood, our comfort level – and is an excellent way for us to communicate our status. The reality is that “design” can often just be intended for an in-crowd.

So, for our Architecture feature this month, we’ve decided to look at Lyon – a city that is investing very heavily in a very public project, using design to improve quality of life. Lyon is investing millions of euros each year on lighting its buildings and streets, transforming public squares, riversides, architectural icons, and ordinary residential avenues. And, it’s pushed them to think in a more critical way about what a splash of LEDs can actually do for cities around the world.

In the Objects section is another millions-of-euros public investment, this one trying to take on the world. Ireland, with a strong but threatened tradition of craft, has struggled to modernise its international reputation. So the past 12 months has been designated the Year of Irish Design, and has seen hundreds of Irish designers travel to show at design fairs from Milan to Shenzhen. Yet its true impact is at home – galvanising the industry and building confidence amongst some of its main advocates: government ministers, craft council leadership and the designers themselves.



David Michon





quotes story

The reality is that “design” can often just be intended for an in-crowd





Kit Practical, beautiful and smart, we present the latest in horology, fashion and the tech to keep you warm

Home Wire baskets, a sofa for your dog and a cotton-candy coloured homeware collection

Transport Hawaiian airline luxury, a Portuguese cruise ship terminal, and a Danish airport gets bigger

Destination A short stay at a light-art installation in Japan, a good night’s sleep in a Perth pensione, a bite at Valencia’s light-filled restaurant, a drink in Zurich’s legendary bar, and a brisk walk through Lisbon’s coolest quarter



Lighting Lyon How France’s second city integrates illumination into its urban planning

Public MAD makes waves in Harbin with the rippling Opera House

Retail Immersive retail avant-la-lettre from North America‘s favourite hunting superstores

Residential The Rue de Lourmel housing block in Paris is a paragon of thoughtful planning

Office Luxe but stylish Landream Headquarters by Melbourne’s Mim Design

Icon Forgotten colonial Art Deco masterpiece: the Central Market in Phnom Penh

Q&A Toan Nghiem from the Vietnamese practice a21 studio stresses the need to understand local conditions



Irish design? The Emerald Isle attempts to become the next design hotspot

Lighting Flos has grand plans for its brand

Kitchen Juiciest products with added Vitamin D(esign)

Bathroom Ubiquitous Japanese toilets tweaked for European markets

Furniture A new chair by Overgaard & Dyrman and De Padova expands outside Italy

Icon The clunky but enduring British plug

Q&A Muti Randolph talks about his cutting-edge light installations

Ideas Innovating with light

Rethink Remaking maps for the social-media age

Obsession Why (good) mail order catalogues are here to stay



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