From beautiful sex toys to greedy development, in this issue we explore how the worlds of design and architecture enable our sinful ways or attempt an antidote
You might describe the world we live in as one of virtue and sin: the coexistence and tension between the good and the wicked. Where we’ve yet to develop a concise list of virtues, we have certainly done it with sins: there are seven, and allegedly they’re deadly. They are the human propensities for pride, lust, gluttony, wrath, sloth, greed and envy – so familiar is the list that it hardly needs spelling out. In this issue, we explore how the worlds of design and architecture both enable our sinful ways (and make them a bit more beautiful), or attempt an antidote.
From among the profusion of sex-toys-turned-design-objects, we look at the recent work of Studio Anna Maresova for Whoop.de.doo – “elegant and minimalistic” are rarely descriptors of dildos, but Maresova pulls it off. We also head to Tokyo, and explore the Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama-designed temple in the middle of hedonistic Shinjuku: is this a place of calm out of place, or an important counterpoint?
Icon’s John Jervis explores the world of outdoor gyms that help keep us moving and fit, as Leo Hollis contemplates the potentially slothful results of London’s “new vernacular”, and Roger Zogolovitch and Alex Ely discuss the greedy ways of developers (there must be a better way!). If that makes your blood boil, then turn to page 100, and discover a brief history of the objects designed for you to squeeze, smash or stab the stress out of your life.
Plus, of course, we develop our own list of seven deadly design sins …
IN THIS ISSUE
Lust Kiyoshi Sey Takeyama inserts a Buddhist temple into Tokyo’s seedy underbelly and Czech designer Anna Maresova reclaims sex toys for women
Envy Why has Assemble’s Turner Prize nomination turned both architects and artists green?
Gluttony An all-natural, authentically sourced, hand-made and ethically produced con – how food packaging became a status symbol
Sloth The brick banality of the New London Vernacular, and why Britain’s adoption of the outdoor gym is as much a boon for public space as it is for public health
Pride The mirror’s reflective qualities, long taken for granted, are now being questioned by a generation of designers anxious about identity
Greed As the housing crisis intensifies, Roger Zogolovitch and Alex Ely debate ideas for exploiting the city’s remaining nooks and crannies
Wrath Part gimmick, part symbolic act of violence, stress toys have advanced far beyond the squeezy foam ball to address a whole menu of pent-up emotions
SelgasCano’s plastic party pavilion, the Designers of the Future award, a cultural canteen for Moscow by OMA, Neri & Hu reveal what keeps them curious, Milan’s House of Memory, plus a roundup of this year’s best graduates and a look ahead to the London Design Festival
Rethink Imagining an easier way to give
Reviews Mapping the imaginary city, the abiding legacy of Black Mountain College, Polish avant-garde pioneer Tadeusz Peiper, and architecture’s fetish for precision