We have lift-off

Wallpaper - - Editor’s Letter - Nick Comp­ton, Act­ing Ed­i­tor

On a sul­try Shored­itch evening dur­ing Lon­don De­sign Week, I had the hon­our of in­tro­duc­ing a con­ver­sa­tion be­tween Richard Rogers and his son Roo. I opened by telling the crowd at Sec­ond Home about an ar­chi­tec­ture doc­u­men­tary se­ries that BBC2 ran in the mid-1980s, sched­uled just be­fore the siz­zling ban­ter of Bruce Wil­lis and Cy­bill Shep­herd in Moon­light­ing. The se­ries, of course, talked to and about Rogers – then un-lorded but post-pom­pi­dou and the Lloyd’s build­ing, elo­quent in his hard-to-place ac­cent, and strik­ingly hand­some in a col­lar­less shirt that may have been fuch­sia or Yves Klein blue. I was watch­ing on my black-and-white bed­room telly, so I’m mak­ing as­sump­tions in post. Rogers im­me­di­ately joined Jack Ker­ouac and Bar­ney from New Or­der in my mixed bag of male role mod­els.

None of this had any­thing to do with the topic un­der dis­cus­sion that evening. Richard and Roo were there to tackle what it means to de­sign for a bet­ter world. In many ways, they rep­re­sent dif­fer­ent ap­proaches from dif­fer­ent cen­turies. Richard gave star­tling new form to mod­ernist ide­al­ism. Roo, a writer and doc­u­men­tary maker who did a stint with Yves Béhar at Fuse­pro­ject, is now what you might call a pro­gres­sive ac­cel­er­a­tor. His Founders Fac­tory Africa is about to set up of­fice in Jo­han­nes­burg, aim­ing to help es­tab­lish 100 start-ups across the con­tin­tent. Rogers ju­nior is as pas­sion­ate, in­sight­ful and elo­quent a speaker as his fa­ther, and I rec­om­mend lis­ten­ing to their con­ver­sa­tion on Sound­cloud (sound­cloud. com/sec­ond­home­ldn). You can skip my bum­bling rem­i­nis­cences at the be­gin­ning.

De­sign­ing for a bet­ter world has been a con­stant con­cern for this mag­a­zine and we have been work­ing to­wards lift-off on a project that will take that mis­sion to a whole new level. Read about the Wall­pa­per* Moon­shots Divi­sion on page 119. Else­where in the is­sue we tackle work, with our Of­fi­cepa­per* guide to well-de­signed and well­ness-con­scious spa­ces; rest, with a se­lec­tion of re­mark­able re­treats from Namibia to Bahrain; and cre­ative play, which is one way to think about art. In our Smart Art sec­tion (see page 086), we try a few other ways of think­ing about it, too.

A fi­nal note. Roo Rogers’ Wikipedia page says he has only worn red socks (though dif­fer­ent pairs) since he was 11. A les­son in ob­ses­sive ded­i­ca­tion and at­ten­tion to de­tail we could all learn from.

The Wall­pa­per* Moon­shots Divi­sion is set to reach for the skies. Our truly re­mark­able de­sign lab is given a launch boost by Stu­dio Swine and its smoke­filled bub­bles, page 119

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