Moco Mag Reviews: Monocle, icon
by Eric / July 31, 2008

The single best mag you'll come by this summer--and I'm also betting this year. MONOCLE hits its nth home run with the summer special edition "devoted to building better cities, neighbourhoods and residences." The yearly article that ranks the world's 25 most liveable cities takes center stage, with the rest of the content revolving around this topic. Lists galore, including "50 people, products and services to improve your life" and "20 design elements every house should have." And if that isn't enough, accompanying the mag is the Design Directory listing Monocle's favs and the best in retreats, products and retailers. Get it and read it. And don't forget Monocle also produces and distributes free online complementary videocasts.

-- The whole thing: ≈250 pages + 50 page design directory. (Vol. 2, July/August 2008)

The July issue of ICON feels a bit all over the place with a lot of short articles, but the curation of works and the overall tone seals it just right. Most interesting was the cover feature Ugly in a good way. ICON discusses with curators and designers (Gateano Pesce, Maarten Baas and Bertjan Pot to name a few) the idea of formal, explicit ugliness in furniture and product design "celebrating difference and humanity" simply by letting go of the necessity of perfection in design: formally a bit less perfect, then a bit more human. Other findings include a quite animated article with Winy Maas of MVRDV and Joep von Lieshout of SlaveCity discussing SlaveCity, a utopian perverse parallel city; and a curious spread on cakes as a semi-industrial design product in Portugal (!). To top it all off, joined to the mag is ICON's Kitchen & Bathroom supplement with 50 pages of original kitchen & bathroom design, enough to raise the moco through the roof.

-- Issue 061 (July/August 2008)

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