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Design wars

Samsung’s overtaking of Apple — in its smartphone and tablet sales — relaunches a debate involving the whole industrial design world. Justin McGuirk talked about the issue with the Korean giant’s design chief when they met at the Milan Furniture Fair.


Design / Justin McGuirk



Justin McGuirk identifies the obsession with functionality — introduced by modernism and amplified by the market — as the driving force behind the proliferation of super-efficient products, which instead of giving us more leisure create new forms of enslavement.


Design / Justin McGuirk

The Belgian affair

Can such a thing as "Belgian design" exist, in a country where the lack of a sharply defined common identity is arguably an identity in itself? The growing influence of a series of events, institutions and design studios suggests that Belgium is enjoying a fruitful phase of creative vitality.


Design / Justin McGuirk


The black box syndrome

Automobiles, computers, cheese graters, televisions, kettles: it would be hard to name an object that Richard Sapper, at some point of an extraordinarily prolific career spanning six decades, has not tackled. His work permeates the everyday life of millions, yet he keeps a low profile, and keeps on working. Justin McGuirk pays him a visit in his Milan apartment to discuss design, Dieter Rams, and why the ThinkPad's TrackPoint is red.


Design / Justin McGuirk


Why design?

Is design outweighing architecture as a service to society? Domus discusses the issue with the Dean of Harvard's Graduate School of Design, Mohsen Mostafavi, who recently launched a new series of conferences on the relation between the two disciplines.


Interviews / Justin McGuirk

Unreal Estate

On the eve of the Olympics, Justin McGuirk ponders the social and political consequences of London's white-hot real estate market and asks: what ever happened to the city that pioneered the modern ideal of social housing?


Architecture / Justin McGuirk