Tag / creation
Pierre Bergé, the co-founder of French fashion house Yves Saint Laurent, patron of the arts and passionate AIDS campaigner, has died at the age of 86. Bergé passed away this morning at his home in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence after a long illness.
Bergé was the longtime companion of Yves Saint Laurent, and the financial figurehead behind the maison he co-founded with the renowned fashion designer in 1961. The creation of the ‘Rive Gauche’ label in 1966 heralded the revolutionary concept of ready-to-wear – Yves Saint Laurent became renowned for democratising the stiff and elitist world of haute couture.
From Yves Saint Laurent’s ‘Mondrian’ dress to the androgynous ‘Le Smoking’ tuxedo suit, the brand’s designs were a pioneering force behind the Parisian fashion landscape during the sixties and seventies. It was a business that continually expanded into new territories, including fragrance and Paloma Picasso-designed accessories, and catered to the sartorial needs of figures including Marie-H..
A mountain village in Switzerland is an unlikely location for cutting-edge culture, but in Pontresina, in the Engadin region of Switzerland – famed for its large Belle-Époque hotels – the historic Hotel Walther has unveiled some avant-garde art to rival Zurich’s blue-chip galleries, as part of an extensive, multi-million makeover.
A triumphant 110 years after it welcomed its first guests into its reception area, visitors in 2017 will step in and be greeted by a gigantic cube, carved from a 20.5 tonne piece of marble. It is the creation of a relatively unknown Swiss sculptor and architect, Veit Rausch, framed by lush and lavish textiles and furnishings, part of the hotel’s striking transformation by Virginia Maissen, the interior designer who has worked her magic on Hotel Adler, Cafe Oscar and Airport Hotel Basel in the past.
Hotel Walther in Pontresina, Switzerland
In the bar and smoker’s lounge, the hotel commissioned Swiss artist Rolf Sachs to create an installation responding to..
Steven Moore for HBR The retail scene in Africa has undergone a rapid transformation. A few years ago, many staple Western goods were hard to come by in some markets. Now, branded items — from luxury cosmetics to fast food and fast fashion — are becoming widely available at the glittering new shopping malls scattered around the region’s fast-growing cities.
Take the new Two Rivers Mall in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. Completed in February 2017, it is eastern Africa’s largest shopping venue, housing grocery chains, restaurants, and luxury boutiques. But visit Two Rivers on a weekday, and the vast complex is empty. Why? Locals will tell you the mall is inconvenient to get to, and despite poverty levels in the region falling amid strong economic growth and foreign investment, the products sold there are too expensive for Nairobi residents to afford.
Nairobi’s New Two Rivers Mall Is the Largest in Eastern Africa
The problem points to a larger conundrum facing multination..
Tim Evans for HBR This summer marks 50 years since the publication of John Kenneth Galbraith’s The New Industrial State and its quick rise to the top of the New York Times Best Seller list. The book was one of the rare instances where an economist was able to capture public imagination and focus debate on big-picture economic issues. We have only rarely seen its like since — although Thomas Piketty gave it a great go in 2014, with Capital in the Twenty-First Century.
Galbraith’s book is worth revisiting, since its subject is back in the news. Like many people today, he was worried about unchecked corporate power. Yet with the benefit of hindsight, we can see his worries were largely wrong. And therein lies a lesson for economists and policy makers today.
Of course, you would be hard-pressed to find an economist today who has read the book, and you might even find some who have never heard of Galbraith. I’m not one of them. As an undergraduate in Australia, I was exposed to a nonstand..
The traditional Japanese tea ceremony is perhaps the ultimate expression of slow living, where the process of preparation becomes a meditative part of the experience. It may not be religious per se, but it is ritualistic, pivoting on the quality and detail of the objects employed and the performance of making and consumption.
With this year’s Handmade theme exploring the sacred and ceremonial, we couldn’t ignore the tea ceremony and its Japanese roots. Taking inspiration from the tools of a typical ceremony, in particular the furo, a portable iron or clay brazier used to heat water, and combining it with the conveniences of the western hostess trolley (an entertaining essential of the 1970s), we imagined a new piece of kit that could store and deliver the tea-making tools, as well as heat the water.
Isabelle Stanislas’ original concept for the ‘Rising Sun’ tea cart
While lacquered woods, clay and iron might be more commonly used materials in the traditional ceremony, we decided to ..
No stranger to boundary pushing, Comme des Garçons has launched an olfactory creation centred on a material close to our heart: concrete.
Rather than focus on its cold, austere and brutalist qualities, Comme des Garçons’ vision of a concrete fragrance is unexpectedly rooted in the soft sensuality of sandalwood. Blended with cedarwood, balsam and musk, and a mélange of spices such as cumin, cardamom, ginger and pepper, this avant-garde riff on sandalwood is a deftly executed disruption of the brand’s own perfume legacy.
Comme des Garçons Parfums creative director Christian Astuguevieille explains, ‘Concrete is really part of the DNA of Comme des Garçons. I was very interested in the contrast between the rawness of concrete and something as refined and luxurious as sandalwood. They are very different, but harmonious as the same time.’
Concrete, by Comme des Garçons
Created by perfumer Nicolas Beaulieu, Comme des Garçons Concrete opens with a rich and opulent burst of sandalwood that..
When I ask students graduating from Harvard Business School what they’re doing next, I often get some version of “I’m going into finance but…” Then they quickly explain that finance is just a way station on the route to nobler goals. I seldom, if ever, hear that apologetic tone from students choosing technology companies or consulting. Recently, I asked a few students how people react to their choice to go into finance, and I was greeted with nervous laughter. When pressed, they explained that most people conclude that someone choosing finance cares only about money — and cares little for others or for society.
As graduates explain their career choices to family and friends, they will confront the idea that our best and brightest are wasting their talent in an industry that doesn’t do anything worthwhile. This reflects a historic bias against finance, as well as current anxieties on the loss of “real” jobs and justifiable concerns over widening income inequality. But this anti-finance..
The success of platform companies like Airbnb, Amazon, and Netflix has led to envy bordering on despair for their competitors. When we asked one successful online retailer “How do you compete with Amazon?” the response was “You don’t.” Publicly, CEOs talk about digital transformation, but privately, they wonder if their efforts will be enough.
Companies are right to be worried. Our research shows that companies with platform- and network-based business models are exponentially better at creating value. They grow faster, make more money, and are more valued than companies organized around products and services.
Building a successful platform business is hard enough when you have an original idea, ample capital, no core business to cannibalize, and a team of top talent. (Just ask the executives at Uber, Twitter, Fitbit, and Snapchat.) So what’s a legacy company to do? You might think that you have to turn yourself into a Silicon Valley startup and reinvent your business model.
The word design is used in so many ways that you begin to wonder if it has any useful meaning at all. All of these may be regarded as acts of design:
Laying out a magazine adMaking an engineering plan for a suspension bridgeUsing A/B testing to improve user response to a websitePlotting an elaborate trapWireframing user interactions for a mobile appCreating the graphical look and feel of a mobile appPlanning the features of a product that solves a perceived user problemCollecting user feedback on a product or servicePreparing architectural plans for a beautiful buildingPreparing architectural plans for an ugly buildingSince folks refer to any and all of these examples (and many more) as “design,” the term design could be regarded as just a great big basket that holds many things that have no clear relationship to one another, except for the fact that someone, somewhere calls them design.
Why do people know what an engineer is, but not what a designer is?As a discipline, engineering is ..
Debunking design DarwinismProduct managers beware!In some reaches of the product development world there is a fascination with the idea that products can nearly design themselves through an iterative process of development, testing, and incremental improvement. This is what I call “design Darwinism.” Design Darwinism often enters the product development conversation as an extension of a Lean, Agile, data-driven, or A/B testing framework.
The prospect of products arising out of a primordial soup of nebulous product ideas and gradually evolving into great products without the need of designers is a stirring notion for some. The problem is, it doesn’t work. You can’t design by iteration and incremental improvement. There is no such thing as design Darwinism in the real world (except that which brings about the extinction of poorly-designed products).
Google: the grand experiment in design DarwinismGoogle has famously rolled out dozens of “beta” releases, apparently hoping that iteration w..