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Stephen Bayley’s ‘Ugly’ is published in autumn 2012

We love Stephen Bayley; he is brilliant, sometimes rude and always funny. The man behind London’s Design Museum, he is also this country’s cleverest speaker on design. Tom Wolfe said “I don’t know anybody with more interesting observations about style, taste and contemporary design” than Stephen, and we agree with Tom Wolfe. Here’s more on Stephen’s next book,

Conducting with Itay Talgam

What a pleasure it was to meet with Itay Talgam, acclaimed Israeli conductor and author of my favourite TED talk yesterday (I’m not the only one – Al Gore is also a massive fan). Over coffee – and over the irritatingly noisy group of engineers on the next table pouring over plans of the Westbourne Grove sewer system – we discussed his

Kirby Ferguson explores creativity in a world where “everything is a remix”

Our State-side friends have been raving to us about Kirby Ferguson. Based in New York, Kirby is a writer, director and film maker whose series, “Everything is a Remix”, has found a growing following on the idea that creativity is not the divinely inspired genius of individuals, but rather an incremental process which, over time,

New book in the pipeline from Alain de Botton

I’ve been a fan of Alain de Botton’s for a while now – one of the few people we can properly call a public intellectual (in the good sense) in this country. A brilliant ‘philosopher of everyday life’, who teaches us everything from how to think subtley about defining success and failure, to how we can

Michael Sandel on what money can’t buy

It was a real treat to see Harvard Professor Michael Sandel at the Royal Institution last night delivering his lecture on The Moral Limits of Markets. Although the audience in the packed auditorium may have been slightly reticent to get involved at first, they quickly warmed up, enlivened by Professor Sandel’s questions on the morals of

Remembering Vidal Sassoon

In a tribute to Vidal Sassoon, who sadly passed away yesterday, The Times has a beautiful article by Tim Teeman, who recalls meeting and interviewing him in 2010. Sassoon’s success is a true rags to riches story – a boy who spent his early years in an orphanage but whose life changed course due to an apprenticeship at a Whitechapel barbers and

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