I first met Kengo Kuma in 2006 when I launched Z58, a stunning building he designed in Shanghai. We have kept in touch and one of the highlights of my last trip to Tokyo Design Week was dinner in a beautiful Sushi restaurant with Mr Kuma and my colleague Amy. I was reminded of that amazing dinner, when this week we went to dinner at Alan Yau’s latest restaurant Sake No Hana, in honour of Mr Kuma who designed the space. On entering the space, you are transported to a pristine Japanese ryokan. The whole space was very Japanese and it is great to have a Kengo Kuma designed space for London to enjoy.
On Wednesday, Frontline invited Tyler Brûlé to discuss Monocle magazine, media, politics and style. It was a full house, moderated by John Owen of Frontline. Tyler told us how Monocle has evolved over the past year and explained how geo-politics is impacting our lives. He spoke about the success and sale of Wallpaper* magazine, film vs. digital media, the broadcast news format (Monocle tv?) and monocle.com. And of course, just off a plane, he gave travel tips and shared his favorite airports (Munich and Haneda), favorite airlines (ANA and Lufthansa) and views on Heathrow’s new Terminal 5 (he loves it!).
Last night I attended the inaugural Brit Insurance Designs of the Year award at The Design Museum. From 100 nominations there were 7 winners, but the one that impressed me most was the Best Product award giving to Yves Béhar for his $100 laptop project. Yves told us the story about how he initially met with MIT Media Lab to discuss the collaboration with Negroponte. It was very moving to see a photograph of a child in Nigeria carrying the laptop on his head, which Yves highlighted reflects that they only carry the most precious belongings in this way. It was a good evening and a tribute to Design Museum Curator, Deyan Sudjic.
On my last trip to New York I paid a visit to this great new museum designed by Tokyo architects SANAA. I loved the space and managed also to get a glance at the top floor which has mesmorising view of the city. As you enter, there is a wall of donors and they list – visionaries – catalysts and groundbreakers which I thought brilliant and it was good to see Bisazza in as a visionary. Next month they are going to show German Abstract painter Tomma Abts and this starts April 2nd.
If you like chocolate, this is the place in London to go. Melt is a chocolate boutique in Notting Hill with a special kitchen run by Master-Chocolatier Keith Hurdman who holds the Truffle D’or award. With Easter approaching the range of eggs will be irresistible, and while you are making your selection do try one of their hot chocolate drinks.