Category Archives: Design

The making of Do Pass Go: boardgames in the internet age

Do Pass Go my BBC Radio 4 documentary, airing on Friday April 14th 2017, has its origins in a piece I wrote about the Libyan dictator General Gadaffi playing chess on TV in the run up to his toppling, and … Continue reading

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Ladybird books: Constructing the future past of modern Britain

I used to visit a beloved university English professor  and his wife. He had won the Military Cross for hand to hand combat in the liberation of the Netherlands in 1945 but never talked about the terrible things he’d seen. … Continue reading

Posted in Books, Children, Culture, Design, Environment, Germany, History, Media, Uncategorized, War | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 23 Comments

At home with type: Alan Kitching – master of letter press

All photos copyright Jerome Weatherald/BBC. No re-use without permission To step inside Alan Kitching’s studio is to enter the past and the future present. The rich fragrance of ink and wooden trays transports you to a pre digital world.  This … Continue reading

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Up the Wellington Arch with Beatrice the Angel of Peace

English Heritage are doing a cleanup on the largest bronze sculpture in Europe – the quadriga of the Angel of Peace by Adrian Jones. Note the war booty in that chariot and the mixed message of the olive branch in … Continue reading

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How the Space Shuttle Broke My Heart

  This weekend’s Radio 4 Extra Floating In Space 3-hour special (9am and 7pm Saturday Mar 1th and iplayer after) with Simon Guerrier explores the history and the fantasy of manned space exploration from the cosmonauts to dreams of Mars … Continue reading

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Inside the world of Angels: the secret history of film & TV costumes

The chill hits me and a slight tang of…meat. I’ve entered the Fur store room at Angels Costumiers. We stand in silence. There are racks of fur coats – like a multiverse of Narnia entry points. Fox stoles are piled … Continue reading

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Marriage, Margaret Thatcher & the closet of female expectations

This article first appeared in The Big Issue. Journalism worth paying for (subscriptions available) For years my mother kept an entire cupboard where she used to save up things for my trousseau; the old fashioned concept of a bride’s personal … Continue reading

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What should we read into bookshelf wallpaper?

This article first appeared in The Big Issue Magazine in August 2015 I went to a fancy middle class holiday camp the other week. You know the ones. It was fabulous. We did fencing, crossbows, rode Segways and swam every … Continue reading

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Only Connect: An encounter with Charles Correa and the power of the empty centre

(Jun 17th 2015) I was saddened to hear the news of Charles Correa’s death. An international name who declared he was proudly an Indian architect first, I was fortunate to interview him for Radio 3’s Night Waves in May 2013. … Continue reading

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Crossing the black line: the secret history of Durham Cathedral

BEYOND THE GREY TOWERS: THE MYSTERY OF DURHAM CATHEDRAL from Samira Ahmed on Vimeo. When you walk into Durham Cathedral take a moment to look down at your feet in the nave. You might notice a big black line of … Continue reading

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