This is an interesting video feature on four modern craftsmen/women by British magazine Monocle. The piece is meant to highlight how traditional artisans are surviving, and even thriving in the post-industrial world. They’re from China, Britain, America, and the Czech Republic respectively.
Monocle describes itself as a “global briefing on international affairs, business, culture, and design.” That’s a pretty fair assessment, with a heavy emphasis on the latter two (and how they intersect with the former). Essentially, it is The Economist re-imagined for the young, affluence, and jet-setting; to this purpose its articles are clothed in the subtle typefaces, gratuitous photo spreads and a boutique aesthetic familiar to anyone who has a vague association with the contemporary trends in design. It is certainty eye-candy, and an enjoyable read (inside the lounge at the bookstore, because I’m not a jet-setter who can afford its 10$ price tag).
Staffed by alumni of the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, the magazine is smart in both design and conversation, although not as smart (or should I direct) as to be threatening or offensive. Maybe, that’s too harsh. I would say that its reportage is a bit “distant” as compared with The Economist. More of the “Hmm, that’s interesting to know” than the “I’m glad I saw this coming down the pipe (for better or for worse).” With its articles flanked by advertisements for Louis Vuitton and Hermes, and featured spots of cross-branding for its stores, the Monocle’s writing steers clear of upsetting anybody’s apple cart. At its best its an collection of vignettes to guide you through the rapidly changing, globalized world (and its complimentary gift shop). At its worse its a thinly veiled, collection of travel ads. I think it falls somewhere in the middle.