Being British and the Origins of Brexit

May 13th, 2019

Quite apart from the to and fro deliberations about Brexit and its many implications, it is interesting to ponder the concept of Britishness and how this has led directly to the process we’re now witnessing.

Ok, I’ll say it: Brexit is inextricably linked with the uniquely British sense of identity as a concept of being ‘different’. Of course, we’re all different; different individually, by nationality, etcetera, but the British have a sense of differentness that forms the very core of their national identity. It’s not for nothing that Brits are not exactly famous for learning languages or assimilating into host cultures, and the fact that anyone who is not British is forever a foreigner – even if it is the Briton who resides in someone else’s country – reflects a mentality that is, indeed, very different from most modern nations. Read the rest of this entry »

Frank Gehry, ‘Starchitect’ of the modern era

March 25th, 2019

The man who gave Spain – and the world – the Guggenheim Museum is a master moulder of shapes, using new materials and technologies to usher in a fluid 21st century definition of architecture.

Gehry international masterpiece – the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao.

Think Gehry and you picture the iconic Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, but of course this celebrated ‘starchitect’ who helped to define the shape of the modern era has many more famous edifices and projects to his name. They include the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, the Louis Vuitton art museum and cultural centre in Paris, the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle and the Weisman Art Museum in Minneapolis, to name a few. Named “the most important architect of our age” by Vanity Fair in 2010, many of Gehry’s most famous designs involve museums and other large public projects, yet he also managed to raise eyebrows and shift boundaries when creating the now-iconic academic complex – known as Building 32 – for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Not surprisingly, given his stature around the world and particularly in North America, Frank Gehry was also chosen to give shape to the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial in Washington DC. Read the rest of this entry »

The British Commonwealth, a global family of nations

January 10th, 2019

An intergovernmental organisation with its headquarters in London and 53 member states around the world, the Commonwealth of Nations is a product of Britain’s colonial past, but also one of the finest examples of international cooperation to come out of the post-colonial era. Read the rest of this entry »

Cryptocurrency – Future or Fad?

November 13th, 2018

Suddenly it was there, an alternative to the concept of money that has been with us for millennia. Most ignored it as a passing fad, but when values soared and millions were made the public took an interest. Now, as most everyone knows of cryptocurrencies, but not necessarily what they are, the market looks as volatile as ever but perhaps the golden days of astronomical growth are gone. We asked the experts if this concept is indeed a fad or here to stay.

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Buildings that absorb pollution

October 4th, 2018

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Parks were first created to offer much-needed green spaces and absorb city pollution. As the world’s urban centres grow ever larger and space is at a premium, we need to come up with new solutions to a growing smog and air quality problem.

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