Page 1

BU S I NES S

|

LIFES T YLE

|

DESIGN

TH E D ESIG N & I N T E R I O R S E D I T I O N ISSUE 53

20

COVER S T ORY

Dr Abdalla Kablan and Dr Ian Gauci

LEGAL CHAIN

10 Ko n r a d B u h a g i a r

VALLETTA'S EYE IN THE SKY

32 Sandro Debono

MUŻA - A WORK OF ART

36 Manuel Delia

DESIGNING FAIRNESS




4 · MONEY

WELCOME

BRIDGING THE HOUSING GAP

ISSUE 53

COVER Dr Abdalla Kablan and Dr Ian Gauci GTG Advocates & Wyzer Read the full story on page 20

It is such a shame that the issue of housing temporary workers became politicised, ruling out serious debate on a topic that is clearly worrying many Maltese. More than a quarter of the Maltese said housing issues were a matter of rising concern when surveyed by Eurobarometer earlier this year, partly because of rising rents, and partly because of the lack of available units. The issue emerged when concerns were raised about temporary accommodation for hundreds of foreign workers who were coming to Malta to work on construction projects which had been awarded to a Turkish company. The concerns raised dealt with whether the accommodation would be of a reasonable level, as well as whether there were appropriate permits. This became complicated by claims about how much the workers were being paid and whether it was unfair competition, among other issues, as well as worries that the “metal containers” would not be suitable for living. But the real issue was lost in the political posturing: Malta already has pressure on its housing stock. Why would we want to have those units that are available taken up by workers who might prefer to be housed together in temporary communities? The Chamber of Commerce, Enterprise and Industry reacted by warning that “due to the irreversible nature of construction, it would be detrimental to the country to flood the market with new residential property that may remain vacant when the economic cycle eventually turns”. It called for “solutions that create immediate supply of affordable, comfortable yet reversible accommodation”. The argument was repeated by the Central Bank’s chief economist Aaron Grech, who also cautioned in an interview against using scarce housing resources. The stock of vacant properties is now drying up, and the construction sector is working at a frenzied rate to put more and more units onto the market. But the growth in the economy will eventually slow down, levelling out the population rise.

It would be pointless to destroy more of our architectural heritage to create more units than we need now or will need in a few years’ time, especially once the equilibrium is reached between demand for more workers and the numbers already here. CREDITS

The arguments also overlook an important aspect of this: the Turkish workers, like many others who work as expatriates, are not seeking adventure. They do not leave their homes and families because they want to experience life overseas. They do so because they can earn more money overseas than they would at home, and they tend to repatriate an enormous proportion of their salaries. Yes, it also helps their employer to have them all in one place, as it makes it more efficient for transport and shift work, quite apart from keeping down the costs and delays of finding them accommodation scattered across the island. Eurostat data for 2017 showed that 12.8 per cent of adults from non-EU countries resided in overcrowded households, the minimum being at least one room per couple or one room per single person aged 18 and over, one room per pair of single people of the same gender between 12 and 17 years and one room per pair of children under 12. Before jumping on the political bandwagon, it would be far better to consider the economic sense of using precious resources for workers here for a short time, when there are so many desperate to find somewhere to stay for longer terms.

EDITOR

Anthony P. Bernard anthony@moneymag.me DESIGN

Bloom Creative bloomcreative.com.mt | 79091413 DISTRIBUTION

Mailbox Direct Marketing Group PRINTING

Print It

Money is hand delivered to businesses in Malta including all managers and directors of the TOP 250 companies. iGaming companies, all 5 Star Hotels including their business centers, executive lounges and rooms (where allowed), all foreign embassies and Maltese Embassies abroad (UK, Rome, Brussels and Moscow). All government ministries and institutions. For information regarding promotion and advertising: Tel: (+356) 2134 2155 / 2131 4719 Email: hello@moneymag.me

Money is published by Be Communications Ltd, No. 81, Howard Street, Sliema, Malta SLM 1754 All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part is strictly prohibited without written permission. Opinions expressed in Money are not necessarily those of the editor or publisher. All reasonable care is taken to ensure truth and accuracy, but the editor and publishers cannot be held responsible for errors or omissions in articles, advertising, photographs or illustrations. Unsolicited manuscripts are welcome but cannot be returned without a stamped, self-addressed envelope. The editor is not responsible for material submitted for consideration.


Umami Modular Lounge System

MODULARITY. MATERIALITY. PERFORMANCE. Umami was designed to create spaces where people feel an emotional connection. Informal spaces that promote social interactions, stimulate the brain and enhance creativity. Purposeful work deserves meaningful places that bring together design, performance and materiality - because how a space performs is just as critical as how it looks and feels.

Mdina Road, Mriehel | T: 2546 4000 | www.oxfordhouse.com.mt Follow us


MONDAYS

FRIDAYS

TUESDAYS

SATURDAYS

WEDNESDAYS

SUNDAYS

THURSDAYS

21:00

21:00

FRE E CU STO ME R PA RK IN G

www.myparktowers.com


EN JOY MALTA’S G O UR MET S H O PPING EXPER IENCE!

Psaila Street, Santa Venera t. 2148 0807

Spinola Park St Julian’s t. 2138 1055

Gorg Borg Olivier Street, St Julian’s t. 2137 8520


CONTENTS

8 · MONEY

10

14

ISSUE 53

44

ARCHITEC TURE

VALLETTA'S EYE IN THE SKY Whether we like it or not, architecture affects us. It narrates our day and is “much more than a space, setting or form”. Dayna Clarke catches up with Konrad Buhagiar, founding partner of architectural firm AP Valletta.

46

V A L L E T TA

WORD ON THE STREET Giselle Borg Olivier revisits Strait Street’s heydays and the sweeping rebranding it has undergone which still kept the love affair going.

20

26 32

INTERIORS

THE WAY WE WORK As younger generations of workers continue to eschew traditional working models for flexibility and independence, the workspace of the 21st century continues to evolve. Sarah Kennard looks at factors that drive this change and trends which go beyond the already ubiquitous desks and social ‘break’ sofas to reveal a workplace future that is healthy, harmonious and happy.

WHEN THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD LEADS TO PARIS MONEY analyses the effects of the Yellow Vest protests, such as predictions that France’s economic growth is likely to falter, and not reach its initial predictions of 2.3%.

48

22

COUNTRY REPORT

36

COVER STORY

LEGAL CHAIN MONEY speaks to legal tech professional Dr Ian Gauci and fintech expert Dr Abdalla Kablan at multi- disciplinary law firm GTG Advocates & Wyzer, a firm binding law with tech to provide a one-stop-shop for clients in a world where technological developments are constantly pushing the boundaries.

MARKETING DESIGN

GAME PLAN Luke Azzopardi delves into some powerful factors that are sure to inspire and help you gain the upper hand, driving your business forward.

PHOTOGR APHY

UNDER THE SEA Duncan Barry interviews photographer David Zammit who has a knack for underwater photographs, be they sport or lifestyle-related, on his current international projects. He also had photographs of former Olympic swimmer and world record-holder Michael Klim featured on Australia’s Men’s Health.

POLITICS

DESIGNING FAIRNESS An uneven playing field comes about for businesses if corruption is not checked. Business success ends up dependent on politicians and public procurement. Political analyst Manuel Delia explains that it is paramount for businesses to see that ethical conduct supercedes political favour for a more inclusive and sustainable growth for all.

52

DESIGN

DESIGN

LINES OF BEAUTY Cutting-edge design, advanced technology and beautiful objects. MONEY helps you invest in creativity.

AHEAD OF THE CURVE Dayna Clarke goes on the hunt for final year degree students from MCAST, whose online portfolios make us a tad green with envy as they shake the local design scene.

INTERIORS

MUŻA - A WORK OF ART Duncan Barry interviews senior curator at MUŻA Sandro Debono who gives a run-through of the development, design and lay-out of our national community art museum – a building which held many surprises as the project went along.

54 56

FA S H I O N

BEAUTY & THE BEST Express undying love with MONEY's selection of fashion pieces.

L AST WORD

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED The Bluesman examines the nature of revolution, and that although dictatorship and bloodshed will not end, it is vital for us to rise from the abyss by being brave enough to stand up to be counted.


Italian Masterpieces GINGER E FRED. DESIGN BY ROBERTO LAZZERONI. SALA DEL CAMINO, PALAZZO GALLARATI SCOTTI, MILANO. poltronafrau.com

122, Valley Road, B’Kara

T 2149 2149

satariano.com


ARCHITEC TURE

10 · MONE Y

ISSUE 53

Dayna is a senior speech therapist by day and feature writer by night. When she’s not busy fixing words, she is travelling the world to add to her fridge magnet collection.

VALLETTA’S EYE IN THE SKY Whether we like it or not, architecture affects us. It narrates our day and is “much more than a space, setting or form”. Dayna Clarke catches up with Konrad Buhagiar, founding partner of architectural firm AP Valletta. With an impressive back catalogue and no shortage of incredible projects in the pipeline for the local skyline and beyond, the team behind AP Valletta gives us a brief on its work. So how did AP Valletta start? To start with, my partners and I were all born during the Cold War. We were brought up reading spy novels and stories about the search for a better life. We wanted to create a better society by providing it with a richer more beautiful architecture. We considered this goal to be one of the most essential tools to achieve a better society. The first name “Architecture Project” was a manifesto in the Modernist tradition declaring the urgent need for a project to lift Maltese architecture out of the doldrums. But Modernism was on its last legs, and, the isolation of the island has disappeared, the awareness of architecture began to flourish again, hopefully, as well, thanks to our contribution.


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

ARCHITEC TURE

MONEY · 11

This transformed irreversibly the context of the original mission, and we updated our original name to keep up with the lighter and more optimistic times. A fresh, catchy, more ambiguous AP took over. This history, contained in a couple of words, has recently been projected into the future as a result of a rebranding exercise that links the destiny of the office with that of Valletta. You’ve done a number of world-famous projects in Valletta. What draws you to those commissions? Can you talk us through St John’s Co-Cathedral and what is coming next? We are very interested in participating in the cultural and social evolution of Valletta. We consider this the crucible of our identity, where local traditions and beliefs overlap with foreign influence. The evolution of the spirit of the country happens here in a fascinating, uninterrupted continuity that, having worked on innumerable historic buildings, we are familiar with and wish to contribute to. As a result of our record of pulling many old buildings out of oblivion and dusting them back to life, we are in a position today to attract the type of commissions we desire. The extension of St John’s Co-Cathedral Museum has its seed in the need to house the 29 Flemish tapestries, designed by Rubens, that form part of the collection of the church. Having been created in the first place as a marketing tool to counter the onslaught of the Reformation, these tapestries are an important artefact of the Baroque Period and consolidate Malta’s role as a centre of the Christian faith. How do you approach your projects? We try to approach every project with respect, whether it is restoration and extension projects involving old buildings or new structures built ex-nouveau. The qualities of pre-existing structures need to be understood, appreciated and married with the program of the project itself. The ambitions and requirements of the client, act as the inspiration of the new creation. Each project is, for us, a new departure. The

experience of decades of work and research has an important role to play and inevitably inform the final product. We steer away from stylistic and trends and formal short-cuts. Were there any particular influences early in your career?

Le Corbusier’s visions for the modern world are contained in all of our projects; Mies’ fluidity of space and Renzo Piano’s attention to construction integrity and detail; Tadao Ando’s material poetry and Siza’s play with scale. The list is infinite. What are common themes in your work?

Many influences shaped our first buildings and moulded our original philosophy. The work of Leon Battista Alberti impressed upon us the magic achieved by proportion and harmonious composition; John Ruskin helped us observe the world and analyse the ineffable qualities of architectural beauty;

Every project is tackled independently of its predecessors. AP Valletta is the product of the convergence of several tasks which were commissioned over the years contributing to the multitude of disciplines required to achieve the goals envisioned by the client. →


12 · MONEY

ARCHITEC TURE

Yesterday I went to see the exhibition at the Royal Academy of Michelangelo’s drawings in the Royal Collection (UK) accompanied by video installations by Bill Viola. Michelangelo was obsessed with the phenomenon of the soul leaving the body. Viola developed techniques that express interiority and spirituality and the ineffable quality of birth, death and the passage of time. ‘Birth, Death, Rebirth’ is a moving experience that remains impressed on the mind long after leaving the building. It suggests, remotely and unintentionally, that the long life that a building is invested with is a luxury and that ignoring this quality by focusing only on today’s needs is a sin.

THE CHALLENGE OF SAVING ST PAUL’S ANGLICAN CATHEDRAL BELFRY AND VALLETTA’S SKYLINE, AN EXCITING PLAN FOR A NEW MARINA IN BALI, AND A BOOK CALLED “THE FOUNDING MYTHS OF ARCHITECTURE” WILL BE PUBLISHED IN LONDON THIS AUTUMN. Each project tackled contains a collection of ideas, some tried and tested. Other ideas may be new and unprompted, whose unorthodox overlap and the unsettling combination is what brings the product to life. Although solutions may seem simple, the origins of each project are complex, articulated and unstable; the only certain conclusion that emerges from this research is the ineffable quality of architecture. We have the ambition to evoke, in varying ways, a common sense of architecture as a generator of real life, not only the backdrop to events. Architecture and design, for us, are more than space, setting, context and form.

ISSUE 53

What are some of the opportunities and challenges your team faces at present? The older one gets, the more difficult it is to renew oneself, but thanks to the great team of smart and passionate young architects that work at the office, this onerous task is actually a pleasure. Our reputation provides us with great opportunities: the possibility, in particular, of attracting the type of meaningful projects we love. The challenge always is to rise to the occasion, to create something relevant and new and to overcome the danger of repeating oneself, of succumbing to the pressure of mediocrity – which, like gravity, is Man’s worst enemy. What advice would you give to young designers starting out today?

Are you concerned with how your designs age or date? Yes, very concerned. The thing that makes us most proud is when, in the space of 20 years, our projects seem still fresh. Our ambition is that a building we have just finished looks at the onset, as if it had always stood there, blending naturally with its context and surroundings. Time, on the other hand we hope, will bestow on the building the vigour of youth and it will begin to look younger, a bit like Benjamin Button! What have you seen on recent travels that inspires you?

It is true that we live in a liquid world where everything, including architecture, is a disposable commodity that is transient and has a short life span. However, I am sure what is really good will survive. Always think of what you are leaving behind and spare no effort to turn it into a pleasure for all those who will come after us. What’s next for AP Valletta? The challenge of saving St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral belfry and Valletta’s skyline, an exciting plan for a new marina in Bali, and a book called “The Founding Myths of Architecture” will be published in London this autumn.


Featuring the Pista by MODULAR. A technologically advanced track light which is minimal in design but big on impact.

Get in touch with one of our consultants to learn how we can help you professionally illuminate your space. GLOW Projects 179, Skyway Offices, Marina Street, Pieta PTA 9042 T: 2733 3788 | E: projects@glow.com.mt | W: glow.com.mt


14 · M O N E Y

V A L L E T TA

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

V A L L E T TA

MONEY · 15

Giselle is a freelance writer, proofreader and social media marketer who lives on Instagram and cappuccino. She runs Content for Success.

WORD ON THE STREET Giselle Borg Olivier revisits Strait Street’s heydays and the sweeping rebranding it has undergone which still kept the love affair going. Books, a television drama, countless articles, and even a theatrical show – Strait Street has been the subject for various media and can probably claim the title of ‘Malta’s most (in) famous street’. While not quite comparable to Paris’ Moulin Rouge or Amsterdam’s RedLight District, Strait Street, in its heyday, was frequented by a motley crew of the seediest sort – the sailors, the dancers, the drunkards, and the ladies of the night all called this place home. And Strait Street became something of an institution. The many names of Strait Street Its name is also a very apt description of its physical characteristics. Approximately 665 metres long and four metres wide, it’s the narrowest street in Valletta. While ‘stretta’ is still a commonly-used word in Italian to mean narrow, the word ‘strait’ in English is rather archaic for everyday usage, but it did mean “of limited spatial capacity; narrow or cramped”. From a linguistic point of view, Strait Street’s alternate name of ‘The Gut’, given to it by the British military, connotes a dark, dank area – in representation of the activities that took place there; however, this can be explored further. Another term for ‘gut’ is ‘belly’ which leads to ‘underbelly’ which,

figuratively speaking, means a ‘hidden, illicit side of society’ – a very apt description for the activities of Strait Street. Its (somewhat) horrible history Strait Street, or Strada Stretta as it was known back in the day when all Valletta’s street names were in Italian, held its title of ill-repute between the late-19th and mid20th century, a time when Malta was under British rule and eventually the target of heavy military fire during World War II. It was the latter which really boosted Strait Street’s numbers, with people looking for an escape from the grim realities of daily bombings. The cheap booze and thrills on offer were a welcome distraction from a harsh life for the locals and it was the heady nightlife spot for the American and British military men. During these wartime years, there was much intermingling between the classes and the nationalities, promoting a more inclusive society, and it was Strait Street which saw the locals mix with the English, Italian and Americans – especially in terms of language. The English language was widely spoken because of British rule and many Maltese who frequented the place were able to speak English to some degree – it was good for business, after all. →


16 · MONE Y

V A L L E T TA

ISSUE 53

The lighter affair Although the cheap alcohol was a definite crowd-puller, the general merriment that enveloped the area helped raise people’s spirits. Live music was extremely popular, especially jazz, and thanks to records brought over from the US, people began learning and playing the songs. The dulcet sounds of the piano, drums, saxophone and bass became commonplace in the street. Other forms of not-quite-innocent fun were also available, giving Strait Street its shady (yet honest) reputation which contrasts sharply with the Catholic status of the island. Once the sun set, the bars, bordellos and prostitutes were all open for business and, according to research, there was money to be made (especially in contrast to the weekly wage of a civil servant). Prostitutes were sought out by sailors who would have spent months at sea. Cross-dressing was a highlight of the area with a couple of particularly wellknown performers entertaining the crowds with their shows.

Although a lot of money exchanged hands and people were taking home a decent wage, regardless of how it was earned, once the war was over and the troops left, all the outlets began closing down as their clientele dwindled, and the people who made the street come alive – the barmaids, the musicians, the cross-dressers, the dancers – were no longer needed. The current state of affairs Nowadays, the lower part of Strait Street has been rebranded officially as The Gut – now it sounds cool, rather than sordid – and several old haunts have been (and are being) refurbished. The Gut is a select group of bars and eateries that form part of Valletta Boutique Living. Although the places are totally new and modern, some authentic features have been kept and restored which is a wonderful throwback to a time and place that has remained iconic. In 1965, there was a bar called the Egyptian Queen at the top of the street; however, there don’t seem to be any traces of it left, →


WAKE UP MALTA. Welcome to our new eye-opening store.

The bed you choose prepares you for whatever the day has in store for you. So choose carefully. Order our new eye-opening catalog at hastens.com. Be awake for the first time in your life.®

HÄSTENS STORE MALTA | VALLEY ROAD, BIRKIRKARA | PHONE: 21442535 | EMAIL: HASTENS@FORM.COM.MT


18 · MONEY

V A L L E T TA

ISSUE 53

…SOME AUTHENTIC FEATURES HAVE BEEN KEPT AND RESTORED WHICH IS A WONDERFUL THROWBACK TO A TIME AND PLACE THAT HAS REMAINED ICONIC. unlike the Silver Horse whose sign has been refurbished thanks to the regeneration plan set out for the area. Tico Tico is another legendary bar that withstood the test of time and is a now enjoying a successful time with its throwback look. The street also hosts the offices of several legal and financial institutions and its general reputation has certainly sky-rocketed in recent years.

When Valletta was announced as Capital of Culture for 2018, Strait Street was a project, branded to promote art, culture and entertainment. The music, alcohol and food are back as part of the regeneration of the area and the debauchery continues up until today, though in (mostly) far more respectable outlets as Strait Street is once again heaving with people (and the dancers and prostitutes are nowhere to be seen in the 21st century version of the street.)

If you’re really interested in a more detailed account of its past, local author George Cini wrote one of the most comprehensive books about Strait Street, entitled ‘Strada Stretta: It-Triq li Darba Xegħlet il-Belt’, in which he recounts the history of this iconic street through stories from the people who lived around the area and who shared their memories. While the area was certainly vibrant, it was inherently dodgy due to the poverty and hardships of the day.


#WeAreOrange Follow our story

expressgroup.com

LOOK FURTHER, THINK BIGGER Our ORANGE is the blend of long years of acquired EXPERIENCE, obsessive EXCELLENCE, and proven EXPERTISE in delivering your cargo, whatever it is, from wherever, to anywhere and however. Road | Rail | ocean | aiR

Express Group Malta | Velbro House, Qormi Road, Luqa LQA 9040, Malta Tel: (+356) 2124 2311 | info@expressgroup.com


20 ¡ MONEY

COVER STORY

ISSUE 53

LEGAL CHAIN MONEY speaks to legal tech professional Dr Ian Gauci and fintech expert Dr Abdalla Kablan at multidisciplinary law firm GTG Advocates & Wyzer, a firm binding law with tech to provide a one-stop-shop for clients in a world where technological developments are constantly pushing the boundaries. What is it that complements the two entities involved, that of GTG Advocates and Wyzer, to offer corporate, legal, regulatory and technological services under a single umbrella? The tie between GTG Advocates and Wyzer is nothing more than a representation of the recent developments and intersection in the realm of law and technology. GTG Advocates is a multidisciplinary law firm that has been heavily involved in the technological sector. Dr Ian Gauci, who spearheads Caledo’s legal team, is a leading technology lawyer and was one of the strategic advisors appointed by the Maltese Government on the National Blockchain

Strategy Taskforce. On the the other hand, Wyzer is a fintech company founded in 2017 by a team of technologists lead by Dr Abdalla Kablan specialising in Artificial Intelligence and Blockchain technology. While GTG Advocates focuses on assisting clients with corporate, legal and regulatory aspects, Wyzer focuses on assisting clients with technical advice such as system audits and technical administration, among others. What role do you see for artificial intelligence in the financial sphere? Has its potential been fully understood? The modelling of financial systems holds

great interest for researchers, investors and policymakers. Many of the characteristics of these systems, however, cannot be adequately captured by traditional approaches to financial modelling. Financial systems are complex, nonlinear, dynamically changing systems in which it is often difficult to identify interdependent variables and values. As a result of this intractability, researchers and investors have turned to artificial intelligence (AI) techniques to better inform their models, creating decision support systems that can help humans better understand complex financial systems such as stock markets. AI systems are much more efficient in identifying data patterns than humans are, which is beneficial for companies to understand their target audience and gain insight. Despite a lot of positive action towards the use of AI technology as a means of improving our financial sector, not all individuals have shared the same willingness to explore further horizons on such a subject.


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

Unfortunately, the lack of trust and regulation surrounding AI has decreased its popularity and in turn its use. AI still has a magnificent potential within our society which will only reach its full potential once several socioeconomic hurdles are surpassed. You describe Caledo as a ‘One-Stop Shop Bridging the Gap between Law and Tech’. Could you explain what the gap is? The phrase ‘bridging the gap’ should be understood as the unison of two disciplines, law and tech, which are traditionally considered as independent from one another. Contrary to this common perception, Caledo’s aim is to unite these two areas by running a disruptive technology business with diversified expertise. In a world where technological developments are constantly pushing the boundaries of current legislation, we believe that these two fields working hand in hand can create an eco-system where scientific development can thrive and technology can prosper. Caledo brings together advocates and fintech specialists in order to provide its clients with an exceptional service and a strong one-stopshop environment. How did the local Blockchain legislation help to create demand? At the EY conference last autumn, some speakers urged the government to refine its strategy with regards to some specific regulatory and

COVER STORY

proprietary issues. What do you think still needs to be done? Malta is officially the first country in the world to introduce a holistic legislative framework regulating Blockchain technologies. Unfortunately, the crypto world has been receiving a plethora of negative remarks with regards to the amounts of scams associated with crypto-related activities and ICOs. Luckily, the scope of having legislation as we do in Malta is to avoid such situations from unfolding. The law sets the bar high and as a result this attracts serious, professional innovators, making it reasonably difficult for scammers to set foot on our shores. Of course, being a pioneer in the field is no easy feat. One must try regulating the industry responsibly yet also reasonably in the sense that one must not stifle innovation. Malta has opted to be an innovator in this field — rather than learning from the mistakes of others. That could prove to be a risky strategy. Are you convinced that it can stay one step ahead of problems? Even though Malta has been a pioneer in the field, it would be foolish to think that everything will be plain sailing. To date, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) is still in the process of issuing licences to VFA Agents who, in turn, will assist and advise clients with the application for the full VFA Service Providers licence. The proof of the

MONEY · 21

pudding is in the eating and it is only a matter of time until we can see whether all the progress achieved so far will reap the rewards the industry deserves. You have already started to take part in conferences and roadshows overseas. What has the reaction been to Malta having been dubbed the Blockchain Island? The general reaction is excitement and curiosity as to how such a small island in the

THE PHRASE ‘BRIDGING THE GAP’ SHOULD BE UNDERSTOOD AS THE UNISON OF TWO DISCIPLINES, LAW AND TECH, WHICH ARE TRADITIONALLY CONSIDERED AS INDEPENDENT FROM ONE ANOTHER. middle of the Mediterranean has managed to take such a strong leap forward in terms of innovation and regulation. The element of scepticism remains, especially when it comes to banks. This is strongly overpowered by the sense of passion and commitment that is common among most of our European and non-European friends and colleagues who believe in our framework and seemingly share the same vision to make Malta become a true Blockchain Island. We plan to be ambassadors and role models of the Maltese entrepreneurial spirit and ingenuity. Caledo will be participating in prime events like the Malta AI & BC Summits and in the international arena where both of us have been invited to participate, in the past years. Caledo was born during the DELTA Summit last year, and we plan to celebrate our anniversary in style this October with all the local and international community during the second edition of Malta’s digital innovation event, The DELTA Summit 2019.


INTERIORS

22 · MONEY

Sarah is a public relations consultant and magazine editor who spends too much time looking up recipes. An avid reader and summer worshipper, Sarah survives the winter months by escaping to Gozo as often as she can.

THE WAY WE WORK As younger generations of workers continue to eschew traditional working models for flexibility and independence, the workspace of the 21st century continues to evolve. Sarah Kennard looks at factors that drive this change and trends which go beyond the already ubiquitous desks and social ‘break’ sofas to reveal a workplace future that is healthy, harmonious and happy. Moving from traditional desks in separate offices through to the cubicle farms of the 1980s, and back to the more informal, open plan spaces favoured by Modernist architects, every change in the workspace has been matched by the onslaught of technology’s relentless advancement, as pen and paper gave way to the typewriter and the typewriter to personal computers, laptops and smart phones. But the office of the future is about more than just the changing faces of physical space and the constantly evolving technology which surrounds it. The world of office design has undoubtedly shifted from a traditional focus on functionality to becoming an increasingly staff centric exercise. If you think about it, the office space experience is now a commonly used phrase within the design vernacular. Employees want a workplace that serves as a community and which will improve their well-

being. And as how we work and the work itself changes in nature and method, so then the design of the workplace continues to evolve in order to meet future needs. And while millennials are often referred to as a primary reason behind how modern businesses are reacting to their demands, it must be said that a truly successful working environment is one which caters for a fully diverse workforce, including women, working mothers and across all age demographics. As the lines between work, home, and social life become increasingly blurred, the workplace experience and how attractive a proposition it is to come into work every day, will ultimately determine the type of person your business will attract and the talent your business needs and wants. And while trends will continue to affect and reshape the workplace, the real conversation in moving forward needs to emphasize what the real value in providing a happy harmonious workplace will give back to the

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

INTERIORS

MONEY · 23

business. While the rise of smart devices, highly accessible wi-fi spots, wearable technology and a move towards remote working and virtual conferencing has reduced the need for permanent or fixed workspaces, there will always be the need for a physical workspace and a bit of good old human interaction to partner it. So, getting it as right as possible is the first step to a successful business. So how is the office changing now, and where is it headed tomorrow? Here are some trends, some revolutionary and some less so but equally important. Technology The digital revolution has disrupted everything including what we’ve come to expect from our work environment, Technology has changed the way we work with innovations such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Internet of Things. As the use of AI-enabled technology becomes more available, it disrupts the way work is perceived and carried out. We are not that far away from apps taking on many of our daily tasks, such as scheduling meetings or producing reports. As technology becomes more sophisticated, it may drastically alter what we do in the course of a workday and may impact how we design the spaces where people work. Innovative office design

↑ Acoustic panels by Dex Workspaces, Mdina road, Qormi.

Employees have certain expectations about their workspaces in today’s modern world, expecting innovative use of design, great friendly communal spaces and high-tech →


24 · MONE Y

INTERIORS

ISSUE 53

↑ Height adjustable desk by Dex Workspaces, Mdina Road, Qormi

software. This means that organisations will need to place emphasis on and allocate budget for improving office culture through office design – especially if aiming to attract top talent. Focusing on employee mental and physical wellness is a key place to start – from the quality of tea, coffee and snacks on offer, to the ability to provide and store bikes, to planning large-scale renovations for recreational areas and turning unused outdoor spaces into workstations or chill-out pods.

↑ Acoustic room by Dex Workspaces, Mdina road, Qormi

we expect to see more and more of these types of spaces become commonplace in the modern workplace. By sticking to library rules – no mobiles, no talking and critically no interruptions – these spaces provide a quiet space so often needed during a long working day.

sources for powering the office, a sustainable environment also contributes to creating healthier offices that help to reduce stress, with a more sustainable and respectful view of the environment.

A green connection

The days of pallid beige soulless walks are finally over as the edgy vibrant colour used last year continues to provide splashes of colour. 2019 also sees a more mindful approach when choosing colour schemes. Some savvy businesses incorporate brand colours to reflect the company culture and make everyone feel more connected to the company and mission.

Colour up

Where old meets new While not entirely new, the trend of restoring old and iconic buildings is, thankfully, gaining more credence and is hopefully set to gain ground this year. This trend is so much more than simply adding a nod to the past through the addition of old or retro furniture. It focuses on working with older buildings and spaces and injecting new life into them through a variety of materials and textures, while preserving the craftsmanship built into the existing architecture. Go to the library A key office design trend set to kick in this year is library spaces in the workspace. As the need to concentrate and to take time out to collect thoughts on a project(s) increase,

The connection with nature helps everyone relax, take a breath or a step back to pause and reflect and make them feel better in that environment. The trend of bringing nature indoors continues as more and more organisations add plants and living walls to their offices and continue to invest in any outdoor space available. Any space that is restful and allows staff to organise more informal meetings, find inspiration or relax before working on a task that requires concentration are always more pleasant and allow people to be more creative. And now, companies are going beyond the use of plants and shrubs, to apply the idea of 'green' to other areas; from banning plastic bottles and cups to investing in renewable energy

Let there be light Numerous studies have connected the dots to a healthy relationship between natural light and the health and happiness of employees. A recent UK YouGov survey found that one in three UK office workers interviewed would like to see more natural light in their workplace.



DESIGN

26 · MONEY

ISSUE 53

Dayna is a senior speech therapist by day and feature writer by night. When she’s not busy fixing words, she is travelling the world to add to her fridge magnet collection.

Dayna Clarke goes on the hunt for final year degree students from MCAST, whose online portfolios make us a tad green with envy as they shake the local design scene. Some of Money Magazine’s favourite projects come from design students who believe in their work enough to go after the recognition they deserve. These determined creatives recognise that it doesn’t take decades of experience to create something of merit, and that’s exactly how they rise to the top, with

sheer creativity, a willingness to learn and the motivation to succeed. Honouring the up-coming designers just getting started in the field is one of the many reasons we looked forward to compiling this design edition.

TYLER CALLEJA JACKSON 25, Birzebbugia / Studying - BA (Hons) in Photography

What inspired you to follow this path? Every single day since secondary school, I have always wanted to capture and create

content. My father used to do photography as a hobby and that always intrigued me. Years later, I am now in my final year for my Bachelor of Arts in Photography and super


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

DESIGN

MONEY · 27

excited to continue working in my profession, working with fellow local artists and collaborating on projects. What’s been your greatest achievement to date? The greatest achievement for me was that I continued to study and pursue my profession even after a two-year break from college. I started working full-time with a company, in a field completely unrelated to what I studied. Throughout those two years, I felt a growing urge to go back to college and start my BA in photography. Now, three years down the line, I am months away from graduating! To date, this is my greatest achievement as I have challenged myself and kept pushing myself forward to create and document through photography. Can you tell us about your final year project? My thesis is based on the Representation in Portraiture: Intellectual Disability. The project is entirely based on becoming friendly with certain individuals who have an intellectual disability in order for them to allow me within their comfortable, safe space. While interviewing them, I will be photographing their portraits, highlighting their attire, physical behaviour, expressions and background. The reason for this is to highlight how people with intellectual disabilities

represent themselves in a different but similar way as we all do on a day-to-day basis, however, more specifically. They may not be able to express themselves in words but they can express their thoughts through their portrait. What are your plans following graduation? The plan is to move to Amsterdam and find a job in photography working in a studio

(hopefully). Amsterdam is a dream place for me to live as it is rich in culture and has a lovely lifestyle for a young artist who has moved away from home for the first time. It also had the opportunity of providing photography jobs for people who have spent years perfecting themselves. Unfortunately, in Malta, I feel the profession is not yet fully supported. www.tylercallejajackson.com


DESIGN

28 ¡ MONEY

SHIRLEY-ANNE BALDACCHINO 22, Zebbug / Studying - BA (Hons) in Spatial Design

What inspired you to follow this path? I always had a passion for both art and design. After getting my diploma and a higher national diploma in art and design, I decided to pursue further my passion in this industry. I chose spatial design because it appealed to me as a career path and the idea of designing a space for others to live, work or use daily is something that excites me. What’s been your greatest achievement to date? I believe that my greatest achievements to date are being trusted with live case studies throughout the last two years. I was asked multiple times to work in residential spaces, mainly by young couples who are moving into new homes, which I think is a good

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

DESIGN

MONEY ¡ 29

accomplishment for someone who is still studying. Can you tell us about your final year project? My final year project is exploring the benefits of designing a dementia-friendly ward. My research is being done to create awareness about dementia and to improve the well-being and environment of care homes and wards: studying in depth how colour, materials, lighting and the overall layout plans of the space can promote orientation, encourage communication between patients and staff and help both mentally and physically the people using the space. What are your plans following graduation? After graduation, my aim is to design spaces that will help others. Apart from my interest in residential and commercial design, I am highly interested in designing for a need and purpose, for example designing hospitals, care homes, shelters, and being able to design spaces for people with special needs. www.shirleybaldacchino.com

→


30 · MONEY

DESIGN

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

DESIGN

MONE Y · 31

GEORGE LEWIS 24, Qormi / BA (Hons) in Graphic Design

What inspired you to follow this path? Before I applied for this degree I used to work as a website administrator with a local company. I worked for three years until I realised that I am passionate about graphic design. This job experience served me as an inspiration to get to know what career path I wanted to follow. What’s been your greatest achievement to date? In the first year of the course, I was selected to participate in an Erasmus+ project “Becoming a designer in Europe”. The project’s ultimate goals were to broaden students’ professional horizons and promote movement amongst aspiring designers from diverse fields across Europe. This project so far was my greatest achievement. My toughest challenge so far was also within my first year. Since I was working before I decided to apply for this course, I found

the first month of school very difficult, demanding and difficult to adapt to school life. Can you tell us about your final year project? My final year project is based on branding. Something that I want to further my knowledge upon is the process and approaches that must be taken to evolve an organisation into a global brand, and what are the responsibilities of designers within that organisation. What are your plans following graduation? After graduation, I would like to find a job as a graphic designer within the industry in order to get the necessary hands on experience – after some years of working in the field, I would consider opening up my own business independently. www.lewisgeorge.com Photos by Malcolm Agius Photography


INTERIORS

32 · MONEY

ISSUE 53

Duncan has over two decades of experience in feature writing and journalism. He is also a freelance writer. In 2012, he was the national winner of the EU Health Prize for Journalists.

MUŻa - a work of art Duncan Barry interviews senior curator at MUŻA, Sandro Debono, who gives a run-through of the development, design and lay-out of our national community art museum – a building which held many surprises as the project went along. Who was tasked with the design of the Malta National Community Art Museum known as MUŻA? The museum designers were chosen following an international competition launched in December 2013. From the record number of submissions received, the one submitted jointly by DTR architects, Cyan Engineering, Martellomedia and Marie Louise Musumeci, was the one that was chosen. This team worked closely with Heritage Malta staff on

the development of a theoretical framework for the restoration of the building, the design and layout of the collection and display. The decisions that were implemented and the theoretical frameworks developed were all informed by extensive research which began way back and which continued throughout the duration of the project. This also led to significant results which informed the project in many ways, given that what was potentially available in archives, could be tallied and compared with discoveries made on site.


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

What kind of identity did the designer want to create or expose? The restoration of the building is inspired by Pierre Nora's lieu de memoire concept (place of memory), which speaks about the equal meaning and significance of each historic layer. To this effect no one layer is more important than the other and there were truly no accretions to remove. Instead, competing layers would be balanced out thanks to surgical interventions whereby only what is absolutely necessary for a better reading of the historic structure would be removed. There is also innovation in the ways and means how the display was developed. Concepts like Bo Bardi glass easels were rethought to present portraits and particular paintings and installations, also informed

INTERIORS

by the cabinet of curiosities concept, used to present complex stylistic arguments. The general approach was one dictated by the need for innovation and a radically different approach in comparison to traditional museums. Can the building cater for any style in terms of exhibits, be it modern or contemporary? The building itself is a container and great care was taken to restore it independently of the fact that it had to house a historic collection. It can certainly take any style given that it is a neutral space with no hint of colour, save for the paintings in the collection which are the real reason why the project was taken up in the first place. Auberge d'Italie can certainly take any style and the display itself is proof of this.

MONEY · 33

What was the main challenge of the project? The main challenge was undoubtedly the building itself and its history. We thought that we had a clear picture when the project took off but the building held many surprises as we moved forward which meant that the original project had to be rethought in part, sometimes quite extensively. This is the case with the discovery of the main staircase of the building originally demolished around 1850. Indeed, this would have easily been one of the most important staircases on the island which we reconstructed by making use of contemporary materials. The building is also a Grade A scheduled structure which meant that all works on site required the necessary endorsement by the planning authority. On one occasion, →


34 · MONEY

an extensive intervention on the facade overlooking Pjazza de Valette had to be endorsed by UNESCO before the local authorities could move forward with the necessary clearances. This was indeed a huge challenge. What is the key feature of the building?

INTERIORS

There is more than one feature which warrants a mention. The use of TECU, a copper-plated aluminium purposely produced for MUŻA and in use for the first time ever, is a choice dictated by the need to develop interpretative design. Any cuts in the building or shifting levels corresponding to different ages and centuries are highlighted

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

INTERIORS

and underpinned with this material. The staircase itself rests on a carpet-like TECU layer which underpins the distinction between original footpath and adjustments in response to a necessary compromise to keep the historic layering as intact as possible. Indeed, there are key features such as the main staircase or the main hall (known as Camerone) which are main areas worthy of study but what is perhaps key is the methodology developed, the use of TECU, a bespoke material used within the need for interpretative design, and the way the collection integrates and complements the use of space.

MONEY · 35

MUŻA is also a net-zero carbon footprint museum which is an absolute first for Malta and among the first European museums to adopt an environmental policy and objective at project development phase. MUŻA generates its own energy requirements through PV panels purposely installed on site but it also succeeded in significant reduction of consumption through energy savings thanks to LED lighting technology, the intelligent use of the thermal mass of the building and the effective use of double glazing. This was not an easy objective to achieve given that we're talking about a historic building with a complex layering that was also quite difficult to understand.


POLITICS

36 ¡ MONEY

Manuel is a political blogger who writes for The Sunday Times and manueldelia.com.

Designing Fairness

An uneven playing field comes about for businesses if corruption is not checked. Business success ends up dependent on politicians and public procurement. Political analyst Manuel Delia explains that it is paramount for businesses to see that ethical conduct supercedes political favour for a more inclusive and sustainable growth for all.

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

Business does not ask much from politics. That is a space where less is indeed more. Too much politics and it becomes harder to take decisions as goal posts shift and it becomes harder to predict what laws the business will need to be obeying a year from now. Ask UK-based businesses or those that trade with the UK about its supply chain or as a market and investment destination. It’s bad enough that in almost any commercial perspective, Brexit is regressive and disadvantageous. Not actually knowing the details of what the bad news will look like in the end makes things much harder. But there are basic requirements, dead certainties that business expects from the political framework in order to thrive. Firstly, legal certainty. The rules need to be known and even as they change and evolve with time they must follow a logic that ensures consistency among multiple rules. You would want to be able to check the rules before acting rather than expect to be corrected after the fact. That means that you

POLITICS

would expect everyone else to be governed by the same rules you are. Secondly, the rule of law. That means a number of things in this context. Among them, and this is not an exhaustive list, it means that decisions are taken on the basis of rules, not on the basis of the whims and interests of those taking the decision. It also means that when someone breaks the rules they ought to reasonably expect to face consequences. And it means that the same behaviour by different people would lead to the same result in legal terms. If you cheat and I cheat, we’ll both be punished in accordance with the scale of our crimes and misdemeanours. If you don’t have those two very basic pillars, everything else you hope for from your political leadership is uncertain, if not pointless. Advantageous fiscal policy is unhelpful if it is temporary, volatile and implemented haphazardly and unfairly. Political stability is not as attractive as it sounds if it consolidates error. Ultimately, whatever else you might add to it, business sustainability and the attractiveness of giving life to new ideas requires one underlying quality: fairness. If one loses confidence that those efforts have a fair chance of reward without the need of favouritism or corruption, then people will shy away from taking risks. And risks are the basic energy of entrepreneurship. It is in this context that though intuitively suspicious of too much politics, the Maltese business community should be absorbing the observations about Malta’s state of democratic life from various bodies such as

MONEY · 37

the Venice Commission. Some details may look esoteric at first and matters for the narrow concern of specialists. Why should business concern itself with the manner of choice of judges, say? And why is it more important to concern oneself about limits to the power of the prime minister, when it is easier to befriend the incumbent while he is at his most effective? It may sound callous but why should business even care when the community is warned its democracy is dysfunctional? Does business even need democracy to thrive? Aren’t authoritarian regimes, like China for example, successful and profitable environments for aggressive commercial growth? A normative argument for democracy, ranking it above other political systems, is relevant in other contexts. But in the commercial context, like every other thing, democracy too must pass the test of any other commercial decision: does it make business sense? The case I make here is that the concentration of power in the hands of a prime minister, even within the limits of existing rules, is a real threat to business viability. That may not be immediately obvious, particularly when prime ministers exercise restraint and govern as enlightened despots. But when an individual’s success becomes dependant on proximity to people in political power, corruption is soon to follow. Corruption is not the monopoly of failed democracies. No polity is immune from favouritism, nepotism, and the subservience of objective priorities to a ranking of individual or group interests. Democratic design does not inoculate democracies from corruption. It gives them the cells it needs to fight it, contain it and defeat it when it arises. If corruption is not checked, that level playing field of fairness that business needs to succeed is vitiated to the point where in place of legal certainty, businesses are at the mercy of the whims and fancies of hidden or complex interests. →


38 · MONEY

The short-term solution is the classic ‘can’tbeat-them-so-join-them’ philosophy. But the continuous auction for political favour artificially inflates costs, and the uncertainty of winning that auction and beating others to the sympathy of people in political power, transforms a commercial risk into a senseless gamble. Maltese businesses are experiencing this in a profound manner. For some time everyone has understood that the warm glow of the prime minister’s circle is an uncompromising necessity for business prosperity. They are the only party in town. Whether with outward sympathy and support or with conspicuous neutrality, the business community understands that the hurdles of bureaucracy and access are only overcome if you’re not dragged down by the antipathy of those in power. But things are becoming even more dramatic. The local business community remains reliant on government procurement. The public sector remains a massive consumer and its expenditure an almost inevitable driver for much business growth. Fairness in public procurement is desirable under any circumstances, to ensure a proper return of value on the public’s expense, say. But in an economy where access to public

POLITICS

procurement is the difference between commercial sustainability and bankruptcy, fairness in public procurement is needed for businesses to have a chance of success that is directly proportionate to the quality of their offer and the effort they put into it. Anecdotally, confidence in public procurement is at its lowest in living memory.

ISSUE 53

…THE CONTINUOUS AUCTION FOR POLITICAL FAVOUR ARTIFICIALLY INFLATES COSTS, AND THE UNCERTAINTY OF WINNING THAT AUCTION AND BEATING OTHERS TO THE SYMPATHY OF PEOPLE IN POLITICAL POWER, TRANSFORMS A COMMERCIAL RISK INTO A SENSELESS GAMBLE.

Couple that with the acquisition of the most valuable asset one can have in our specific economic context: land. In this case ‘procurement’ is not the most accurate term: ‘disposal’ is closer to the mark. The disposal of public land is in theory governed by strict use of public utility. This has been diluted to a wide extent equating commercial profit with public utility by the stretched notion that commercial enterprise has a wide community benefit. Even allowing for this post-welfare idea, the argument would apply if everyone gets a fair chance to pitch for that commercial profit. This has not been the case at all. Disposal has not been granted under fair, equitable, transparent and open processes. The opposite is true. But here the consequence is not merely an unfair advantage to the awardees. Those who are not allowed to build their

business on cheaply parcelled public land start at a net disadvantage which, in a small island, is the difference between a shot at commercial success or an impossible shortfall in a commercial sense. Demanding changes in these rules and the way they are implemented is demanding an interest in political design. It is stepping outside the glow of personal favour and into the realm of campaigning for Constitutional reform. It is high time for the local business community to have a hard think about what it really needs from its politics.


NEXT EDITION APRIL ‘19


40 · MONEY

PROMO

ISSUE 53

In bed with… HÄSTENS MONEY interviews Form sales manager Julian Galea on Hästens, the luxury bed that takes tradesmen hours on end to handcraft to perfection. Available in Malta through Form, the local company renowned for its own luxurious mattresses, Hästens uses materials that make our night’s sleep a heavenly one. Form is renowned for being an expert in selling mattresses; why Hästens? Form has been supplying quality mattresses and beds since its inception in 1947. Seeing both my dad’s generation and mine brought up with bedding as a part of our lives, we felt that it was now time to take this legacy to another level. Hästens is a very simple product which has been perfected over the 167-year history of the company. Although simple in terms of what it is made of — natural materials — the complexity is how to achieve such an amazing product with such simple components. Once we were properly introduced to the Hästens world, we were totally transformed.

What sets Hästens in a class of its own? Hästens is very different from most other mattress brands. The beauty of this brand is that all mattresses are made from the same materials, namely cotton, wool, spring, flax and horse-tail hair and are all put together passionately by hand by highly trained people in the small Swedish town of Koping. The difference between the mattress models is the layers or quantity of natural fillings used and some other important details such as the side stitching, so ultimately there is a Hästens bed for all pockets but all delivering a good sleep Hästens is renowned for. It is amazing that in 2019 you can still find a global brand in a highly developed

country which does it all by hand with no rush to speed up production — and done to perfection. What has been your personal experience of Hästens? Is it a case of once you've tried it, you’ll never go back to a ‘normal mattress’? I am very critical about mattresses and I always wished to sleep on a soft bed which will give me the right support and this is an extremely difficult thing to achieve. Most people think that a hard mattress is good for you but it certainly is not and will definitely not enhance your sleep. However, soft mattresses can be equally problematic as most soft mattresses collapse after some time due to their inability to provide the right durability. Another problem is that most mattresses use a lot of synthetic materials such as foams, polyester fibre and polyester covers to give a commercial look and provide an initial good feel but they are also heat generating materials which ultimately retain moisture in the mattress and which therefore affect sleep negatively.


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

PROMO

M O N E Y · 41

With Hästens all this is history. The use of natural materials work in sync to create long-lasting resilient comfort and ultimate breathability, thereby keeping the mattress dry and fresh throughout the various heat peaks during the night. Do you believe there is a market in Malta? I believe that there is definitely more awareness about the benefits of a good sleep in Malta now than before. It cannot be said that the Maltese bedding market is a sophisticated one and has been influenced by terms like ‘orthopaedic’, giving the impression that mattresses have to be hard to provide proper body support. Form has never gone down that road and has always maintained that a good mattress is one that provides proper body alignment combined with comfort and other benefits related to health and hygiene. When we talk about Hästens, we are speaking about the realm of supreme comfort apart from other benefits and this is difficult to achieve unless you realise that investing in a super bed pays dividends and makes you want to go to bed and stay there. Many have noticed that this experience is achievable when staying in some super hotels and understand what it means to sleep well and wake up in good form. Hästens is all about providing a great night’s sleep in comfort which, in turn, gives an amazing wake-up.

Apart from the subject of materials, what is important is the result and Hästens delivers on all counts. What would you say to those people who cannot even begin to imagine spending more than €600 on a mattress? Like all other outstanding products, whether it’s a car, a watch, jewellery, a boat, good wine, or anything else, quality bedding comes at a price. Naturally, not everybody is willing to spend even €600 on a mattress, let alone

much more. My answer is that it is a matter of priority and there are people out there who rightfully believe that a luxury mattress will change their life, giving quality to their lifestyle. What I can say is that the Hästens range is varied in terms of price and each mattress is excellent value for money and provides outstanding sleep. Personally, after having experienced Hästens, I can say that once you try a mattress of theirs, you will no doubt make it a point to start considering investing in one.


PROMO

42 · MONE Y

YOU’VE GOT MAIL

ISSUE 53

MONEY interviews Ryan Galea, chief executive officer at Mailbox Distribution Services, on the effectiveness of door-todoor distribution and how his company is tackling the long-standing issue of junk mail.

Give us a brief of how you started, and about your company? I started off Mailbox Distribution around 15 years ago when businesses in Malta were still rather sceptical about the effectiveness of door-to-door and direct mail distribution. I made the move to branch out in this field after having gained experience as a head of another distribution company. Today I am proud that Mailbox evolved to a major player in the industry and is widely recognised as a leading door-todoor distribution company on the island, with a prestigious portfolio of businesses who entrust us with their various direct marketing campaigns. With the influx of all the latest digital technologies, the biggest challenge we face today is keeping up with all current innovations to be in the best possible position to serve our clients. What’s in the offing to mark the company’s 15th year of operation?

ON A LIGHTER NOTE, WE HAVE COME ACROSS CASES OF HOME OWNERS RUMMAGING THROUGH THE LETTERBOXES OF NEIGHBOURS TO RETRIEVE SOME EXTRA REDEEMABLE COUPONS AND VOUCHERS.

During the last few months, our portal underwent a revamp; our website is a very important tool as it gives existing and prospective clients a snapshot of our services along with information on our operations and the areas we deliver to.

We have also boosted our social media presence with targeted campaigns in a bid to highlight our various direct marketing services.

We have also focused our attention on upgrading and improving our service and standards and we are also implementing new systems to be able to constantly enhance the service to our clients. These measures

will enable us to maintain our position as the leading distribution company in the years to come. Your services include door-to-door


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

PROMO

marketing. Is it still effective these days when there’s online social media or does this method reach an audience that is not normally reached through social media? Yes, door-to-door marketing is to this day still regarded as one of the most cost-effective mediums available. This is confirmed by the increasing number of requests from new clients year after year. Despite the exponential growth of Facebook and Instagram, there is still a large part of the population who still want to receive seasonal and special offers and promotions in print format. Have you any statistics to show whether catalogues, flyers or magazines delivered door-to-door are mostly read and not placed in the trash? We are constantly conducting perception surveys which give us an overview of what is being done with flyers, magazines and other printed promotional material as soon as they are retrieved from the letter box.

MONEY · 43

material as it provides information on a range of offers, discounts and promotions from various outlets. On a lighter note, we have come across cases of home owners rummaging through letterboxes of neighbours to retrieve some extra redeemable coupons and vouchers!

We understand that clients’ requirements vary from one sector to another – this is why all our plans are fully customisable as per the necessities of any particular campaign.

Going back to the “No Junk Mail” issue, I can confirm that Mailbox is presently working on a new scheme whereby clients with this request

As already outlined, we have experienced increases in the number of bookings for doorto-door distribution year after year. In recent

Have you seen any new trends in recent years in the bookings you receive?

MAILBOX IS PRESENTLY WORKING ON A NEW SCHEME WHEREBY CLIENTS WITH THE NO JUNK MAIL REQUEST CAN OPT TO RECEIVE PROMOTIONAL MESSAGES IN AN ALTERNATIVE FORMAT.

Naturally, results vary according to the market and sector type. Another important variant is the location, but invariably statistics are showing us that in the main, distributed material is read rather than immediately thrown away. Many people feel that door-to-door is contributing to junk mail and is unwanted while others cannot do without it as it gives them opportunities to pinpoint good offers on products and services. What is your take on this? We believe that the number of people who are environmentally conscious are on the rise. In this regard, Mailbox fully respects any 'No Junk Mail' notices to the extent that any such addresses are struck off from our distribution list and database. However, we can confirm that the majority are willing to receive promotional printed

can opt to receive promotional messages in an alternative format. More details on this initiative will be revealed in the coming months. You are a one-stop shop solution when it comes to direct marketing since you offer different services. Do you support clients in choosing who to target in door-to-door distribution, just as an advert on Facebook does demographically? Although distribution will always remain our core business, you can call us a one-stopshop solution as through our various partners we offer a range of diverse services such as production, printing, and hand-enclosing services. All Mailbox sales team are highly trained to support and assist each client in choosing the best locations and areas for a targeted promotional campaign and business activity.

years there has been a surge in flyers and catalogues promoting FMCG products and supermarkets. Other notable increases are in the home products, furniture and appliances industries and food and hospitality (takeaway menus and so on). The fashion and clothing industries, which up to a few years ago hardly engaged in distribution marketing, are now actively looking at this medium as an integral part of their marketing mix. Any future plans and any new services are being added to your list? The company is going through a restructuring process – some changes and upgrades have already been executed while some others will be actuated in the coming months. Moving forward, the company’s focus will continue to be that of giving more quality than quantity to our existing and prospective client portfolio.


COUNTRY REPORT

44 · MONEY

ISSUE 53

MONEY analyses the effects of the Yellow Vest protests, such as predictions that France’s economic growth is likely to falter, and not reach its initial predictions of 2.3%. Who do you think would have most to lose from the "Gilet Jaunes" or "Yellow Vest" protests which began in France in midNovember? The answer is not at all intuitive: Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. Why? Because when a government is under pressure to reduce deficits but appeases its citoyens, more taxes are not an option – unless they come from companies which can be justifiably squeezed. The tech giants have managed to operate without paying any taxes to France for many years and the European Union is already looking at how to curb the abuse. In France, it is estimated that they owe €500 million, which would go some way

80,000

protesters across the country

towards taking the sting out of the looming deficit. Of course, this is not what the protesters had in mind when they took to the streets. Their original protest was against higher fuel taxes, but scrapping them did not do much to appease the Yellow Jackets, and over the past two months, the protests have evolved into a demonstration against the government itself. And time does not seem to be dulling their rage: on January 19, over 80,000 took part in protests across the country. Such widespread unease takes its toll on the economy. Business and retail associations

3.2%

increase in the GDP

€10B

in damages and lost sales

33

250

€15B

€10M

emergency vehicles destroyed

worth of financial packages offered

sites impacted by the protests

worth of damage to the French capital

estimate that companies have sustained losses of more than €10 billion in damages and lost sales, and this figure is set to rise as the protests continue. Since protesters blocked roads for extended periods, agriculture was also affected, with delays in delivery resulting in an estimated €13 billion in losses, according to an industry group. And of course, tourists have stayed away with hotels reporting cancellations rates of up to 25 per cent. All of which makes the €500 million in taxes seem like a paltry remedy. Just how bad were things in France? The fifth largest economy in the world and the third in the eurozone represents around a fifth of the eurozone gross domestic product (GDP), but tepid growth has resulted in a persistent unemployment rate of around nine per cent, which has been a headache for a decade. And turning that around will not be easy without growth. The economy had already slowed to 1.8 per cent annual growth and the forecast is that it will get worse, not better. And as we all know, perception is half the battle. It did not help that as the Yellow Jacket protests started to gain momentum, the central bank downgraded its forecast for the fourth quarter of 2018 to just 0.2 per cent from 0.4 per cent. How was President Macron intending to turn things around? He wanted to avoid quick fixes, preferring to focus on a way to slowly but surely build up sustainable growth. The problem with this approach is that people’s


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

expectations rarely give politicians any leeway, and his determination to stick to his plans merely served to anger those on the streets who felt that their plight and deteriorating standards of living were being ignored. Macron was determined to bring the budget under control, and was planning cuts that would have hurt low-income earners but helped the wealthy. He did eventually promise to cut taxes and assist those who could not make ends meet, including a €100 monthly bonus for those on the minimum wage. But he stuck to his guns with regards to his plan to reform the labour market, a poisoned chalice that his predecessors have largely shied away from. That, at least, has reassured investors, providing some comfort for Macron, who managed to improve foreign investment since he came to power, including Amazon and Facebook among others. This is also one of the reasons why he had refused to backtrack on the tax break for the wealthy, a €3 billion loss of revenue which has yet to reap rewards.

COUNTRY REPORT

…THE FRENCH GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO WIN OVER THE PROTESTERS WITH OTHER MEASURES, FROM EXTENDED DEADLINES FOR TAX PAYMENTS, TO THE OPTION FOR SHOPS TO OPEN ON SUNDAY, WHICH HAD BEEN RESISTED FOR DECADES.

MONEY · 45

↑ Christophe Dettinger, a former light heavyweight champion, caught on camera punching two riot officers during the Yellow Vest protests in France.

All Macron can hope for is that the measures he has taken will trickle down through the economy, boosting household income and in turn domestic demand, while re-assuring investors that he would not waver on longterm reforms.

Report, issued to coincide with the World Economic Forum gathering in Davos, found that the level of distrust of governments (and the media) increased by three per cent over 2018, and it forecast that the protests seen in France would likely spread to other countries too.

Of course, France does not exist in a bubble. Germany’s economy grew at 1.5 per cent in 2018, the slowest rate in about six years. And since its neighbour is France’s largest trading partner – accounting for more than 17 per cent of France’s exports and 19 per cent of total imports – that could also take its toll going forward.

Had it not been for the protests, the government was hoping for economic growth of 2.3 per cent in 2019 – but it now seems more likely to hover around 1.5-1.6 per cent.

Brexit has also caused headaches, with the French government investing heavily in the Channel port infrastructure in anticipation of chaos and long back-logs if there is no deal.

Economists urge Macron to hold firm, but they are not the ones who have to face the electorate. The Edelman Trust Barometer

Some analysts are bleaker than others in their words. Focus Economics quoted those who were appeased by Macron’s resolve, but even fretted about how much wriggle room he would have with a deficit in the EU’s red card zone.

The protesters’ agenda is very different to that of the strategists who are looking for structural reform. Whether France sinks or swims in 2019 depends on whether the latter are able to convince the former that their patience would be rewarded.

WHERE DID THE NAME 'yellow vests' ORIGINATE?

The yellow vests movement or yellow jackets movement began in France in 2018. After an online petition posted in May had attracted nearly a million signatures, mass demonstrations began on November 17. The movement is motivated by rising fuel prices, high cost of living, and claims that a disproportionate burden of

the government’s tax reforms are falling on the working and middle-class. The movement of Gilet Jaunes is named after the yellow highvisibility emergency jackets French motorists must carry in their vehicles as French law requires. The vests are also associated with working-class industries.

Scrapping the fuel tax and abandoning the taxes on low-income workers and retirees will cost as much as €15 billion and will push France’s deficit deeper into trouble, over the EU’s threshold of three per cent of gross domestic product. Meanwhile, the French government is trying to win over the protesters with other measures, from extended deadlines for tax payments, to the option for shops to open on Sunday, which had been resisted for decades.


MARKETING DESIGN

46 · MONEY

Luke is a digital specialist who works at Switch - Digital & Brand who would rather talk about marketing, pop-culture or what’s trending on Twitter than try to think of a way to describe himself.

GAME PLAN Luke Azzopardi delves into some powerful factors that are sure to inspire and help you gain the upper hand, driving your business forward.

Why should a business invest in a unified, fully integrated look for their company? Why not just go for the most cost-effective way of presenting your business? Many feel that as long as their business seems relatively professional and organised, their potential customers will then make their decisions based upon the tangible benefits and features of their products. Right?

same overall feeling of minimalism and appreciation of beautiful design. This is one of the reasons people will keep going back to Apple. Seeing the same palette of carefully chosen colours in a mobile app as you would see in a brick and mortar store can be as convincing as having the best pricing and features. 2 It amplifies your message

Here are five reasons why a business requires consistent design and why those extra funds you allocate to your business cards and online touch-points may be worth more than you think! 1 Good design is psychologically satisfying How does Apple get away with charging exorbitant prices for a mobile phone versus competitors? Apple’s design language has been carefully built and maintained over years and years, and browsing their online store, walking through an Apple Store and using one of their products give the

If the overall message your business is trying to convey with its offering is “we sell premium products and we take pride in our attention to detail”, but your website doesn’t format properly for mobile users, or hasn’t been updated in a while, then you have a conflicting message. People who are unfamiliar with your industry will most likely rely on what they find online and what they see in advertisements, and if the high-quality design and marketing message that they saw on a billboard is well replicated on your social media page and website, then that message will be more effective and more memorable.

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

MARKETING DESIGN

3 It helps induce trial In today’s age of information and product availability overflow, customers are overwhelmed with choices and options. Your business may indeed have the best service in the market. However, if the way the company is represented visually does not convey the same message, it will most likely be overlooked in favour of one with a fresher coat of paint. Humans are biologically visual creatures and take many decisions based on what is more aesthetically pleasing and on what feels right. This is especially effective when attempting to induce trial. Simply put: presented with two identical products, the average person will choose the one which looks better. 4 It’s easier to remember Almost each and every one of us can recall an advertising jingle they’ve heard in the past. If you hear or see something often enough, you are able to recall it even decades later. Having consistently repeated design across

HUMANS ARE BIOLOGICALLY VISUAL CREATURES AND TAKE MANY DECISIONS BASED ON WHAT IS MORE AESTHETICALLY PLEASING AND ON WHAT FEELS RIGHT… all touch-points of your brand or company will always aid recall. Using the same palette of colours across your logo, social media pages, advertisements etc. could be the extra edge needed when a potential customer, for example, is picking out a product from a supermarket shelf. People remember things that they’ve seen

MONE Y · 47

easily if they’ve seen it in more than one context. Therefore, if you’ve seen a colour pattern on an advertisement, even if you don’t remember what the advertisement was about, then when you see the same pattern on a product in a store, you might make the connection anyway. 5 Above all, it’s emotional We’re not talking tear-jerking emotional, we’re talking about the fact that great design makes people feel rather than think. “People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.” Simon Sinek spoke these words during a Ted Talk a few years back, (if you haven’t heard of him we encourage a quick online search). In a nutshell, his theory is that marketing messages that target their audience on an emotional level are vastly more capable of driving long-term, repetitive behaviour than advertising that simply provides information on the benefits of a particular product or service. Simon also said that you shouldn’t market your product to those who need what you have, but rather to those who believe what you believe. This may seem like a counterintuitive statement, however, simply think about the way people vote in elections, for example. People rarely vote based on the facts and figures a politician may produce, but they would most likely vote based on whether that politician shares the same values as they do. This behaviour also applies to the way we make purchasing decisions, especially in today’s politically-charged climate. Think about the potential message you could be sending to your audience by the way your company’s website is designed and the way it could align with your customer’s values. Instead of simply writing “we believe that a personal approach to service delivery is the way to go”, you could have a well-designed portion of your website dedicated to the individuals on your team and why they work there, and not anywhere else. All of the above boils down to the fact that even when presented with all the facts and figures, people mostly make their decisions based on what they feel is right, and good design always feels right.


PHOTOGR APHY

48 · MONEY

Duncan has over two decades of experience in feature writing and journalism. He is also a freelance writer. In 2012, he was the national winner of the EU Health Prize for Journalists.

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

PHOTOGR APHY

MONEY · 49

Were you formally educated in photography or are you self-taught? Who have you learned the most from? I have not taken any formal training but I have never stopped educating myself by reading books, reading things online, and good old -fashioned experimentation.

Duncan Barry interviews photographer David Zammit who has a knack for underwater photographs, be they sport or lifestyle-related, on his current international projects. He also had photographs of former Olympic swimmer and world record-holder Michael Klim featured on Australia’s Men’s Health.

Despite being self-taught, I have without a doubt been fortunate enough to have had a handful of mentors along my journey. Individuals who have never shied away from giving constructive criticism and advice. Not necessarily from a creative standpoint, but more from an overall perspective. What challenges does an underwater photographer face? Who are your favourite subjects? There are many unknown and constantly changing variables. Be it the nature of the light, the sea state or the interaction with the model/athlete. It demands a certain level →


50 · MONEY

UNDERSTAND THAT THE CAMERA IS JUST THE TOOL, THE CRUCIAL STEP IS TO FIND THE SUBJECT THAT YOU CONNECT WITH MOST.

PHOTOGR APHY

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

PHOTOGR APHY

MONE Y · 51

of focus, but at the same time, an ability to be open to a scene/set that is dynamic in nature. Favourite subjects to photograph are people. When photographing someone, you're trying to tell their story, and you only get a single frame to do it. I feel that people on both sides of the camera dictate how that image will turn out. Tell us something about your Los Angeles shoot? I’ll be in Los Angeles photographing a lifestyle campaign for an international swimwear brand. Right now, I cannot share more. That being said, it is a very exciting project! Any other international projects in the pipeline? There are a few other potential overseas projects in the pipeline, particularly in the US and Australia. However, I am also focused on exploring new projects and collaborations here in Malta. If you were to mention that one picture you’ve taken that you can look at for hours on end, which would that be? I was on an assignment in Indonesia photographing former Olympic swimmer and world record-holder Michael Klim. As a young competitive swimmer, I grew up in admiration of this great athlete, and it was a privilege to get to photograph him and capture certain raw emotions that he was going through at the time. The image, along with a few others out of the four-day shoot, ended up being featured on an issue of Men’s Health Australia as part of a story about the athlete. It all happened at quite a pivotal moment for me, and the feature ended up opening further doors on an international stage along the way. Top tip for any aspiring photographers out there? My advice to anyone starting off, or looking to start off, is to simply start. Commit to the process and let passion and curiosity lead and direct you. Understand that the camera is just the tool; the crucial step is to find the subject that you connect with most, and immerse yourself in that.


DESIGN

52 · MONEY

ISSUE 53

02

lines of beauty

01

03

Cutting-edge design, advanced technology and beautiful objects. MONEY helps you invest in creativity.

06

04

07

05


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

01

Mirror Mirror €870 / thecoolhunter.net

02

Cone light by Kranen/Gille €250 / puikdesign.com

03

HP Spectre x360 Touchscreen laptop €1875 / amazon.co.uk

04

‘Dost’ lounge chair by Rianne Koens €799 / puikdesign.com

05

Chariot table by Horm and Casamania €2500 / amara.com

06

Marble disk table lamp by Pols Potten €265 / amara.com

07

Nickel plated drink trolley with black glass €1950 / thecoolhunter.net

DESIGN

MONEY · 53

08

04

09

10

08 Equatore by Fontana Arte www.fontanaarte.com 09

IKEA VITTSJ nesting tables €50 / ikea.it

10

ISO 3D carpet by Ontwerpduo €700 / puikdesign.com

11

Rivet mid-century ceramic planter with stand €55 / amazon.com

11


54 · MONEY

FA S H I O N

Oversized Distressed Logo-Intarsia Virgin Wool-Blend Sweater BALENCIAGA / €895

Slim-Fit Embroidered Wool And Mohair-Blend Trousers ALEXANDER MCQUEEN / €745

ACG GORE-TEX Hooded Raincoat NIKE / €650

Bonny Webbing-Trimmed Leather Chelsea Boots GUCCI / €980

3.5cm Tan Leather-Trimmed Checked Twill Belt BURBERRY / €260

Express undying love with MONEY's selection of fashion pieces.

ISSUE 53


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

FA S H I O N

MONEY · 55

Shelton Slim-Fit Checked Wool, Mohair And Silk-Blend Suit Jacket TOM FORD / €2,860

Brushed Camel Hair Sweater MASSIMO ALBA / €390

Shearling-Lined Leather Boots BERLUTI / €1,990 Camouflage-Print Shell Tote Bag ALEXANDER MCQUEEN / €630

Striped Knitted Cotton Polo Shirt MR P. / €190

Aeronaut Aviator-Style Silver-Tone Sunglasses BARTON PERREIRA / €495

Jago Neoprene, Suede And Mesh Sneakers TOM FORD / €750

Calibre De Cartier Diver Automatic 42mm Stainless Steel And Leather Watch CARTIER Available from Edwards, Lowell Co. Ltd T: 2138 4503

All items available from mrporter.com


L AST WORD

56 · MONEY

ISSUE 53

The Bluesman is a Maltese sound engineer working in New York.

STAND UP AND BE COUNTED The Bluesman examines the nature of revolution, and ponders that although dictatorship and bloodshed will not end, it is vital for us to rise from the abyss by being brave enough to stand up to be counted.

It was the most tremendous of times, it was the fakest of times. It was the age of bewilderment, it was the age of gullibility, it was the epoch of opened eyes, it was the epoch of disbelief … with apologies to Boz. Most readers will recognise the opening lines that inspired this one. With that established, I’ll indulge in a little more. There was a king with a large head and a queen with a quiet demeanour on a golden throne in the West; there was a queen with a quiet demeanour and a king with an edgy temper on a porcelain throne in the East. In both countries, it was clearer than crystal that things in general were unsettled. Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities was set just prior to and through the French Revolution. It was one of our set books one year at school when, you know … reading. We had also put it on as a play: I was Barsad, [the author’s playful allusion to bastard] with costumes, make-up and guillotine sound effects provided by our patient English literature teacher. Later in life there’d be movies and documentaries and as an adult dealing with life and earning a living I realised how downtrodden masses like the ‘sans culottes’ could be pushed to a tipping point. In his Tale, Dickens uses a carriage carrying the Marquis St Evrémonde hitting a child in the street and killing the boy to highlight the divide between the haughty aristocrats


THE DESIGN & INTERIORS EDITION

L AST WORD

MONEY · 57

There is a story about how the crowds unemotionally watching the nobility stoically going to their deaths were moved by the screams and struggles of a young governess/ servant who had been swept up along with the household and who had no desire to go quietly. In modern parlance, stuff got real. She was not to know but despite Dr Guillotine’s hope that his machine would be more merciful, it seems that victims would have suffered excruciating pain for 30 or 40 seconds. Although I’m not sure who the researchers interviewed. Enough bloodshed and onward with Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. And yet humanity wants to repeatedly pick at the healed scab, kick at the ant hill, disturb a sleeping dog and are surprised that when the bleeding starts again, they are covered with biting ants and the dog bares its teeth.

and the poor. The loss of the child barely acknowledged by the Marquis except by a coin tossed out towards the grieving father. People will remain downtrodden until they won’t remain downtrodden. There’s nowhere to go once rock bottom has been reached, and how worthless you are, considered in the eyes of the powerful, dawns. So, every climb to dictatorship is based on the soon-to-be oppressed believing they are getting something to their benefit. Promises of better things to come. Give and take till things are achieved they encourage. You give, they take. Desire, need and hope in a better tomorrow drives people to myopia. Then the penny drops. In Paris on the 14th of July, 1789, Parisians reflecting the feelings of the general population – namely frustration at, what else, bureaucracy and taxes [including the cost of assisting the Colonists in America in the Revolution], took to the streets and stormed an old fortress turned prison called the Bastille. It could hardly be called a storming and it was only a token victory as it was only manned by a couple of hundred soldiers. Also, a fair number of the garrison were elderly veterans off active duty while the revolutionaries numbered roughly a thousand. They freed the seven, no doubt bemused, political prisoners being held there at the whim of King Louis XVI and took possession

of the arms and munitions kept there. A bloody nose maybe but the first strike back against the ancien régime. A bloody nose that soon became the chopping off heads as aristocrats were tried in the People’s Courts, found guilty of being enemies of the people

AS WE LOOK ON THOSE PARTS OF THE WORLD SEEMINGLY GETTING READY TO DRINK THE POISONED KOOL AID, WE HOPE FOR SOME TO BE BRAVE ENOUGH TO STAND UP IN PROTEST AND SAY AS SYDNEY CARTON DID AT THE END OF DICKENS’ TALE. and sent off to the guillotine during what was called the Reign of Terror. Three hundred thousand arrests and over 40,000 deaths, including towards the end, one of the Citizen Leaders, Robespierre, sent to Madame la Guillotine when the other leaders grew weary of the bloodshed.

I have touched upon this blindness in the past and the temptation among some to experiment with failed ideas. No apologies. Past generations, mine and yours, have gone through too much for us to just toss what was so hard earned onto the dung heap of history. A willingness to surrender our thoughts, hopes and aspirations to … whom? Power and ambition. Walls we embrace until the cycle is complete and the Bastille needs to be taken again. The walls of Jericho came down; Troy’s were breached; Hadrian’s needed guards along it; Berlin’s was torn down. [‘Mr Gorbachev tear down this wall’ - pleaded President Reagan] Of course on the positive side the gates of Vienna held back the Ottoman army after it rampaged its way through Eastern Europe and thwarted Suleiman the Magnificent’s expansion into Europe in 1529 [not sure it’s not still ongoing vicariously] but before hiding behind a wall, better be certain that it’s Schindler’s factory and not Diyarbakır, the notorious Turkish Prison. As we look on those parts of the world seemingly getting ready to drink the poisoned Kool Aid, we hope for some to be brave enough to stand up in protest and say as Sydney Carton did at the end of Dickens’ tale: ‘It is a far, far better thing that I do, than I have ever done; it is a far, far better rest that I go to than I have ever known’.


58 ¡ MONEY

NEWS

ISSUE 53

Broadwing Recruitment acquires the Muovo Malta brand With a proven track record in place, 2019 has seen Broadwing Limited take another important step in the right direction. Broadwing Recruitment is proud to announce the brand acquisition of the 10-year-old Malta-based employment agency, Muovo, a leading and reputable agency that specialises in providing recruitment services in the ICT, iGaming and finance sectors for the local and international markets. This acquisition has enabled Broadwing Recruitment to offer unparalleled opportunities for Maltese and foreign candidates seeking employment locally and abroad, as well as to provide employers with one of the largest sourcing channels of potential candidates on the islands. Since its inception in 2007, Muovo has established its brand and built an extensive client portfolio and candidate database. For more information email info@muovo.eu or call (+356) 2017 3007 to book a meeting with their recruitment consultants.

↑

From left: Gege Gatt, Alan Cini, Ben Pace Lehner, Sinan Vural

Taking a stand for your well-being Tyde incorporates special features to address the acoustic challenges of today's open-plan offices: the electric height adjustment motor is especially quiet and concealed under the table inside a soundabsorbing cover. In addition, the newly developed screens made of polyester fleece work effectively with the cover to dampen ambient noise. The Tyde height-adjustable desk is available at Dex Workspaces, Mdina Road, Qormi. T: 22773000 W: dex.com.mt


BOV PERSONAL LOANS

THE CHOICE IS ALWAYS YOURS Whatever you choose you can bring your decision to life with a Bank of Valletta Personal Loan. All loans are subject to normal bank lending criteria and final approval from the Bank. The term of the loan must not go beyond retirement age. More information is available from www.bov.com or contact 2131 2020. Issued by Bank of Valletta p.l.c., 58, Triq San Ĺťakkarija, Il-Belt Valletta VLT 1130 Bank of Valletta p.l.c. is a public limited company regulated by the MFSA and is licensed to carry out the business of banking in terms of the Banking Act (Cap. 371 of the Laws of Malta).