Page 1

volume 02 — issue 03

Neighbourhood Life + Global Style

Belgium Thick Skinned Lifestyle Scar Studded Fashion Vast Airs Design The Land of the New Culture Godly Structures + The Travel Special

Do not throw on the public domain.

THE BIG ISSUE


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6

EDITOR’S LETTER

The Word Magazine Is Nicholas ‘Big Babakins’ Lewis

We smoke, slam doors, drink, fight, pout, cry, throw tantrums and exaggerate. Yet, we love.

Advertising Benoît ‘Big Lips’ Berben

We complain, envy, dwell on, bemoan, accuse, use and abuse. Yet, we still love.

Editor-at-large Hettie ‘Big Fat No-No’ Judah

Issues. We have our fair share of them here at ‘Word Maison’, although we’re working hard towards containing them, hoping they don’t defi ne us, but merely expose us.

Design Delphine ‘Big Up’ Dupont + pleaseletmedesign

This ninth installment of The Word, brought to you on the back of much soul-searching and second-guessing, is an exercise in straighttalk and uncensored exposure. Unashamed, unforgiving and unobstructed. It reveals issues you should be thinking about, debates ones you’ll be all too familiar with and exposes others you yourself have been entangled in. In most cases, it speaks about those issues you don’t want to speak about.

Fashion Eléonore ‘I ♥ Big’ Vanden Eynde Photography/Illustration Jean ‘Big’ Biche Ulrike ‘Big Flash’ Biets Sarah ‘Big E.Smalls’ Eechaut Sarah ‘Big Saint’ Michielsen Opération ‘Big Busta’ Panda Yassin ‘Big Nose’ Serghini

Not that we’re revealing any major secrets here. We’re simply taking a fresh look and encouraging taking action. We ask four award-winning, under-aged overachievers to voice their rage in an open-ended letter to the people on the issues close to their heart, visit Europe’s first eco-built retail emporium and lounge it out with a larger-than-life neighbourhood character for our Institution section. Our Design chapter sees us nominating our very own mayor for our very own newly-created regional power-broker whilst in our Culture section we capture the intimidating world of places of worship.

Writers Colette ‘Big Love’ Hutchinson Hettie ‘Big Fat No-No’ Judah Nicholas ‘Big Babakins’ Lewis Karen ‘The Big She Been Queen’ Van Godtsenhoven Randa ‘Big Pimpin’ Wazen

Speaking of worship, you’ll need to wait a little longer than usual for your next issue of yours truly. Put simply, we will not be doing a July-August issue of The Word, preferring instead to bring you a September-October one (The Nano Issue), a November one (The Nippon Issue) and, fi nally, a December one (The Heritage Issue).

Thank you's: Mélisande ‘May of The Big River’ Burnie Lali Davies Maria ‘Big Butter Milk’ Groot Thomas Huot-Marchand Alix Pelletier Luginbhl Gintare ‘Big Lady K’ Parulyte Alia Papageorgiou Olga Slavkina Julien van Havere Peter ‘Big Hug’ von Grumme

In the meantime, we’ll be organizing intimate barbecues right here in our courtyard which we’ll keep you posted on, and you can also look forward to the second of Word exhibitions, design-focused this time, during the month of September. All to be announced on our website and Facebook page… The Word is still here, still spreading, for those who might have thought differently. See you in September,

Stating your full name and address in the communication box.

For Syndication Like what you read ? Our content is available for purchase. Go online at www.jampublishing.com or call + 32 2 374 24 95 for more information.

Nicholas Lewis On this cover Vertically Impaired

© Sarah Eechaut

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LA BELL E

É V A S I O

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Poncho en chèvre velours. Bracelet “Collier de Chien” en lézard. Bracelet double tour en chèvre velours. Bruxelles. Tel. (02) 511 20 62. Antwerpen. Tel. (03) 227 09 43. Knokke-Het-Zoute. Tel. (050) 62 71 99. Hermes.com


8

THE BIG ISSUE

THE CONTENTS

01. The Firsts The Cover Ad Ad Editor's Letter Ad The Contents Ad The Contributors Ad The Diary The Diary The Diary The Diary The Diary The Diary Ad

04. Fashion The Big Issue Giorgio Armani Essentiel Volume 2 – N° o3 Hermès You're Looking at It ING It's A Word's World De Greef Post-its Belgium Belgium & UK UK Holland & France France Symfonieorkest Vlaanderen

p01 p02 p04 p06 p07 p08 p09 p10 p11 p12 p13 p15 p16 p17 p18 p19

Title Page Riders on the Cloud Pump, Pump it up The Crane Brothers Green with… + Dude, Where's… Yo Mama is so Fat The Mad Barber

p20 p21 p22 p23 p24 p25 p26

p44

05. The Travel Special Ad The Cover The Travel Papers The Travel Papers Advertorial The Photo Album The Special Fashion Ad The Special Showsto… Ad

The Pick The Novelty Ad The Shape of Things… Ad

Holiday Inn The Travel Special Sound in the City I Need a Fix The Word & Maasmechelen The Wanderings of… Packing Light Superdry The Address Book Delvaux

p52 p53 p54 p55 p56 p58 p60 p67 p68 p71

Thinking Big The Mighty Punt The Word Megalopolitan City Blues Rouge Tomate

p72 p74 p75 p76 p81

My Book Weighs a Tonne The One That Never Loses In The Name Of…

p82 p84 p86

Stockists O-live Advertisers The Nano Issue Ristorante Bocconi Chanel

p94 p95 p96 p98 p99 p100

07. Culture The Shelf The Pencil The Eye

03. Lifestyle The Issue Ad The Word On Another Word On Three of the Best The Showstoppers Ad

High Plains Drifter

06. Design

02. Belgium The Big Papers The Big Papers The Big Papers The Big Papers The Big Papers The Guide The Institution

The Fashion Word

Youth, Force, Smarts & Unity Compagnie des Jardins Height Differences Scars Big Bubblies You've Been Tagged Aspria

p27 p31 p32 p36 p38 p40 p43

08. The Lasts The Stockists Ad The Round up What's Next Ad Ad


All you need to know about banking services on arriving in Belgium

Take advantage of our ING Expat Convenience Services +32 2 464 66 64 - expat@ing.be - www.ing.be Many banking services are available to expatriates living in Belgium but there is nothing you need to know about making such arrangements. That’s a task for the ING Convenience Services experts.

Your bank accounts and cards can be ready for you the moment you arrive in Belgium. ING’s Expat Services have 40 years of experience to help make your stay in Belgium as financially smooth as possible.


10

THE XXXL ISSUE

THE CONTRIBUTORS

It’s a Word’s World Gintare Parulyte Intern ¤

Vincent Fournier Photographer ¤

When Vincent told us he wanted to shoot for the magazine, needless to say we were more than happy to oblige. A Frenchman based in Brussels, this loveable character shoots for Wallpaper and Mixte, as well as having also published his own art photography book, Space Project (see The Cinematic Issue). For this issue’s Travel Special, he captured the essence of Vilhelm Hammershøii‘s world of interiors to create a mesmerisingly eerie series of prints. — Pages n° 60, 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66

ERRATUM A small error inserted itself in our previous issue’s Papers (The Movie Mecca). Marino was in fact into comic strips as a youngster, and not cartoons as we had understood. We apologise for this slight misinterpretation.

Ask her to find a bunch of old cinema seats for a shoot in 12 hours or, more challenging yet, to get hold of a panoply of disregarded music stands and rest assured Gintare, The Word’s intern for the past three months, will more than deliver. A Lithuanian brought up in Luxembourg, her exuberant and relentless enthusiasm made her an invaluable asset in holding it down for the ialsowork@thewordmagazine.be title.

Virassamy Illustrator ¤

When Delphine suggested Virassamy to illustrate the invading and sometimes hazy concept that is Cloud Computing, little had we imagined he’d be a perfect fit for what we were looking for. Referential in his work although never overly so, his pencil-touch simplicity with undertones of humouristic hoopla made for a perfect visual accompaniment to Karen’s heavy-dosed subject matter. One we hope to bring you more of in coming issues… — Page n° 21

Yassin Serghini Photographer ¤

If we were to count all the pictures ever published in The Word, Yassin would probably account for over half of them. A long time friend and central ingredient in The Word mix, his potential is best used on portraits, although his now customary picture for The Shelf is testament to his invaluable versatility. For The Big Issue, we asked him, amongst many other things, to capture the curiously growing phenomenon of female bodybuilding. — Pages n° 22, 23, 55, 56, 57, 82, 83


Rue au Beurre 24-26 I 1000 BRUXELLES I TĂŠl : +32 2 511 95 98 I Fax : +32 2 511 47 48 I www.degreef1848.be I info@degreef1848.be


12

THE SKY’S THE LIMIT ISSUE

THE DIARY


THE FIRSTS

13

The Next Few Weeks’ Agenda Fillers

Belgium ( 01 ¤ 09 )

Artists with an Attitude

Artist-philosopher ¤ Loek Grootjans is invited for a year-long residency as curator of Brussels’ Locuslux Gallery and its “...Stands for Attitude” show. Using as a premise that the idea of ‘the innocent eye’ ceased to exist a long time ago, a trilogy of shows – Parallel Movement, Causal Connection and Finding Ways – is dreamt up, bringing to the fore artists who have the creative guts to add substance – as opposed to noise – to the already crowded artistic landscape. With works by Maria Rosen, Jonathan DeWinter and Veronika Veit amongst others, the show promises to be a breath of fresh air marked by bouts of thematic resonance. “...Stands for Attitude” À Until 21st June 2009 ☞ Locuslux Gallery, Brussels

 www.locuslux.com

03.

Picture This

The idea of ‘the ¤ picturesque’ was closely associated to that of the quintessential British landscape, complete with its manicured gardens and quaint village life, always perfect matters to be immortalised through paint on canvas. But what exactly has ‘the picturesque’ grown into, and how is it used to capture today’s modern landscapes? Can we still talk of ‘the picturesque’ when depicting an urban landscape or an industrial one? How are artists interpreting the concept nowadays, and what are the implications for the ensuing narrative forced upon us, the viewer? All these are topics touched upon in S.M.A.K’s exhibition which draws upon works by photographers Goiris and Kempenaers amongst others.

01.

© Wolfgang Ellen Rieder

01.

02.

Beyond the Picturesque À Until 23rd August 2009 ☞ S.M.A.K, Ghent

 www.smak.be

Clothing has always ¤ contributed towards shaping socio-cultural identities yet it has, for the most part, continued to be viewed, and worn, in a purely functional and necessary manner, resisting until recently most forms of artistic parallelism. This is the leading subject of Iselp’s summer show, which draws upon the work of several artists to explore how they use clothing in their continuous (constructive) criticism of the world they live in. With regular Word contributor Jennifer Defays’ By-product project (originated by Manon Santkin and Leslie Mannes) showing its “By-product 5” video, this guarantees to have all you conceptcraving culture vultures some food for thought.

For the first solo ¤ exhibition of his work to be shown in Brussels, Luc Tuymans has created 20 new paintings especially for Wiels. A continuation of his triptych that began with Les Revenants (documenting the power of the Jesuit Order) and Forever. The Management of Magic (on Disney’s influence), his new works delve into the world of reality shows. Seen through the eye of this masterful, realist painter, we are given a personal narrative through which we can attempt to make sense of manipulated imagery and illusions through his simplified brush stroke. An absolute essential on the summer calendar.

Dress Code À Until 25th July 2009 ☞ Iselp, Brussels

Luc Tuymans – Against the Day À Until 2nd August 2009 ☞ Wiels, Brussels

 www.iselp.be

 www.wiels.org

Exclusively for You

03.

© Goiris

04.

©Marie-Paule Stokart

Clothes Contact

04.

© Luc Tuymans

02.


14

THE SUPERSIZED ISSUE

© Evan Holloway

05.

06.

THE DIARY

05.

Coastal Pride

From the beginning ¤ of March until the end of October, artists from all walks of life, hailing from all over the world, descend upon the Belgian coastline in a bid to transform it into one giant playground for contemporary art. Drawing upon several coastal cities’ history, heritage and residents, artists initiate dialogue with such works as a gigantic net, a makeshift intimate room on the beach and even an amphitheatre in the dunes. Focusing specifically on the relationship between architecture and sculpture, this one is sure to couple our need for outdoor activity with our cultural cravings. Make sure to also catch its Beaufort Inside satellite show, immersing itself further yet in coastal life and its relationship to art. Beaufort 03 – Triennial for Contemporary Art by the Sea À Until 4th October 2009 ☞ Belgian Seaside

07.

Consume & Conquer?

Some exhibitions ¤ make us want to pick up a paint brush or camera, others stimulate our thinking and force us to reflect and check ourselves. Erna Hécey’s exhibition tilts more towards the latter. Indeed, its summer show seeks to invoke a resolutely skeptic frame of mind when considering our consumption-craved generation, and the extent to which it identifies itself through what it buys. The show acts as a thought-off response to the pre-dominance of the neo-liberal economic model and gives a good kicking to supposedly tried-andtested ways. Euphoric it is not, grounded it most defi nitely is. Welcomingly timely. Market Forces À From 23rd May until 8 th August 2009 ☞ Erna Hécey Gallery, Brussels

 www.ernahecey.com

 www.beaufort03.be © Masao Yamamoto

08. 06.

© Zoe Sheehan Saldana

07.

© Misha Gordin

08.

Painted Visuals

We love everything ¤ yellow-tinted, slightly frail and rugged here at Word HQ, and Masao Yamamoto’s work fits the bill perfectly. The Japanese photographer focuses his lens on sudden encounters and mysterious phenomena (a deserted beach, a hand holding a flower up in the air), expertly bringing out an eerie, sometimes enchanted, world of dreams and memories. Clearly visible his subject matters are not, but that is exactly what makes the strength of his work: a standardised imperfection, natural blurriness and nearritualistic self-effacing aesthetic. The first solo show given to Yamamoto at Antwerp’s Gallery Fifty One, we’ve already pencilled this one in our agendas. Masao Yamamoto – Kawa À Until 21st June 2009 ☞ Fifty One Fine Art Gallery, Antwerp

 www.gallery51.com

‘til Death Do Us Part

Latvian-born ¤ Gordin’s work sits on the cusp between art and science, such is his ability to conceptualise and push the boundaries further yet in the world of art photography. Using a complex, if not slightly archaic, post-production method of photographing each subject matter separately, then cutting them out and juxtaposing and re-photographing them, the artists did then (late 60s) by hand what most photographers do with their Macs today. His work heavily referencing birth, life and death, his photographs are infused with a consequently somber aesthetic: sometimes sinister but always beautiful. One we’re eager to see. Misha Gordin À From 4th June until 28 th June 2009 ☞ Espace Art 22, Brussels

 www.espace-art22.com


THE NEXT FEW WEEKS' AGENDA FILLERS

THE FIRSTS

15

United Kingdom ( 10 ¤ 16 ) Another Kind of Genius

Sergei Eisenstein ¤ is widely celebrated for his directing career, producing such memorable and cult pictures as Battleship Potemkin and Ivan The Terrible. Other aspects of his works are less known, and this is the basis for Extra City’s exhibition, which mainly uses as starting point the drawings the artist made during his stay in Mexico in the 1930s. Laced with heavy meaning and deeply researched, the drawings are further proof of Eisenstein’s undertones of intellectualism as exemplified by his study of the historical relationship between rationality, sensual thought and image. Other works on show include his now infamous ¡Que viva Mexico! fi lm.

09.

10.

Rewarding Design

The world’s most ¤ remarkable and progressive designs from seven categories (architecture, fashion, furniture, graphic design, interactive, product and transport) are currently on display at the Design Museum. These are the 91 shortlisted pieces chosen by a panel of experts, seven of which were chosen as fi nalists in the battle for the 2009 Brit Insurance Design of the Year Award. One entrant from each category went through, chosen by a panel that included Alan Yentob and architect Peter Cook. After much debate, and in a clear populist act of wanting to draw in the crowds, Shepard Fairey’s Barack Obama Poster, USA was the clear favourite and winner of the award. (CH)

© Sergei Eisenstein

09.

10.

Sergei Eisenstein – The Mexican Drawings À Until 21st June 2009 ☞ Extra City Centre for Contemporary Art, Antwerp

Brit Insurance Design Awards À Until 14th June 2009 ☞ Design Museum, London

 www.designmuseum.org

 www.extracity.org 11.

The Big Hitters

– Grand Dame of the French contemporary art scene is given her first solo show at Brussels’ Bozar. The show will present Calle’s many works, with a special focus on her autobiographical performances.

© Sheppard Fairey

¤ Sophie Calle from 27th May until 13th September 2009 @ Bozar

11.

– Based in Brussels, this American lithographer-comegeometrician shows a new sculpture holding up letters spelling out In Place as well as one of his now-infamous pocket sized books at Hermès’ backroom gallery space. (Boulevard de Waterloo 50 Waterloolaan, 1000 Brussels)

© Richard Caspole, Yale Centre for British Arts

¤ Peter Downsbrough until 27th June 2009 @ La Verrière

Complete Works

When we think of ¤ British artist John Constable we think landscapes, quaint rural scenes and the Hay Wain. But Constable also excelled in portraiture, an area that this exhibition so deservedly focuses on. Covering his work over thirty years and bringing together over fifty pieces, his skill in capturing personalities and likenesses on canvas is highlighted. A mix of self-portraits, drawings and paintings of family and friends gives an insight into his social circle, the environment he lived in and the influences he came under, as well as showing the provincial middle and upper classes of the 19th century. (CH) Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle À Until 14th June 2009 ☞ National Portrait Gallery, London

 www.npg.org.uk


16

THE TITANIC ISSUE

© Wien Museum

13.

14.

THE DIARY

13.

Modernism boomed ¤ in Vienna at the start of the 20th century when Freud and his contemporaries put forward new and groundbreaking ideas about the mind, and the arts were really taking off. The city became preoccupied with ideas about mental health fused with fears about the modern city and how it would develop. This led to a quick progression in psychiatric care and the symbiosis of madness with art, the results of which are here exhibited. From designs for utopian psychiatric hospitals and spaces to drawings of the patients confi ned in them, the influence of psychiatry on early modernism is clearly highlighted. (CH)

© Isa Genzken © Michael Raedecker

Mood Board

London-based artist ¤ Michael Raedecker uses thread and paint to create his inimitably moody works, reinventing genres from the past including landscapes, ruins and flower paintings. Rapt by the potential and confi nes of the medium he uses, Raedecker references flowers, cakes, lace, food and more, sourcing images from second hand books, magazines, fi lm stills and photographs. Creating his own new drawings and transferring them onto canvas, he builds up the works with paint and different types of thread and wool, instilling his works with a strange familiarity and dreamlike quality you won’t fail to be moved by. (CH)

Madness & Modernity

Michael Raedecker: line-up

À Until 28 th June 2009 ☞ Camden Arts Centre, London  www.camdenartscentre.org

The Place to Be

This East End ¤ landmark and artistic hub has reopened to somewhat mixed reviews but is defi nitely worth a visit. With an opening exhibition by German sculptor Isa Genzken, fusing photography, paint, architecture and found objects into sculptural works, an accompanying display of Ursula Mayer’s mesmerising fi lms and more, the Whitechapel is certainly covering a whole spectrum of mediums. This, coupled with the new interior design by Belgian architects Robbrecht&Daem, the new facade and quirky weathervane designed and executed by Canadian artist Rodney Graham, makes this a ‘must see’ for any visitor to London. (CH)

16. Isa Genzken: Open, Sesame!

À Until 21st June 2009 ☞ Whitechapel Gallery, London  www.whitechapelgallery.org © Crimella

15.

À Until 28 th June 2009 ☞ Wellcome Collection, London  www.wellcomecollection.org

14.

15.

Boom Time

16.

Archival Treasure

The development ¤ of Italian modernist architecture and how it was recorded and influenced by photography in the early 20th century is examined in this collection of over 100 period photographs taken from the RIBA’s British Architectural Library Photographs Collection, one of the most superb and thorough archives in its field. Works by some of the period’s most dazzling practitioners are on show in photographic form, including those by Pier Luigi Nervi, Giuseppe Terragni and Renzo Piano. (CH) Framing Modernism: Architecture and Photography in Italy 1926-1965 À Until 21st June 2009 ☞ Estorick Collection, London

 www.estorickcollection.com


THE NEXT FEW WEEKS' AGENDA FILLERS

THE FIRSTS

Holland ( 17 ¤ 18 )

France

Great Minds

The Fringe Project ¤ at the Zeeuws Museum is the conclusive exhibition of a tenpart project by two Scandinavian multitalents, Danish fashion designer and Trentemöller drummer Henrik Vibskov and Swedish graphic designer Andreas Emenius. The hair fringe was taken as the nucleus for all the works, but the name also points at the fringes or margins of their other activities. The ten mini-projects have given a make-over to the museum by mixing in with the in-house collection, arresting both staff and visitors with unexpected sights. The ‘Soulwash’, a live body-wash installation with big fringes, is the last creation of the project, and main draw to the exhibition if you ask us. (KVG)

17.

19.

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NY Perspectives À From 14th May until 23 rd August 2009 ☞ Foam, Amsterdam

 www.foam.nl

19.

© Calder Foundation

To celebrate New York and Amsterdam’s historical coming together 400 years ago, Foam does its part to commemorate the discovery of the island of Manhattan with its exhibition “NY Perspectives”. Within this context, the gallery has commissioned four New York photographers – Gus Powell, Carl Wooley, Richard Rothman and Joshua Lutz - to focus their lenses on Amsterdam, with each one given a specific aspect of the city to explore: the street, the night, the water or the outskirts. Set to open the second week of May, the exhibition promises to give viewers a fresh and uncompromised-by-local-subjectivities perspective of the city and its inconspicuousness. ¤

20.

20.

© Agathe Snow

Celebratory Times

 www.centrepompidou.fr © Carl Wooley

18.

Space Sculptures

Alexander Calder – The Parisian Years, 1926 -1933 À Until 20 th July 2009 ☞ Centre Pompidou, Paris

Henrik Vibskov/Andreas Emenius - The Fringe Projects À Until 7 th June 2009 ☞ Zeeuws Museum, Middelburg

 www.zeeuwsmuseum.nl

( 19 ¤ 21 )

Alexander Calder ¤ was best known for his innovative and daring take on 20th century sculpture, or ‘mobile’, as it was then named by Marcel Duchamp. These often monumental structures – large skeletons of painted metal – are testament to his massive contribution to the very public appreciation of art in France. Fun-filled and simplistic, his work often exuded a welcome light-heartedness and entertaining quality, testament of the artists’ lively and engaging character. With Calder’s exceptional ‘Circus’ leaving New York for the first time since his death, the exhibition is an exhaustive and well-rounded show focusing for the most part on the Parisian years of the artist’s life.

© Henrik Vibskov & Andreas Emenius

17.

17

Conflict of Interest

Agathe Snow, ¤ a Corsica-born, New Yorkbased artist, threads the fine line between artist and activist, her work deeply referential to the modern-day woes of our planet. Constructing narratives based on concepts of environmental collapse, sexual dysfunction, religious or moral decay and physical disorientation, she contrasts visions of horror with suggestions for celebrations and survival. For her exhibition at Jeu de Paume, she creates an arresting installation linking the mezzanine to the basement whilst also forming a space dedicated to ideas and thoughts in a determined bid to stimulate rebirth. An engaging and thought-provoking affair not to be missed. Agathe Snow – “Views from the Top, Vertigo and Constellations” À Until 7 th June 2009 ☞ Jeu de Paume, Paris

 www.jeudepaume.org


18

THE JUMBO ISSUE

Elle Dessine

Soledad Bravi shot ¤ to prominence as the in-house illustrator for French Elle magazine. Her pencil-touch gracing the pages of near-every issue, her characters’ lives played out for every reader to see. A slightly more simplistic and approachable style than most, Soledad – who also publishes picture books for children – inhabits a world of feminine cuteness and puerile innocence with sometimes brutal honesty. Her exhibition at Colette will mark the fi rst time her series of illustrations “Les Paresseuses pour Monoprix” will go on sale. Considering the Paris imprint’s knack of turning everything into a collectable, we strongly recommend picking up a print or two.

21.

Concert Picks ¤ Ghostface Killah on 18th May 2009 @ L’Ancienne Belgique, Brussels.

– We’d be damned if we missed this one, if only to reminisce over our teenage years spent trying to memorise this killer-tongued Staten Island MC’s metaphorlaced bars.

© Soledad Bravi

21.

THE DIARY

Soledad Bravi

À Until 30 th May 2009 ☞ Colette, Paris  www.colette.fr

¤ Dan Auerbach on 22nd May 2009 @ L’Ancienne Belgique, Brussels. – Slightly more bluesy and wallowing than when fronting The Black Keys, Auerbach’s solo effort is quite simply spine shivering. Do not miss this under any circumstances. ¤ Jarvis on 6th June 2009 @ L’Ancienne Belgique, Brussels. – Unoffi cial poster boy for the Britpop movement with his now defunct band Pulp, Jarvis Cocker has blossomed into a solo artist in his own right, with his yetuntitled second album set to hit music stands in May.

What We’re Giving Away ¤

Sabre Sunglasses

Gearing up for the summer, we have one pair of Sabre sunglasses to give away (see page 41). The fi rst person to send an email to wewrite@thewordmagazine.be, stating ‘Give Me My Sabre’ in the subject line and your full name and address in the body of the email will win the pair of shades.

Ghostface Killah at L’ Ancienne Belgique on 18th May 2009. nd ¤ Dan Auerbach at L’ Ancienne Belgique on 22 May 2009. th ¤ Jarvis at L’ Ancienne Belgique on 6 June 2009. ¤

What you need to do. Send an email to wewrite@thewordmagazine.be, specifying which concert you wish to go to in the subject line. The first readers to do so will each win a pair of tickets to the concert of their choice. Conditions. Until tickets last. Applies to Belgium only. Normal conditions apply.


Symfonie.orkest.vlaanderen

Season. 2009 . 2010

concerts. For more information have a look at www.symfonieorkest.be

Met steun van de Vlaamse minister van Cultuur, Jeugd, Sport en Brussel

Brussels. Palais des Beaux-Arts.


THE BIG PAPERS 20

THE HUMONGOUS ISSUE

THE BIG PAPERS

— We’re surprised we managed to make them fit on one page, such was the largess of this month’s Papers’ protagonists. We pump iron with Belgium’s pre-eminent female body-builder, float computing theories about the web’s use of virtual bandwidths and get an enthousiastic guided tour of Europe’s first ever eco-constructed retail emporium – right here in our capital. Writers Karen van Godstenhoven, Nicholas Lewis and Randa Wazen


BELGIUM

21

idea of ownership. The fi rst good thing about the cloud is that, although sold as a commercial utility, its roots lie in the Open Source mentality, where resources are shared for the greater collective good. The flexible structure makes the data bunch more manageable and safer than a monolithic structure. Put simply, if one computer fails, it won’t screw the cloud. That way, the cloud is safer than your hard drive. Other positive aspects of the cloud are both ecologic and economic: it is green because it doesn’t leave idle computers running and all resources are used to full capacity. The economic advantage of this is that companies and end-users don’t have to buy all their hardware for themselves, but can subscribe to shared cloud services, cutting down hardware costs. What is more, the cloud globalises the net even further: you can access it from anywhere. A useful principle for mobile applications: your smart phone won’t have to do all the processing of pictures or music itself, but can access the cloud instead, so heavier programs can run on your lightweight device. Think of GPS-based applications: who wouldn’t want to see their surroundings on Google streetview screened via their iPhone whilst walking the city? Nevertheless, the cloud has at least two Big Issues standing in the way of global adoption:

legal and privacy issues. Whereas the fi rst one is generally applicable to the whole net (there is still no Global Data Act), the second one is more philosophical: Richard Stallman, founder of the Open Source UNIX GNU foundation, warns against putting your data in the hands of commercial vendors: “It’s worse than stupidity, it’s a marketing hype campaign. Computer users should be keen to keep their information in their own hands, rather than hand it over to a third party.” At this stage it is indeed worth remembering that Google’s ‘free services’ for storing documents, pictures and work are used for advertisement profiling and analysing usage data. Stallman, a heartfelt privacy advocate, advises users to stay local and stick with their own computers. He links the ‘loss of control’ over your data to the same loss of control seen when using proprietary software, because it makes the user defenseless, trusting his PC life into the hands of a far-flung cloud fiend who developed the software. The Word’s wise words? Read the small print, no matter how boring and keep your data stored online as well as offl ine. A fire is just as likely to happen at your house as well as in Silicon Valley, so with multiple backups you’re better safe than sorry. (KVG)

© Virassamy

RIDERS ON THE CLOUD

Riders on the Cloud Cloud computing, the latest tech land buzzword, is similar to an exponentiallyexpanding version of the web: it is based on a gigantic network of loosely-interlocked supercomputers that work together, spreading tasks out over different machines that all work in a distributed way. This heavy computing only used to be necessary for rocket scientists but nowadays, the cloud holds much more far reaching implications about the way we use the net, and to a certain extent might even influence the way we regard digital property in the future. Consider this: your daily web applications like Flickr, Last Fm, Google Docs and even good-old webmails all store your data on servers in places you don’t know about, yet you seemingly trust them to keep everything safely stored. Imagine if one of them stopped their services tomorrow and you’d lose all your treasured content? Cloud computing makes computer power and storage a utility, like gas and electricity, with no real owner, thus further disrupting the


22

THE HULKING ISSUE

THE BIG PAPERS

Before becoming an actor and the 38th governor of California, Arnold Scharzenegger was one of the fi rst European professional bodybuilders. A seven time Mr Olympia winner, he remains one of the most influential figures in this field. And whilst many argue that bodybuilding is not a sport, the International Federation of Bodybuilders (IFBB) was granted a “recognised federation” status by the Olympic Committee in 1998, although no one seems to know when we’ll actually see bodybuilders flex their muscles in an Olympic stadium. It all comes down to the controversy surrounding this activity… Fabi Antoine, Belgium’s fi rst professional female bodybuilder and two-time world champion, admits she used to despise bodybuilders she saw at the gym, poking fun at what she labelled “vain guys pumping iron with vacant aims.” It’s hard to imagine that this imposing 1m76 blonde, weighing 80 kilos, used to be a skinny ballet dancer as a kid. Once a teenager, she moved on to judo and various martial arts. Her goals reached, she felt ready for a new challenge. A regular at her gym, she was signed up to a bodybuilding contest, and began working out more seriously. Little did she know she would be instantly compelled by this sport she used to fi nd grotesque. “What I loved most is the extreme discipline it requires. More than a passion, a sport or a job, bodybuilding is a state of mind. One that I’m in day and night, seven days a week.” Her favourite moment is the preparation period, eight to twelve weeks prior to a competition, because it is unbelievably intense. She jokes about her daily routine being quite repetitive, “all I do is train, eat and sleep!.” But those are the very foundations of successful bodybuilding. Many hours of rest are primordial to allow muscle hypertrophy, the meals are weighed to the gram and the training must be effective yet never overdone. A rather safe sport, the main dangers of bodybuilding come from drug use, a big taboo and major player in the activity’s bad rep. Fabi understands this cliché, acknowledging the impression of sheer excessiveness this discipline can give. “At fi rst, even I thought that bodybuilders were all on steroids. That said, if it was that easy to stick a needle in you butt cheek and become a champion, there would be champions everywhere… And as tempting as it may be, I’m positive about the fact that the ones who are using are not the ones you’ll see during contests, because it demands more than that.” According to her, the core of this

© Yassin Serghini

Pump, Pump it up

misconception lies in visibility. “Cyclists or even pro ping pong players might use as much - if not more - than bodybuilders, yet no one suspects them because it’s less obvious.” The evolution of bodybuilding is incredibly striking when you compare pictures of early icons like Eugene Sandow to todays over infl ated and freakishly huge champs like Ronnie Coleman or Markus Ruhl. Thankfully, the higher authorities of the International Federation of Bodybuilders are examining

the question in order to re-evaluate certain standards. “There are defi nitely new trends emerging, leaning towards a more retro look, harmonious silhouettes and focusing on healthy proportions.” Fabi sounds relieved by this since it might help revamp the sport’s tarnished image and allow it to seem more accessible. Yet it seems pretty ironic that even in a field where “bigger is better” appears to be the ultimate leitmotiv, there might actually be such a thing as ‘too big’… (RW)


THE CRANE BROTHERS

BELGIUM

23

With its motto of 'nothing too heavy, nothing too high', Sarens NV has taken the art of heavyweight lifting and construction to new heights with its sky-teasing cranes. The Word talked to two of the third-generation big wigs: Hendrik Sarens (Director Heavy Lift Department) and Jan Sarens (Director for South-America). Although employing over 2,000 people across the world, the company from Wolvertem is still a family-run affair. Grandfather Sarens, wanting to improve the standard of living for his twelve children in the 1940s, started to deforest woods in Wallonia with renowned Brabant labour horses dragging the wood over land. When his sturdy horses weren’t doing the trick anymore, he invested the family’s money in a fi rst crane. And that's how all his sons and daughters became involved in the family business. Sarens became something of a de-facto national builder, assisting with the construction of the Atomium, growing into a top global player in the 90s under the wings of the educated and entrepreneurial third generation. The company now holds a world record for heavyweight lifting (a 14,000 tonne platform in Norway) and possesses the world’s largest crawler crane (which at a dizzying height of 220 meters affords a lifting capacity of 2,000 tonnes). They also recently lifted windmills for the Thornton riff’s windmill park in the North Sea. Says Hendrik: “This one we’re especially proud of, because we work so much abroad, but now we get to do a large and prestigious project in Belgian waters. We placed six of the largest windmills in the sea, and this will be extended to 60 windmills, creating energy for 600 000 people.” Safety issues are of paramount importance: “Human lives come before anything else, we are not just interested in building everything in the fastest possible way. If an operator notices some unsafe procedures, he can call in a ‘Hold Procedure’, stop the works and make sure safety rules are applied. Even in a country with lower safety norms, we apply our Belgian rules. The same holds for our training centers in Thailand, South-Africa, the UK, MiddleEast: the Belgian standard is maintained” says Hendrik. “I’d like to add to that that we should be more proud of our Belgitude,” adds Jan, “We are well-appreciated abroad and shouldn’t shy away from that.” Current big projects include building a power station on the biggest building site in the world (in Neurath, Germany), constructing the FIFA world cup accommodation in South Africa and building a nickel mine in New

© Yassin Serghini

The Crane Brothers

Sarens’ Director Heavy Lift Department Hendrik Sarens

Caledonia, which is exactly on the other side of the planet. Sarens projects mostly involve the oil, gas and energy sectors, so they’ll keep busy the following years. They made it big, without being big-headed: “Oh, we still work with trees you know: in January, a protected fi g tree in Brussels had to be relocated before normal construction works could start” says Jan. Indeed, no project is too big or small for these guys, thanks to a no-nonsense and hard-working attitude. Hendrik: “That’s why we are all in the executive board but we have several non family directors, each of them specialists in their profession.” When asked about the two other big business families in the area, Inbev-owners family De Spoelberch, and dredging champion Jan De Nul, Jan Sarens replies: “The entrepreneurial spirit might be entrenched in the ground here, but it’s probably the region’s beer that makes us want to do Big Things.” We dig that. (KVG)

The Facts Incorporated In

1955 Annual Turnover

€386.000.000 (2008) Company Turning Point

Going to a European market in the 80s and becoming a world player by the year 2000 Size of Crane Fleet

1,248 cranes (as off 1st March 2009)


24

THE SUSTAINABLE ISSUE

THE BIG PAPERS

Rarely does a real estate development command such admiration, inspiration and, let’s face it, (green) envy. Incepted about five years ago by the powers-that-be at Belgian imprint Cameleon – a members’ only stock clearance specialist enticing customers to buy past collections in the comfort of private sales –, their new Woluwe outpost screams tree-huggers all over, from the bee hives up on the roof to the locallysourced wood used for the outer paneling. “We made a conscious decision to push the bar high” says Augustin Wigny, who heads Cameleon together with business partner Jean Cédric van der Belen. Developed by Awaa (cwarchitects) in partnership with Leuven’s University and its Matriciel offspin, the building is a prime example of thinking-before-doing, a common sense project. For example, orientation of the building was crucial, with rooms needing heating sitting on the building’s Southern or Eastern tips. Putting the dramatic staircase – a falling torrent of natural light - at the centre of the store was also pivotal in ensuring customers actually used the stairs. Furthermore,

© Cameleon

Green with a Big G.

the building is extremely isolated and affords a natural ventilation system (simply, leaving windows open at night) thus eliminating highenergy-consuming heating and ventilation systems. And this only is at the surface of it. Plants were chosen for their ability to attract butterfl ies whose neighbourhood stock was diminishing. The Samsung screens were selected because of their Greenpeace endorsement.

And all seats, lounge chairs and tables were picked up from antique shops around Brussels’ flea market. Setting aside the obvious “wow” effect in injecting some sexiness into the green paradigm, this is one initiative set to become the blueprint for many more to come. (NL)

large because of the crisis. Lieve Duprez from the Port Authority denies this though: “This is our average amount of cars being stored, there’s nothing special about the number. Car sales still rose in 2008, so it's normal that we’re at near-maximum capacity. Besides, the general time of standstill is about two weeks, and never more than three.” So no issues of

rusty iron, the sea salt eating away the engine or rogues shattering the cars? “No,” says Lieve, “we have special garages on site where the cars are maintained in the Pre Delivery Inspection and made ready for sale. The special options for your car are assembled here. This brings a lot of jobs to the port, other than the port activities in themselves.” (KVG)

Cameleon Woluwe Avenue Ariane 15 Arianelaan — 1200 Brussels

Although Antwerp is home to one of the largest port businesses in the world, it is the port of Zeebruges that boasts the largest car park in the world: on a yearly basis, 2,126 million cars are stored, maintained and delivered from its dock, more so than at Europe's two giant car ports, Bremerhaven in Germany and Rotterdam in Holland. This implies that one in 10 cars sold in Europe pass through Zeebruges’ enclaves. The parking site measures 300 hectares and seems to stretch on beyond the horizon. It is the best route into West-European midlands for car dealers, lying on the most central axe for them to ship from: eastern, northern and southern European markets are ideally situated. Asian car dealers such as Toyota and Suzuki are particularly fond of Zeebruges, with Mazda joining them in April this year. Recently, the carpark got in the press because it was alleged that the amount of cars being held (175,000) was actually so

© Hans Snijkers, La Compania

Dude, Where’s my Car ?


THE GUIDE

BELGIUM

25

Yo Mama is so Fat… …she doesn’t need the internet, she’s already world wide …that when she wears her yelllow coat people yell “Taxi!”

" She grabbed a bag of Cheese Corn and a soda pop " The Pharcyde

…she sat on a rainbow and skittles popped out …i took a picture of her last Christmas and it’s still printing

…she sat on a quarter and pennies popped out …she fell off a boat and the captain yelled “Land Ho!” …the back of her neck looks like a pack of hot dogs …she stepped on the scale and it said “to be continued” …she puts Wall-Mart out of business … her blood type is gravy!

——————— A4 moment of humouristic fatness brought to you by graphic design bureau kòtje.


26

THE DIVA ISSUE

THE INSTITUTION

The Mad Barber — Yvan David is a flamboyant, larger than life hairdresser, a self-style madman who leads an outrageous lifestyle. One of the capital’s true icons, his infamous salon’s would see prostitutes mingle with lawyers. Now officially retired, he shares some memories with us.

© Ulrike Biets

Writer Randa Wazen

Living it up Large: Yvan David

If you see Yvan David for the fi rst time, chances are you will be taken aback, if not plain scared. Midway between plastic surgery train wreck Jocelyn Wildenstein and the Lion King, his very tall and thin body is covered in tattoos and he sports a wild and massive mane. Despite his age – he is sixty one - he’s had so much surgery done that he has virtually become ageless. But all it takes is one smile for his face to lighten up, beaming with a radiant personality that oozes genuine kindness. For as far as he can remember, he has always led his life with excessiveness and over the top-ness. “I am extreme regarding everything. Be it friendship, love, or myself. I’m not sure whether it’s a blessing or a curse, but that’s who I am.” From Rags to Glitter

Born in Schaerbeek in a modest family to say the least, he dreamt of becoming a florist, a dancer or a hairdresser. His parents were too

poor to send him to a specialised school so he started working at his uncle’s salon at the tender age of 13. Learning everything from scratch, This autodidact was running his own salon by the time he reached 19. He set up shop in the capital’s various neighbourhoods but his ‘piece de résistance’ was the one located near the Bourse area, that he ran for 24 years and proudly refers to as “the most beautiful hair salon of Brussels.” First named Yvan, he quickly changed the name to David, a tribute to Bowie, whom he was madly in love with. His breakthrough came in 1987, when Charlotte Rampling fell in love with his exuberant style on the set of Mascara, a movie directed by Patrick Conrad. He joined the crew by pure luck, after being asked to fi nd transsexuals, transvestites and gays to appear in the feature. So he rounded about 40 of them and did their hair, but was warned not to approach the famous actress because her army

of fancy makeup artists and stylists from Paris had been brought on location. It was only at the wrap party that he was introduced to her, and she was instantly charmed. After sending her styling team packing, she requested that Yvan does her hair. “We got along really well, because I knew exactly how to handle her from the start. I didn’t have to tell her that she was beautiful or talented.” David has run his fi ngers through the locks of more than 150 celebrities, from Céline Dion, David Bowie, Fergie and Vaya Con Dios to models and burlesque dancers of Paris’ Lido, but remains very humble about it. “I’m extremely proud and happy to have had the opportunity to work with such amazing artists, but I do not like the ‘celebrity hairstylist’ tag. A cleaning lady means as much to me as a chart topping pop star.” Life in the star system was not exactly his cup of tea, as he eventually had to resort to seeing a psychiatrist. “After a while I was


wondering why I wasn’t the one being asked for an autograph. It took me years of analysis to accept the fact that I am Yvan David and that’s as good as it gets.” He realises with hindsight that he wouldn’t trade places with them for anything in the world. “Famous people live in such a fake environment, surrounded by two-faced phonies. At the end of the day, they are extremely lonely.” In a world full of hypocrites, it’s no surprise that what set David apart was his honesty and authenticity. “All my Clients are Nutcases”

Customers who went to David’s salon could expect much more than a haircut… A social experience for starters. “What was great is that all sorts of people came by. No matter their background, all my clients are nutcases. I don’t know why but I seem to attract them. They felt free to unleash their madness in my presence.” The chaotic atmosphere of this melting pot seemed to be exactly what David loved, since he never wanted to run an uptight business. The idea was for everyone to chat together and he put a lot of effort in making them feel at ease in his eclectic environment. “When people came to me, I wanted them to enjoy a truly delightful moment and have loads of fun. Instead of calming things down, I excited them even more! Knowing that I was able to make their day is the most rewarding.” Making it no secret that he is a huge plastic surgery fan, David has had three lifting’s, his eyes, nose and mouth done five times each and a liposuction - although he admits that was an unnecessary intervention given his skinny frame and only went under the knife “because it was a birthday present.” He often gives advice to his customers about their appearance, but always in a respectful way. “If someone is comfortable living with an ugly nose, I totally accept it. But I believe it is my duty to offer my clients some suggestions as to how they could improve their looks.” His best friend is Muriel Greuse, a renowned plastic surgeon, and David states with pride that he has brought her more than 75 percent of her customer base through his guidance. He also sent his clients to see psychics, confi rming one crucial aspect of his job: that a hairdresser’s role is often that of a shrink. “All of my clients are in love with me. I listen to them, and because I am so kind and sincere, I tell them what their husbands don’t. So they come back to receive all that

THE MAD BARBER

BELGIUM

love and honesty they have been longing for.” Miche, one of his dearest friends over the last 30 years admits that he helped her gain confidence. “I feel good about myself ever since I met him. We’ve gone through eras and crazy styles together. I’m not afraid to say that David changed my life.”

his twenties, wearing outrageous makeup that would make even Laurence of Arabia look like a nun in comparison, and jokes about how he used to run errands that way. Sadly, not a day goes by without him being insulted in the street, yet he refuses to change, because that’s who he is, and has been for the past 60 years. A true eccentric at heart, his follies translate into his daily life, making it sometimes hard to keep up. “Living with me is not easy because I am barking mad. Once I saw a transparent tuxedo on TV. The next day I was off to Paris to buy it. Words cannot describe the lunacy of my nights out with friends. Sometimes I’ll call my partner in the morning and tell him that I’m at the hospital to get my face done and he won’t see me before a week.” His partner, whom he has been with for the past 24 years and whom he recently married, is his complete antithesis however. Having closed his hair salon a year and a half ago, David now receives a few clients; mainly close friends and the occasional celebrity, in a small studio located downtown. He had to give up his salon for financial reasons, which pains him, and admits he has sunk into a depression ever since. “I stepped out of the spotlight and am back in the shadow. Most of the time I am sad rather than happy. I miss so many things - the animation, the laughter, everything. Thankfully I have proper medication and my friends, but I sometimes fi nd it hard to cope.” Well aware that he doesn’t have many years left ahead of him, David has set himself challenges, little things he always dreamed of doing but never dared to. He also regularly helps out the less fortunate in his own way, collaborating with a centre by offering haircuts to those in need and pampering them with the full VIP treatment. “I realise at this point that I’m closer to death than to life. But I want my time here to be fi lled with love, sunshine and happiness. Life is tragic, but if I can try to make it more joyful, then it’s not that bad.” More than that, Yvan David has managed to turn his life into a work of art so rare and unique, it shines like a bright rainbow in the greyscaled streets of Brussels.

Love him or Hate him

A walking paradox, a stark contrast exists between the fiery image Yvan David projects and his fragile inner persona. Extremely shy and kind, he realises that he might have created this outlandish appearance to reassure himself. “I certainly have issues deep down inside”, he confesses. Angels are a recurring theme among his tattoos, as he strongly believes they protected him during his life. Having suffered a painful childhood, with alcoholic parents, rapes and abuse, he quite astonishingly compares his troubled youth to the violence of Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. But remarkably positive, he is not one to lament about his misfortunes and feels immensely grateful for the great opportunities life has given him. “In 46 years I never got bored or tired of my job. Not many people can say the same.”

" What was great is that all sorts of people came by. No matter their background, all my clients are nutcases. I don’t know why but I seem to attract them. They felt free to unleash their madness in my presence " Despite travelling all over the world, David’s inner soul has always remained fi rmly rooted in Brussels. A cult icon of the capital, many compare him to the city’s well-known landmarks. He realises that Belgium is quite a conservative country style wise and even though his look remains quite peculiar, he has downscaled it a bit. He shows me pictures of him in

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THE POLITICAL ISSUE

THE ISSUE

Youth, Force, Smarts & Unity — Six young activists were selected as Global Changemakers from around the world to attend the World Economic Forum earlier this year in Davos. Aged between 16 and 19, they confidently addressed rooms full of international policy makers, and held meetings with Bill Clinton, Kofi Anan, Al Gore and Gordon Brown. In the light of their experiences at Davos, we asked four of the planet’s most switched-on teenagers to tell us what they thought the big issues were right now. Writer Hettie Judah Illustration Jean-Biche

From Left to Right Bill Clinton, Ohm Gore, Sarah Nkhoma, Kofi Annan, Charlie Young, Elsabe Van Vuuren, James Chatepa, Meeran Karim and Al Gore


01. For James Chatepa in Malawi, the big issue is the complacency underlying our refusal to seriously tackle global crises.

I live in Malawi, the warm heart of Africa but also one of the world’s poorest countries. Deforestation runs rampant here. There are several thousands of deaths annually as a result of AIDS and malaria. Over a third of the population lives on less than $2.50 a day. Nonetheless, as people starve to death, each year the politicians get richer. So when asked what “The Big Issue” for me is, I’m very tempted to point to the corruption in my own country… but I believe that it goes far deeper than that. I believe that there’s a link between climate change, the current global financial crisis and even the disgusting levels of corruption in most African countries. In fact, I believe that all the major issues the world faces today are tied

YOUTH, FORCE, SMARTS & UNITY

LIFESTYLE

down to human irresponsibility and greed. The current global fi nancial crisis was caused, not only by risky and irresponsible behaviour by the US fi nancial sector, but from ordinary people, enslaved by consumerism, who wanted to buy more than they could afford. Climate change has escalated as our leaders for the past two decades have irresponsibly turned away and failed to address it. Ordinary Africans continue to live in poverty, decades after colonial rule, because their leaders selfi shly cling to power and irresponsibly choose to fi ll their own pockets… the problems are endless, but then again, so are the solutions. Man is an innovator who, throughout history, has always refused to say no to what was perceived as impossible: we built airplanes to cross the skies, we built vast ships to cross the oceans and discover new lands, and we even managed to put a man on the moon!

So I think that the big issue right now is complacency. It’s an unwillingness to act that has come from the realisation of how massive our challenges are. The world is hurting, so now is not the time to procrastinate, neither is it the time to isolate ourselves. We, as humans, need to rise up to the challenges we’re facing because it’s absolutely essential that we fi nd a common ground, a common purpose to tackle the world’s problems together, as we have done in the past. — James (16) studies in Malawi but goes to Huambo, Angola every long holiday to work for a local NGO that raises youth awareness and provides education on HIV/AIDS. He also works for an NGO in Malawi that raises awareness on HIV/AIDS through soccer tournaments.

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THE MAMMOTH ISSUE

02.For Charlie Young in the UK, the big issue is the lack of effective education and political thrust in the face of climate change.

Climate change is not just an environmental problem. It is a matter of human survival. The collapse of the biosphere will fundamentally change the way we live in so many ways it’s unimaginable. If we continue as we are, all the pressing issues of today will be amplified until our society is overwhelmed. Even though there is almost perfect scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change I would say that around half of my peers are still unsure whether climate change really exists. Why is this? It has to be because the media, as carriers of the message, aren’t doing their job. The 99 percent of scientists who believe in climate change should be getting 99 percent of the airtime and column inches on this subject. But they’re not. The result is that scepticism is rife and at this stage I fi nd that depressing and incredibly dangerous. When I understood the threat posed by climate change it took over my life. I feel I can’t just sit back and watch a horror show unfold when I can do something about it. That’s why a lot of my activism centres on education. Education can shift the argument to what we can do about the problem. We need a genuine transfer of knowledge and information to the people who will decide our future. In a democracy, that’s supposed to be everybody. Yet why would a government prioritise something that people care so little about? Governments have not been idle on climate change, but they haven’t acted with real energy either. The UN Kyoto Protocol in 1992 was the biggest piece of legislation since the UN Human Rights Bill but as a way of reducing harmful emissions it’s no better than a leaky bucket. The UK Climate Change Bill decided in December 2008, which will decide the fate of my generation, looks to be similarly and fatally inadequate. At Davos I felt that many people in power, in both government and industry, had a reasonable grasp of the threat posed by climate change. However, their excuse for soft peddling the issue is a dismal lack of faith in selling a harder line to voters and customers. Time and again I was told that the necessary practical solutions were not ‘politically feasible.’ We have to take this excuse away. We will not get the climate deal we need without public support for it. Those at the top won’t do the right thing without a massive push. — Charlie (16) is an award-winning climate change activist.

THE ISSUE

03.For Meeran Karim in Pakistan, the big issue is a serious lack of governmental transparency and free press in her country, which has left her unsure who to trust.

“19 die in bloody siege at Pakistan police academy” Headline from THE ASSOCIATED PRESS March 30 th 2009, 1:05 PM

Yes, it may sound horrible to most people out there, but living in Pakistan, I have watched too many images of brutality. Ceremonial shrouds are running out for the dead. You may say that I have no sympathy, but this is not the case, I simply have no faith in the government or its supposed allies. There were only two police guards in the aforementioned ‘bloody siege,’ guarding a police training centre, where 800 or so policemen were ironically being trained against impending terrorist attacks. In the attack that happened on the visiting Sri Lankan cricket team before this siege, gunmen attacked Sri Lanka's team in a gun and grenade assault in Lahore that killed eight people including six police personnel and wounded five members of the squad. Is it just me, or is the government genuinely lazy or deliberately being like this? In a country where military expenditure is invariably high and where American aid buys the latest equipment for the army, how can terrorists get away? They are too many conspiracy theories circulating these days: is Washington practicing coercive diplomacy in Islamabad’s corridors of power? Or are there too many other cooks spoiling the broth? You see, after witnessing the utter mess military dictators and corrupt civilian politicians have left us in routinely, I don’t know who to believe in. Although, the Pakistani media often gives us glimpses into the ground realities in many hostile areas of North Pakistan, they are only glimpses. While many people can propose solutions to problems such as climate change and the global fi nancial crisis, I don’t even understand the entire nature of the problem facing my country. So I won’t leave you with a high- sounding policy framework or solution, only glimpses and a sense of confusion, which is all I get nowadays. — Meeran (18) is a student at the Lahore College of Arts and Sciences in, Pakistan. In order to encourage youth activism, she established a youth parliament at her school. To help female empowerment, she interned at an NGO that provides legal aid to female victims of violence. She attended her first protest at the age of 11.

04.For Elsabe van Vuuren in Namibia, the big issues of today are all rooted in our refusal to relate honestly to one another.

I was born in 1991; one year after my country Namibia became independent. The relationship between the South African government and Namibia was not the best at that time. Many countries in Africa walked the same road; they fought for their independence. In the process of stirring up revolt against colonial systems, they cultivated unnecessary hate in the hearts of their people. To many, being independent means to have everything for yourself, by yourself and in yourself. Even I once hoped that Namibia would succeed in producing all she needs within her own boundaries. Now I understand the words a wise man once said to me: “we cannot strive to be independent, since we will end up lonely and selfi sh, greedy but poor. We will always be interdependent on one another and on others. A successful person is the one who risks to live, who risks to have relationships with other people.” Why is there a world economic crisis? I don’t have all the answers, but I do know that the lack of trust contributed greatly. The pressing issue of HIV/AIDS, I believe, is also a result of relationships gone wrong. In an open relationship, partners will be honest about their status. A healthy relationship will leave room for NO. A true relationship of love would not act merely out of self-gain and lust. It would also not cast AIDS out of the society and label it as dead. If we fail in our relationships, we fail a great part of our purpose. A family friend once said: when all the money is gone and the fame has calmed, when all the good things you did for other people and all the time you spend in training and education is lost. The one thing that remains is your relationships with other people, if you have any. I have never envisioned a world in perfect relation with each other, every country at peace, all people happy; I have not, because it is impossible. In the same way I have never imagined a world with no illness and no hospitals, because I understand that this is equally impossible. But every day thousands of doctors, researchers, nurses, specialists and educators fight for this goal. That is why I will fight for better relationships. This is what I am about. You need healthy relationships in order to tackle issues. — Elsaabe (17) grew up with great aspirations for her country Namibia and the continent of Africa. She currently works on a number of humanitarian projects.


THE SCREENING ROOM

LIFESTYLE

The Choice of Major Collections

WWW.CIEDESJARDINS.COM 1437, CHAUSSÉE DE WATERLOO (FORT JACO - PRINCE D’ORANGE) – 1180 BRUXELLES TÉL: 02 375 72 39 – FAX: 02 375 74 46 – CONTACT@CIEDESJARDINS.COM

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THE “OF CONSIDERABLE SIZE” ISSUE

THE WORD ON

Height Differences — You have those for whom it’s not an issue, those who carry it with a chip on their shoulder, those who actually find it charming, and others who’d outright punch you for simply joking about it. In our continuing series on standout human individualities, we turn our attention to vertically-impaired duos and bring you the six-pack to have won our hearts over. Photography Sarah Eechaut

Tine Guns & Mathieu Vandekerckhove Saleswoman and Teacher. Been together for two years and eight months. He is 27cm taller than she is.

Jokes they have to put up with: “Once someone said: ‘ Nice daughter sir.’” What they Wish for: “A Pair of Free High Heels.”


HEIGHT DIFFERENCES

Peter Gansbeke & Elisabeth De Loore Teacher and Student at the Antwerp Conservatorium. Been together for two years. She is 12cm taller than he is.

LIFESTYLE

Ruth Decouttere & Frederik Rigole Ruth studies Medicine and Frederik Commercial Engineering, both at KU Leuven. Been together for three and a half years. He is 34cm taller than she is.

Jokes they have to put up with : “Were the tall guys sold-out?” What they Wish for: “For our children to have Elisabeth's musicality and size but my sense of humour.”

Jokes they have to put up with: “None really or I’ll punch them in the face.” What they Wish for: “Good luck with our fi nals and a happy life together.”

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THE GIANT ISSUE

THE WORD ON

Jan De Smet & Christelle Robeys ICT expert for the Ministry of Finance and Physiotherapist. Been mother and son for 31 years. Sonny is 31cm taller than Mummy.

Suhua Yang & Geert Vandewalle Illustration Student at Hogent & Psychology Student at Howest Brugge. Been (happily) together since October 2007. He is 36cm taller than she is.

Jokes they have to put up with: “How's the weather up there? Upon which I ask them to stand up when they are talking to me.”

What She Wishes for: “Physically, I wish I was a little bit taller. In general: meeting Cocorosie, getting rich, and owning a house with Geert…”

What they Wish for: “World peace! To live happily ever after!” What He Wishes for: “Physically: more muscles, I would like to be the most handsome guy in the world (laughs). In general, being a millionaire, be good at everything, be super erudite, infl uence the world exactly the way I like...”


HEIGHT DIFFERENCES

LIFESTYLE

Lisa Speleers & Trisha Van de Velde Sixth Grade Students. Best friends since they were three years old. Lisa is 30cm taller than Trisha.

Jokes they have to put up with: “Ha-ha there goes the dwarf and the giant!” What they Wish for: “B.F.F. (Best Friends Forever)”

35


36

THE UNAVOIDABLE ISSUE

ANOTHER WORD ON

Scars — They look vulnerable, just the way we like them. Soft, just the way we imagined them. Yet confident, just the way we wished we were. Have a look, and try telling us you wouldn’t want one for yourself… Photography Ulrike Biets

Gary Gross, 30. Project leader. Lives in Antwerp. ¤ A big scar where he once had a mole. Gary was born with it, but when it got infected it had to be removed.

Steven Raeman, 34. Teacher. Lives in Brussels.

Imagine sitting under an oak-tree as a kid, ¤ listening to your teacher‘s pirate stories and having a big branch fall on your face.

Claire Burléon, 30. Cinema light specialist and photographer. Originally from Battice, lives in Brussels. ¤

Was born with a cleft palate and a harelip.


SCARS

LIFESTYLE

37

Adrien Lemoine, 22. Fashion design student. Lives in Brussels.

Got the scar on his cheek in a fight when his 造 opponent pulled out a knife. The scar on his forehead is the result of a nasty fall he made when he was a child. He fell against a table.

Frederik Geuvens, 18. Language student. Originally from Turnhout but lives in Leuven. 造 Got his throat slit by a surgeon who removed his thyroid after having diagnosed multinodulaire goiter, a big word for knobs.

Eric Meersman, 54. Works at AB caf辿-resto. Lives in Brussels. 造

morning.

Fell on the edge of a closet one Sunday


38

THE BIGGER THE BETTER ISSUE

THREE OF THE BEST

Big Bubblies — Recent nightclub outings have revealed a new breed of partyharders: they want the best, biggest and dearest bottle in the bar, and want it projected on an LCD screen for fellow clubbers to envy. In preparation for summer nights spent on remote islands corking it up, here we showcase our pick of supersized sparklers contrasted with dusty double deckers… Photography Operation Panda Art Direction Mélisande Mc Burnie

1. The Towering Teaser 2. The Ubiquitous Upstager House Moët & Chandon Capacity Magnum (1.5L) Height 39cm Flutes Filled 33 Regularly Appears At Flagship boutique openings in Shanghai Why We Chose It For its welcomed familiarity Best Enjoyed With a bowl of strawberries

House Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin Capacity Jeroboam (3L) Height 50cm Flutes Filled 68 Regularly Appears At Super-yacht christening parties on the Côte d’Azur Why We Chose It For its undertones of classic luxury Best Enjoyed With the Eastern block under each arm

3. The Flashy Foamer House Piper-Heidsieck Capacity Magnum (1.5L) Height 39cm Flutes Filled 44 Regularly Appears At Champions’ League celebrations in Chelsea Why We Chose It For its resilient presence Best Enjoyed With more than a little OTT-ness


BIG BUBBLIES

LIFESTYLE

39


40

THE HEAVYWEIGHT ISSUE

THE SHOWSTOPPERS

You’ve Been Tagged — Typeface, and big one at that, was given centre stage for this issue’s showstoppers, confidently towering over most of our selection, bar Eastpack’s humongous carryall of course. Photography Operation Panda Illustration Laurent Geens

01. Fat Sac Call us megalomaniacs, but we like our shoulder-slingers jumbo-sized, and Eastpack’s Raf Simons-designed bag is just that, and much, much more. A fresh take on the classic soldier sac, this resolutely more showy alternative, crème meshed and silver-padded, satisfied our need for attention. We like it when big brands with big ideas do big things, and this new addition to the now established collaborative collection is further proof that big can sometimes actually be better. Raf Simons Bag for Eastpack (€ 320)


YOU’VE BEEN TAGGED

LIFESTYLE

41

02. Neckweight We were instantly struck by this intricately interwoven necklace and its wrap-around ways. Stretching at 50cm long, it combines Asian-influenced embroidery with coulourful rock crystal, onyx and glass stones. From a series of three, we picked it for its ability to defy gravity, its elongated threads and welcomed playfulness. ‘Asian Style’ Necklace (€ 290) Available from AXL Place Brugmann 16 Brugmannplaats 1050 Brussels

03. Shady Show With summer comes our chosen pick of eyewear, one for him and one for her. For him, you have Californian newcomer Sabre’s Hang Loose shades, with their purple hazedtint and straight-lined rims. Infused with an oversized sense of coolness, we made them our male monocles of choice simply because they made us lose a couple of years of age. For her, we selected a slightly more subdued, tortoise-shelled pair of Marc Jacobs frames, reminiscent of the swinging 60s with a welcome touch of contemporary comfort. The added bonus? Both pairs can easily be swapped to be worn either by him or her. Sabre’s Hang Loose (€109,95) Marc Jacob’s TS 25 (€277)

04. Big Time We’re slowly coming to terms with the fact that mobile phones alone cannot be our sole provider of the time going past, so we fi nally resorted to strap some chromed chronological hardware to our wrists. Our fi rst timepiece of choice was Bell & Ross’ ruggedand-rough watch (pictured to the right), a testosterone-infused heavyweight squared to perfection. Our slightly more gaudy choice comes from household time-teller Swatch. Classical in its simplicity, its orange-tinted dial instantly stood out. Bell & Ross’ BR01 Pro Titanium (€ 5,500) Swatch’s Ocean Sunset (€140)


42

THE VOLUMINOUS ISSUE

THE SHOWSTOPPERS

05. Extra-Sauce This reflective lip gloss, from worldrenowned make-up artist Ellis Faas, had all the girls at the office popping to the mirror for a touch up. The kind to make even the blandest of smackers pulpy, its scarlet red tones and rich, creamy texture overshadowed its slightly unpractical - dare we say off-putting - design. Don’t let its outer disguise fool you though, as this one’s sure to become a fi rm fi xture in your handbag’s side pocket this summer. Ellis Faas’ Creamy, Milky or Glazed Lips (€ 24.95) Available from Cosmeticary 11B, Rue A. Orts 1000 Brussels

06. I's Huge We’ve been known to be caught off guard one too many times by bottom-of-the-page small print and this here magnifying glass is our weapon of choice in our fight against legal overzealousness gone too far. Take our word for it, you never know which sized eight disclaimers you’ll have to decipher to avoid being slapped with a preposterous claim, the most recent one we heard of being Ryanair’s shocking plans for a toilet usage tax. Consider this your ultimate cope out-buster.

See Stockists page for full product information.


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HIGH PLAINS DRIFTER 44

THE VAST ISSUE

THE FASHION WORD

— We made sure to catch a glimpse of our drifters before they disappear into the sanded highlands… Photography Andrea Lennon Art Direction & Fashion Eleonore Vanden Eynde


Jacket Gucci, Dress Cos, Shoes Gucci, Bag Dolce & Gabbana


Dress H&M, Top Emporio Armani, Shoes Christian Louboutin

Suit and shirt Matthew Williamson for H&M


Dress Hermès, Scarf Karl Lagerfeld


Dress Stella Mc Cartney, Necklace Giorgio Armani, Shoes Gucci


Dress Sonia Rykiel, Shoes Hermès


Her. Top h&m, Vest Lagerfeld Gallery, Belt Karl Lagerfeld, Ring June la Belle


Photography Andrea Lennon Art Direction & Fashion Eleonore Vanden Eynde Digital Assistant Nicolas Velter Retouched by www.pomme3d.be Make Up Eileen Caytan at Cestchic for Givenchy Make Up Assistant Orla Mc Keating Hair Adrien Coelho at Gonay hair salon for Redken Models Amanda Kruijver & Cyril l’kaderi at Dominiquemodels With Thanks to Cetem, Francis FÊrent, Mr Jacoby and Delphine Laval

Him. Suit and Shirt by Matthew Williamson for h&m


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Stay to earn free nights 4th May - 3rd July 2009

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*For full Terms and Conditions, visit www.getafreenight.com/freenightpromo. Must be Priority ClubŽ Rewards member to participate. Must register membership number in advance at www.getafreenight.com/freenightpromo and provide a valid email address. By registering, members will not earn base or Elite points or miles on any nights booked after their registration date during the promotion period at any IHG hotel (except in Japan). Free rooms are limited and subject to availability. Hotels in Japan are not participating. Š 2009 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.


LILLY PUTS PICTURES THAT GULLIVER FINDS, GULLIVER TRAVELS

TRAVEL WITH YOU ON MY MIND.

TWO CUPS OF LAUGHTER LILLY SHALL POUR, GULLIVER'S LAUGHIN' BUT YOU WANTED MORE.

(LILLY PUTS PICTURES, CITY MUFFIN BOYS)

SPECIAL


THE COLOSSAL ISSUE

THE TRAVEL PAPERS

© Sarah Eechaut

54

Sound in the City Urban environments, what with their bright lights, architecture and people, tend to be more visual experiences than anything else. Take any tourist walk or guided tour and most of the items on show will point to the beauty, ugliness or peculiarity of something you see. Yet, with the advent of 'localisation', new forms of locally-crafted tourism have emerged. These connect the human being with his or her environment, mostly through other senses than just the sight. Travel to Vancouver, London, Brooklyn or even Brussels and you might stumble upon small groups of people smell-, light-, eat- and sound-walking. The roots of soundwalks go back to Buddhist and Hindu teachings as well as the sixties’ 'Situanionist' movement. The ‘Situationist’ artists saw their surroundings as playgrounds with elements that could be singled out and combined into new realities. Andrea Murs (Brooklyn, NYC) organises

soundwalks often in collaboration with art projects and city festivals which focus on 'intersections' of individuals with their environment. Part of psychogeographer group Conflux, she encouragers walkers to take in their environments (be it traffic or air-conditioning pipes), the middle-ground noises and the unexpected, high-pitched tones (ambulances, helicopters, a baby crying) that suddenly capture the melody of your whereabouts. She focuses on musical elements such as keynotes, signals and soundmarks during her walks, in which she constructs melodies together with her fellow walkers. Another aspect of soundwalks is an awareness of the ecology of sound, of the noise surrounding us and of the pitches of everyday audibles. Through soundwalks, people become intensely aware of their surroundings and a city’s 'sound pollution', measured in signalto-noise ratio. For example, an environment is deemed lo-fi when there is a high ambient sound that blocks discrete ones, categorising it as a 'polluted' area. This goes back to Robert Murray Schafers 'Soundscape project’ in the late 1960s, in which the traditional landscape is replaced by a soundscape. This

community still exists and, in the general trend of ecological thinking, continues to strive to rekindle people with their sonic environments. This implies that people are not separate from their audio environment, but instead play an active role in it: whether our car engine roaring or our feet walking, everything we do is an added tone in the city’s heart beat. This principle is also taken up by Brussels-based artist Ann Vandevijver, known as IrmaFirma, who creates audiowalks in which the actions of the participants shape the walk itself. "They might be walking in a street and listening to some neighbourhood gossip on a tape and be instructed to try walking in the same rhythm as the person next to them. Suddenly you'll see a fragmented group synchronise their steps and take on a marching rhythm. But it doesn't have to be disciplined; it can also have an aboriginal quality to it." Ann has made thematic soundwalks for the Expo58 anniversary, but dreams of bigger things:"I would like to broadcast sounds that touch a whole city, or large masses of people. Imagine the whole of Brussels moving to the same beat." And what a sound that would make… (KVG)


THE TRAVEL SPECIAL

55

this means? Pedal and the wheels will move forward – or backwards, depending which way you’re peddling. Stop peddling and the bike will grind to a halt. Simple. And what about the brakes? They aren’t any. You’ll need to resist the turning pedals. Hair-raising it is, but oh-so thrilling and, quite simply rejuvenating. Fixed gears, or ‘fi xies’ as they are more commonly known in the close-knit world of fi xed riders, aren’t anything new. Indeed, the fi rst modern bicycle was a fi xed gear, although it quickly fell out of favour once freewheels and handbrakes became common occurrence. And although the riding style continued to thrive in velodromes and racing tracks the world over, it seemed to have lost its appeal to city cats. That is until bike messengers from San Francisco to New York adopted the phenomenon as their own. What most appealed to them was the bike’s lack of parts, minimising risks of theft or the need for repair. What is more, the phenomenon’s DIY essence means most riders are their own mechanics, having actually built their bikes themselves. Which is what really sets these bikes apart – the customising streak of their owners and the bikes resulting distinctiveness. You’ll get

‘fi xies’ with straight handlebars, fi xies with curved handlebars, others with short ones and others with racing handlebars. Then you have the frame, and its geometry: you have supple lugged steel frames, stiff yet efficient aluminum frames, track bike frames or frames with more relaxed – read all conquering – shapes. Then you still have to choose your wheels – 29, 27 or 26 inches –, rims and saddle. Be careful though, as you could quickly fi nd yourself out of pocket such is the amount of choice available in parts and accessories. For newcomers to the concept, we have just the resources needed for a crash-course in fi xed gear ethics, aesthetics and mechanics. The fi rst thing you’ll need to do is get yourself a copy of ‘Mash SF’ (www.mashsf.com), the ground-breaking documentary on the fi xed gear community out of San Francisco, known as fi xed gear capital of the world. Getting a subscription to COG magazine, published out of London, will also help with keeping abreast on all fi xed gear going ons. (NL)

© Yassin Serghini

THE TRAVEL PAPERS

I Need a Fix The fi rst time we laid our eye on a fi xed gear bike, we instantly were caught off guard by its appealing minimalist aesthetic and cool composure. Distinctive in its design, its light aluminum frame and unique composite wheel set it apart from its other road-worthy counterparts – and this isn’t taking into account the phenomenon’s obvious speed factor. Indeed, fi xed gear riders are, more often than not, helmet-wearing kamikazes with a propensity for urban thrills and with probably one too many visits paid to the emergency services. You guessed it right, fi xed gear riders – slaloming diehards and nutty mechanics – aren’t the type to keep to the right on the bike lane. No, they’ll be the ones speeding past you… And the reason for that is engineering simplicity at its best. Without wanting to get overly technical about it - although, to be fair, that is part of the fi xed gear appeal – the differentiating factor compared to run-of-themill wheels is that fi xed gear bicycles’ sprockets are screwed directly on to the hub. What

www.fi xedgearlondon.com www.fi xedgeargallery.com www.councilofdoombc.blogspot.com


56

ADVERTORIAL

01.

The Word & Maasmechelen Village — What if we told you we knew of a place, less than an hour’s drive from Brussels, where shopping actually means the client is king, where shopkeepers are forthcoming without being imposing and, more importantly, where discounts rule, albeit in style. The Word drives up to Maasmechelen Village outlet shopping for a day of recession-busting spending.


THE WORD & MAASMECHELEN VILLAGE

02.

The day started off to somewhat of a bumpy start. It was barely past 8h30 on a Saturday morning and here we were, lost in Brussels’ suburbs, looking for a friend’s daughter we had to pick up. Eager to get on our way, we quickly came to our senses, promptly finding our bearings and setting sail for Maasmechelen, our Mappy instructions firmly plastered to the dashboard. Three turns to the right, follow the sign posting once the last highway exited ( E314 direction Leuven / Genk, then Exit 33 ) and you’re there in 52 minutes and some, door-to-door. Once arrived, the “wows” and “let me outs” audible from the backseat predicted a day of puppy-eyed looks, calculated buys and shop floor hysteria. From afar, a quaint village of pale-coloured village houses neatly aligned along a central high street instantly reminded us of what we ceased to like about downtown shopping: the crowds, difficult parking and an overall sense of unnecessary urgency. We hadn’t even set foot on the paved stones when we were already positively impressed by what we were sure was to be yet another grisly day out at a retail outlet. We’d be proven wrong more than a couple of times during the day… Having fi nally found our other group of friends, we decided on some necessary dayplanning around a freshly grounded cup of frothy coffee and morning-scented tea at our fi rst stop, Gastronomia Cellini. Our orders taken, we congregate around the Village’s directory, plotting our descent upon the high street’s many boutiques. Levi’s, Hugo Boss, Marithé+Francois Girbaud, Pringle of Scotland, Petit Bateau, Bodum, Villeroy & Boch, and the list could go on. If anything, it’d actually be more difficult to shop here, given the amount of choice – not to forget the fact that everything was heavenly discounted.

THE TRAVEL SPECIAL

03

First fashion foray was understated knitwear specialist Essentiel, with its airy boutique, smiley shop attendants and good mix of pieces. Fixtures and fittings echoing the boutique’s high street counterpart, extending the brand’s overall experience to the outlet world, something paramount to the Maasmechelen concept. Then came Bodum for some inspired tableware (chunky tea cups going for €5 originally priced at €12) followed by Diesel with its delmontelined denim racks. If these were supposedly different retail offerings than what we were accustomed to in Brussels, it sure didn’t show. We returned to our adopted gastro-eatery for lunch, with some digging into their generous pizzas and others snacking on bruschettas, preparing for the rest of the day’s purchasing promenade. This included popping into G-Star, buying a pair of Converses’ and then letting loose in Versace, all the while amazed at how far €100 could actually stretch. They say ‘recessionistas’ is the new buzzword in marketing departments the world over, and this surely is where they come and play. The fi nishing touch though, is how unlike a retail outlet this all felt. You won’t have to elbow your way to the shirt of your choice, battling it out with crazed housewives with one too many discount-hunts under their belts. Nor will you have to remove a piece of year-old chewing-gum from your high-heels as we lost count of the amount of street cleaners we saw in the space of a couple of hours. Why we’ll go back and hope to take you with us? Because in many ways, and more so in these harsh economic times, it is a much better alternative to Paris. All you need to do is try it once, just once. Trust us, similarly to us urging you to go to the museum, you’ll thank us once you get there.

The Facts Door-to-Door Timing (down to a second)

52 minutes and 34 seconds (precise) Number of Boutiques

95 with national and international brands Shopping Bag Count

11 Should have Paid

€ 749

Actually Paid

€ 380

The Other Villages You Should Know

La Vallée Village in France (40 minutes away from central Paris) and Bicester Village (one hour from London)

04.

01. 02. 03. 04.

Spring Pickings Walking The Strip In The Bag The Plan of Attack

57


58

THE LARGE ISSUE

THE PHOTO ALBUM

The Wanderings of Walter and Wendy Word — Our in-house mascots have it cut-out for themselves. Day-tripping and tip-toeing from one black and white landscape to the other, you’d be forgiven for thinking they actually were sleep walking. “Wendy, are you still awake? No Walter, we’re dreaming…”

Over the bridge

Words Mélisande Mc Burnie

One giant step across the river

Past the windmill

And lonely highways


THE WANDERINGS OF WALTER & WENDY WORD

THE TRAVEL SPECIAL

Down the back allies and empty streets

Tiptoe over rooftops

Under the bridge

It was all a dream And back home again

Pictures chosen with a nostalgic blast to the past

59


60

THE GULLIVER ISSUE

THE SPECIAL FASHION

Printed Dress Idiz Bogam, Vintage Suitcase Delvaux


PACKING LIGHT

THE TRAVEL SPECIAL

Packing Light Departing or arriving, packing or unpacking, looking in or looking out. Such are the dilemmas faced by a confused generation of tormented travelers‌ Photography Vincent Fournier Fashion and Interiors Justine Glanfi eld

61


Yellow Blouse Hoss Intropia


Black Dress AF Vandevorst


Kimono Vintage Stylists’ Own, Bag Delvaux


All Clothes Lacoste Club, Bag Hermès


66

Vintage Braces A La Page, Vintage Bag Burberry, Vintage Blue Shirt Idiz Bogam, Trousers Essentiel

Photographer Vincent Fournier www.carolelambert.com

Hair Adrien Coelho at Close Up IMM for L’Oreal

Fashion and Interiors Justine Glanfi eld www.number76.be

Make Up Eileen Caytan at cestchic for Givenchy with photo perfection foundation

Assistants Kate Fichard, Yassin Serghini Digital Assistant Michael at La Fabrique Production Eleonore Vanden Eynde

Models Sofi a and Dimitri Gillet at Dominique Models Retouched by Bee Factory www.beefactory.be With thanks to La Fabrique Vilhelm Hammershøii


www.superdry.be


68

THE WHOPPING ISSUE

THE SPECIAL SHOWSTOPPERS

Ready for Take Off — We’re tricky travellers to treat when it comes to our pick of trip-fit accessories, although we settled on some suitcase-suited specialties guaranteed to satisfy the most discerning of tastes. Photography Sarah Eechaut

Diptyque Atomiser

Braun's Travel Alarm Clock

Hey, Delphine – you know that perfume of mine you like so much? The one that smells like a fig tree? Dyptique just put it out in a special travellers edition: three mini bottles, one interchangeable atomiser. Very cute piece of design. If I can persuade someone to buy me one, I’ll take it to Milan. Any ideas? Kisses xxx Hettie

Quite simply an essential, this clock has been ensuring jet-lagged travelers get a piece of the breakfast buffet nonetheless. Designed by Braun’s head of design for more than 30 years, the formidable Dieter Rams, the crisp clock and its distinctive dial is a prime example of the German designer’s knack for functionality with subtle appeal. Further testament to the clock’s enduring legacy is its ‘Made in Germany’ stamp of approval, something we hadn’t seen in quite some time.

Available from Les Précieuses 83 Rue A. Dansaertstraat 1000 Brussels

Braun’s Travel Alarm Clock, Type 4746/AB1


READY FOR TAKE OFF

THE TRAVEL SPECIAL

69

Fasten Seat Belt's Z-Cards Ever been on holidays, bumped into another group of tourists and been ashamed at their lack of local cultural sensitivity? Well, next time, instead of biting your tongue into not telling them off, simply give them one of these. Z-Cards are handy fold-out etiquette bibles ‘do’s and don’ts’ coupled with local expressions we strongly recommend you firmly staple to your suitcase’s inner lining. Illustrated with cunning simplicity through the use of colourful illustrations (courtesy of our very own designers pleaseletmedesign and delphine dupont), the cards were initially distributed for a year at Brussels Airport, with a televised cartoon version broadcasted on all Thomas Cook and Air France flights as well as on board the Heathrow Express in London. With more folded forewarnings set for Asia in the coming months, we’re counting on you to be good ambassadors now that you have the necessary tools. Email stefka@fastenseatbelts.eu to receive your Z-Card

Samsonite Black Label by Victor & Rolf Samsonite’s Black Label imprint continues in its quest for collaborative creation with a latest collection by enfants terribles of Dutch fashion design, Viktor & Rolf. Renowned for their uncompromising unconformity and trademark frivolity, the devilish duo update Samsonite Black Label’s range with a collection for men, and one for women. We fell for the men’s Overnight Boarding Bag for its forgoing of unnecessary inner pouches, its solid and well-rounded outer shell and bold black monochrome. Overnight Boarding Bag by Viktor & Rolf for Samsonite (€595) Available from Samsonite Black Label Stores in Brussels and Antwerp


70

THE HUGE ISSUE

THE SPECIAL SHOWSTOPPERS

Havana Chic Designers have been going a crazy for tape recently – printing it with everything from picture frame pattern to porcelain cracks. Draw Me A Sheep’s Havana Chic tape has a richer frame of reference than most, simultaneous evoking the knocked about luggage of the kind of travellers seldom featured by Condé Nast, and the endlessly copied logo of the world’s most luxurious baggage company. And it actually, you know, sticks. (HJ) www.drawmeasheep.com

World Traveler's Plug Set These come in many shapes and forms, but we had yet to fi nd one to rock our boat. Enter the World Traveler’s Plug Set, picked up not too long ago at the MoMa store in New York. A sturdy and modular all-in-one kit of travel-friendly plugs, it is held together by a perforated rubber centerpiece, allowing for each plug to be slotted in wherever you please. Colour-indexed, each plug forms like Voltron when packing up again. Functionalism at its best. World Traveler’s Plug Set ($18) Available from www.momastore.org


delvaux.com Newspaper Bag, Men’s “1829” Collection, Designed by Bruno Pieters – Cabas, Vegetable tanned calf – 250 examples


72

THE 95F ISSUE

THE PICK

Thinking Big — Outsized furniture seems to stink of pre-economic crisis excess – these days we’re going for big ideas instead of big objects. Writer Hettie Judah

01. Senz Storm Umbrella

02. Clouds

03. Magno Radio

We spotted this apparently indestructible Dutch design in London, where it had been nominated for a Design Museum award. We immediately thought that it was just the thing for Oostende in July. The aerodynamic shape makes it resistant to extreme winds as well as rain, and it has become a cult item on Japanese TV, where it has been submitted to skydiving and wind-tunnels, without losing its shape.

The Bouroullec brothers’ modular textiles have created a kind of paradigm shift in designing for contemporary interiors. As with their previous linking forms, their latest design, Clouds, can simply be linked together as a dynamic sculptural form, but it can also expand eternally to make dividers, walls, and rooms within rooms, creating flexible living spaces without the need for formal architectural intervention.

A rare example of serious product design credentials engaging with social and environmental responsibilities. Singgih S.Kartono has applied production-line efficiency to craft techniques, developing a sustainable business model that creates employment in his home village in Indonesia. The pure lines and immaculate manufacture of the radios speak more strongly than any ethical selling point.

www.senzumbrellas.com

www.kvadratclouds.com

www.wooden-radio.com

04. Hybrid Cutlery

05. Freedom XXS Mobile Drive

Belgian design’s Mr Big purloined cutlery wherever he went, in a lifelong quest for perfect forms and materials. His design conclusion – a titanium fork, ceramic knife and lacquer spoon – was only produced after his death. For those of us who can’t afford the originals (and there are few designer objects we have ever wanted more) let this be inspiration to go hybrid.

We have a total design crush on Sylvain Willenz at the moment. Between knocking out new lamps for Established & Sons and pursuing his own cerebral aesthetic in his studio furniture, he recently dipped his toe in big corporate culture to design the housing for the world’s smallest external 2.5” hard drive. Willenz replaced the conventional hard shell with a softer rubberised cover, available in black, white, silver or gold.

Maarten Van Severen’s Hybrid Cutlery, produced by When Objects Work www.whenobjectswork.com

www.freecom.com www.sylvainwillenz.com


THINKING BIG

DESIGN

73

01.

03.

© Julien Renault

© When Objects Work

02.

04.

05.


THE UNLIMITED ISSUE

74

THE NOVELTY

01.

The Mighty Punt Instead of a humble, recession-sensitive launch, new design house Skitsch is coming in big, Italian style. Writer Hettie Judah

Global economic downturn is for pussies – right now the big boys of Italian design are launching a new brand in a 600 square meter, 13-window corner showroom, angled right into one of the central arteries of Milan. The store will stock works by a stable of designers that reads like the hottest three inches on a Hot Designers Who’s Who: from the Campaña brothers, to Konstantin Grcic, to Maarten Baas to Xavier Lust, with pieces ranging from cutlery and ceramics to pingpong tables and one-offs. Skitsch is not only a new brand: it is, for Europe, a completely new concept. Inspired in part by the hyper influential New Yorkbased design emporium Moss, in part by the US retail concept Design Within Reach,

02.

Skitsch is about to become Europe’s ritziest, most directional, catalogue shop. “You can see a product in Milan and then buy it in Manchester or London, or receive the catalogue at home,” explains CEO Renato Preti, who points out that the most significant difference between the structure of Skitsch and its American inspiration is that the Italian company will work with its own collection: these pieces will not be available elsewhere. Working in partnership with Bvlgari, Preti has serious form in the design business, having previously managed investments in B&B Italia and Moooi. His fellow shareholders include investors in design houses MDF and Artemide, as well as architects, and captains of Italian industry. This is not exactly a bunch of bored wives setting up a furniture shop. Skitsch is also a significant departure from the (perhaps somewhat outdated) image consumers have of Italian design. Forget immaculately coordinated furniture and homogenised aesthetic concepts, this is less a coherent collection than a rowdy family of spirited children. Inspired, perhaps, by the attention-grabbing success of the British fi rm Established & Sons, the collection is dedicated to individual pieces with big personalities. “It’s an eclectic collection composed of useful pieces for living; each is an expression of the personality of a designer,” explains artistic director Cristina Morozzi. “We selected the designers for their personalities, the drive of their design, the innovation and the emotional aspect of their work.”

One of Italy’s most celebrated design commentators, Morozzi enjoys the prospect of giving a bit of a knock to Italian interiors. “Italian people are very careful; they pay a lot of attention to detail and try to have their living space more organised than people do abroad,” she explains. “But people need some new surprises and emotions in this area.” Morozzi and Preti are not alone in their belief that there could be a big audience right now for easy-to-buy design pieces – there’s a strong line of economic intelligence that argues that as people are spending more time at home during the downturn, what money they have to spend on luxuries will most likely go on improving their home environment. With pan-European distribution (a London store is already planned for next year), and a roster of works emanating from Rio to Rotterdam, it seems a peculiarly un-Italian Italian business, but Preti is convinced that local sensibility will shine through “It’s like a Fellini movie,” he explains. “The actors can be from Sweden, the photographer from France, but because the director is Italian, Italy is in the taste, the approach and in the details.” www.skitsch.it

01. 02.

Xavier Lust’s Blow Up Table Konstantin Grcic’s Chair 43


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76

THE SPRAWLING ISSUE

Megalopolitan City Blues — Onthaal au die Eurocore ! You currently live in Europe’s most populous megalopolitan city region. Writer Hettie Judah Illustration Muriel Bleus

Photographs of the earth at night show lights indicating human habitation clustering across areas greater than the world’s biggest cities and sliding over national borders. The largest clusters include Greater Tokyo, the Yangtze Delta, the north east coastal zone of the United States and a sprawling blob in the west of Europe. Seen at 3am last night, an image of that last zone would have featured the light you put on when you got up to go to the bathroom: the sprawling blob is your home. Covering a zone that includes Ruhr, Cologne, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Brussels, Antwerp and Lille, and taking in a population estimated at 50 million, the territory has variously been dubbed the Euro-Lowlands or Eurocore (or, when Rem Koolhaas is in a less generous mood, the Hollowcore). Given the centuries of blood spilled carving up this section of the world map, it’s both comic and horrifying to see the Dutch, Flemish, West Germans, Wallon and Northern French fi nally united by a coincidence of urban tendency. 2007 was the tipping point at which the world’s population became half urban, and two years later, estimates would take us beyond that – the majority population of the world now lives in cities. As a result, we’re at a point in history where there’s a great deal of thought going on about big cities and the problems facing them, yet the Euro-Lowlands is peculiar for its lack of a significant metropolis – for all its cultural riches, there is no World City here on the scale of London, New York or Tokyo. We Euro-Lowland dwellers are left out of the debates and developments going on surrounding the planning of transport systems, the tackling of environmental issues and need for politically independent city governance.

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

Escaping for a minute from issues of national sentiment, what if we step back far enough to see the zone for the one great megalopolis that it is? Rather than living in one of the zone’s dozens of petty metropolises, our administrative hours spent squabbling over the semantics of policy, we become inhabitants of one big, polycentric city – the world’s biggest, in fact - facing up to all the big city problems.

“Architects often respond to questions in the same way” muses Verschuere. “They tend to respond with objects. We beleive there is a different way to work with cities without always producing landmark objects. (…) When the question is urban, the response is often architectural. In our office, we try to engage a reflection on urban and landscape architecture by taking as a starting point the construction of its image. Between facts and fiction.”

The Question was Urban, the Response Architectural

“Looking at the picture of Brussels, you see that what defi nes the city is not the built matter. We architects fi ll things, but in the end, the image of the city is created not only by the architecture, but more fundamentally by its infrastructure.” Adrien Verschuere Baukunst architectural office.

The contemporary megalopolis is a city created almost by hazard. While we may see the work of architects, urban designers and planners in its most visible zones (in the old city centres, around the seats of government, learning and economic power), the growth of the megalopolis is often too fast to follow established construction routes. New residential zones sprout up where people can access them by road and rail, and where it is easy to hook up new buildings up to an existing water and power supply. In imagining what the role of an architect might be in our new Euro Lowlands, we talked with Adrien Verschuere, a young architect working out of Brussels who sees his role not only to propose construction projects, but also to think and promote debate about the built environment. Baukunst’s digitally manipulated images of cities break urban areas back to their essence. In gradually stripping away familiar elements, they uncover those parts of a city that give it its peculiarity and make it recognisable. In his picture of Brussels (pictured on the right), it becomes a city without institutions or major landmarks, the capital neutered of it organs of power and transformed into a lowrise residential conurbation. What makes it recognisably Brussels is the road and rail network, the streets and public spaces. For another city it might be the river, or other geographical marker. For architects, all are sobering reminders of what gives a city its thrust and energy – the structures that allow people to move themselves around, rather than the buildings they erect when they decide to stay still.

" We architects fill things, but in the end, the image of the city is created not by the architecture, but by infrastructure. " Adrien Verschuere

As a young architect Verschuere fi nds the photographic works to be a useful talking point, a way to gauge public response to urban propositions, but he shies away from the idea that city architecture should be opened up to a public forum. “People should express themselves about the city, but they should not design the city; I think the idea of a hyperdemocratic city is dangerous.” A poorly functioning city centre is one in which people drive between buildings, where there is no life on the streets. This is not just a cute spiritual issue, it is also an economic one: if workers drive to their office from the suburbs and then straight back out again, they are taking their money with them; they earn in


©2009 BAUKUNST - Adrien Verschuere

MEGALOPOLITAN CITY BLUES

Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, Even if the thread of their discourse is secret, Their rules absurd, their perspectives deceitful, Everything conceals something else. — Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities

DESIGN

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THE GIGANTIC ISSUE

the city, but spend in the suburbs. The shift of the affluent residential population to the swelling suburbs is classically referred to as the Doughnut Effect. In our Euro-Lowlands, it might be better referred to as the Waffle Effect – a pattern of impoverished, underpopulated small city-centers framed by airy residential districts. Our Euro-Lowlands megalopolis is a very low-density urban zone, with sprawls stretching right between the small cities in the region. One thing that drives people into these endless suburbs and satellite cities is the poor quality of life in city centres – as Verschuere argues, sometimes the solution to city problems are urban rather than architectural. High density urban areas are desirable from an environmental perspective – if more people inhabit the same area, they travel less and are easier to supply with resources – but to make high density inner city areas attractive, they need good public spaces and a well functioning infrastructure. No Politics Without Architecture, no Architecture Without Politics

“The reason we went for cities is because they have certain legislative responsibilities, and powers that mean they can do things irrespective of national politics. They don’t have to get permission handed down to them by national government. Arguably the genesis of this was that cities could take action where they felt national governments couldn’t.” Simon Reddy ex-policy director of Greenpeace, now manager of the secretariat of C40, in partnership with the Clinton Climate Initiative.

When Simon Reddy came to Brussels earlier this year, he shared a Greening Cities conference platform with former London mayor Ken Livingstone, and a clutch of Belgian officials who behaved so poorly that they shall remain unnamed. Reddy was representing C40 – an urban environmental initiative bringing together the world’s 40 largest cities. Still in its infancy, C40 asks cities to commit to a climate change action plan, and then creates a platform for information exchange between the top level of the administration in different cities to help make it possible. The mayor of Jakarta gets to learn about Bogota’s rapid bus network, the mayor of Seoul can pick up tips from Tokyo’s efficient water-delivery system, the mayor of Mumbai can discover how Stockholm runs its transport system on bio-gas from sewage. Clubbed

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

together, the cities have substantial purchasing power, and can push the development of cleaner technologies – LED streetlights, and electric vehicles, for example - with a promise of massive procurement.

" The reason we went for cities is because they have certain legislative responsibilities, and powers that mean they can do things irrespective of national politics. "

We asked a random selection of Wordites to suggest a candidate for the fi rst mayor of the Euro-lowlands. Nominations included: Luc Deleu (architect, urbanist), Jean-Claude Van Damme (actor, icon), Rebecca Harms (Green MEP), Rem Koolhaas (architect, urban theorist), Job Cohen (current mayor of Amsterdam), Peaches (singer, agent provocateur), Anne Power (European commissioner, sustainable development guru), Walter Van Beirendonck (fashion designer, good citizen). Luc Schuytens (cartoonist). As a coalition they represent a mixture of power, celebrity, aesthetic flair, rebel spirit, integrity and courage. Big city mayors today are high-profile – they need the ego to follow up their own vision for the city, but it’s a rare city official that can separate themselves from the demands of the here and now. At their best, mayors are good at working out what a city needs in the approximate present (they may be a little out of date, they may be a little visionary): the current population elected them, and it is the current population that they usually aim to satisfy. Largely for this reason (ignoring for the moment questions of political corruption and ‘jobs for the boys’) politics and architecture too often bring out the worst in one another. The short term of any political tenure does not encourage long-term thinking – mayors favour tangible, visible results that can emerge within their period of office. Simon Reddy, with his environmentalist’s hat on, reminds us that any new buildings should be part of our planning for the serious long term. The West European urban centres of the Euro-Lowlands have building stock that has endured for centuries – in planning new constructions, we should be thinking as far ahead again into the future.

Simon Reddy Making Yourself Understood among the Euro-lowlife

Reddy admits that there is now a “ healthy competitiveness” between the city mayors that helps push things along, but none of it would be possible without the power and leverage that a big city mayor wields. The Brussels officials on the platform with Reddy begged to join C40, then admirably demonstrated exactly why a non-political figurehead was so important by bickering about petty local problems for the rest of the evening. Brussels, of course, doesn’t have a hope of getting into C40 – but with a population of 50 million, our Euro-Lowland megalopolis would go straight to the top of the list, knocking Houston, Texas (pop 2,200,000) off the bottom in the process. Before any of that we would need a mayor.

“I think there is now a sense of room for more than one kind of architect. There are roles for people who are architects but who don’t build, there is a role for people who make individual monuments and there is a role for people who make fabric. What there probably isn’t enough of are architects who think. We could do with a few more ideas about cities – if you think about it there are really very few. ” Deyan Sudjic, architecture critic, author, advisor to The Urban Age Project, director of The Design Museum in London.

While C40 is trying to establish a dialogue between big cities, The Urban Age Project (organised by the London School


©2009 BAUKUNST - Adrien Verschuere

MEGALOPOLITAN CITY BLUES

The richness of decorations, The landscape’s charm, the architecture’s charm And all the effects of theatre decorations rest Purely on laws of perspectives — Franz Böhle, Theater-Katechismus

DESIGN

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THE GRAND ISSUE

of Economics and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society) also works on the dialogue within cities: the dialogue that should, but seldom does, exist between planners, administrators, architects, theorists and economists.

" I think there is now a sense of room for more than one kind of architect. We could do with a few more ideas about cities – if you think about it there are really very few. "

THE SHAPE OF THINGS TO COME

eroded their ability to communicate outside their specialist area. This is a deep problem when trying to negotiate how to coexist in an increasingly urban future. “People that write constitutions, economists, mayors and politicians are not usually a group that talks together,” explains Sudjic. “They tend to see each other as enemies, or as frivolous. The architects tend to behave quite badly in front of each other: watching Rem Koolhaas and Peter Eisenman not speaking to one another was fascinating: the level of debate is very hermetic and very cultish. At some of those Urban Age events you can see that {architects} haven’t really worked out how to talk in front of another audience who just don’t get it.” Designing for this new Urban Age – in which more than half the world’s population lives in cities – requires architects to develop a new set of skills, not all of them architectural. Quite evidently communication skills are part of this – both inside and outside the profession - and the ability to play the political game without becoming entangled in it. Speaking recently with the American landscape architect Martha Schwartz, she proposed a new role for her profession as something akin to marriage brokers within urban re -development projects. Landscape architecture in the urban context is the design of everything on the ground level – in many projects it is an ‘add on’ element, the last element to be brought in on a project, yet it is also key to the city experience. Rather than allowing planning to be dominated by the vertical edifices, Schwartz imagines the landscape architects of the future to take the central chair, to make projects harmonious from the citizen pedestrian’s eye view, designing urban space from the ground up, rather than the top down.

Deyan Sudjic Back to the Grid – an Escape from Obsolete Architecture

Writing in The Endless City, a publication generated by the project in 2007, Sudjic noted that what separated the city from the village was a question of choice; the city was “an à la carte menu” as he described it. While an abundance of choice is enriching in one sense, it also allows us to ignore what we fi nd unpalatable: we can choose to hang out with that element that reinforces our own worldview. For all its close quarters and lack of choice, a village forces its inhabitants to develop mechanisms for dealing with diverse elements of humanity. The rarefied, ultra-selective life of the top-end big city dwellers seems to have

In contemplating a role for the future of the architect in our Euro-Lowlands Deyan Sudjic emphasises the need for cities to grow not just according to the size of their population, but in terms of growing sophistication and changing needs. We shouldn’t just think in terms of bigger cities, but more flexible inner city spaces; “what makes cities fl ourish is the sense of not closing down possibilities – not freezing them, not sterilising them.” In Sudjic’s eyes, this does not necessarily mean thinking in terms of modular, component-based structures, but of building works with less tendency to rapid obsolescence; better built, easier to re-interpret, expand or re-integrate in the future. “A grid is super fl exible,”

he notes. “And the London terraced house is fantastically forgiving as a building type.” The Euro-Lowlands is unlikely to be the world’s largest megalopolis for long – the population in other areas of the globe is rising much more swiftly. As we dwindle down the ranks of Megalopolitan city zones, the world will become ever more urban, and if architects are to have a celebrated role in the future they need to learn to act in concord - at least with one another - so that we can have built environments that not only satisfy the demands of a booming city population, but also relate to one another. Rather than producing isolated tufts of human habitation, sites that connect to one another aesthetically, ergonomically or philosophically allow the city to grow and weave back into itself like a non-stop fabric.


82

THE KING SIZE ISSUE

My Book Weighs a Tonne — We’re flipping pages by the kilo this month with our pick of gargantuan books. Limited in numbers, they are the ultimate in egocentric publishing, often going on to command mindboggling prices in auction rooms the world over. Contextualised within Brussels’ Librairie Solvay, we couldn’t help sitting our in-house mascot beside them… Photography Yassin Serghini Art Direction Mélisande McBurnie Writer Nicholas Lewis with Maria Groot (MG)

Lachapelle. Artists and Prostitutes (2006) Taschen

Having started his career at Warhol’s Interview magazine, Lachapelle was always destined for big things. With his often surreal - some might say grotesque - photography, his aesthetic transcends all conventional photographic wisdom, combining intensely vivid coulours with cunning and witty art directions. The century’s de facto celebrity glitterati photographer, he has shot everyone from Tupac Shakur to Pamela Anderson. 2,500 copies Weighs 19.5 kg 7.5 cm High, 50 cm Large 698 pages Costs €2,500

THE SHELF

Le Corbusier. Le Grand (2008) By Jean-Louis Cohen & Tim Benton Phaidon

The Swiss-French pioneer of modern architecture, who is probably best-known for his small pilgrim church Notre Dame du Haut in Ronchamp (France), is given a fitting retrospective on print in this giant of a beast. Spanning his entire works – from urban architecture to his many teachings – the volume makes good this architectural philosopher’s contribution to modern-day urban co-habiting. Weighs 9 kg 6 cm High, 42 cm Large 768 pages Costs €150

Helmut Newton. SUMO (2000) Edited by June Newton Taschen

Helmut Newton is renowned for really being the fi rst to add a solid touch of naked glamour to fashion photography, at his best when photographing scantily dressed women in chic hotel rooms for the likes of Vogue, Elle and Playboy. Famous for considering himself a mere ‘gun for hire’, this Australian of German origin singlehandedly defi ned fashion photography from the 60s onwards, an achievement Taschen’s SUMO pays tribute. 10,000 copies Weighs 30 kg 7 cm High 70 cm Large 464 pages Costs €7,000 (Philip Starck-designed stand included)


MY BOOK WEIGHS A TONNE

GOAT. A Tribute to Muhammad Ali (2004) Taschen

Ali, the greatest boxer of all times, was an incredible entertainer, his boyish good looks and sharp, quick-witted tongue making him as famous as his left hook. This mammoth of a book is testament to this larger-than-life character as well as being an incredible piece of art publishing in its own right. GOAT. The Greatest of all Times. Greatest indeed. 10,000 copies Weighs 38 kg 8 cm High, 51 cm Large 792 pages Costs € 3,000

Africa. Leni Riefenstahl (2005) Edited by Angelika Taschen Taschen

German photographer and director of controversial Nazi propaganda fi lm ‘Triumph des Willens’ (1935), Riefenstahl also photographed the Nuba tribes’ people of Sudan, with whom she lived for years. (MG) Weighs 33,6 kg 7 cm High, 51 cm Large 560 pages Costs €2,500

CULTURE

S,M,L,XL. (1995) By Rem Koolhaas and Bruce Mau Monacelli Press

If the concept of starchitects ever held much ground, Dutchman Rem Koolhaas would be its perfect embodiment, having done everything from Prada’s fl agship boutiques to the Serpentine’s Summer Pavilion. Before his celebrity stardom though, he published this book of essays, sketches, drawings, thoughts and diary entries – together with Canadian designer Bruce Mau - which has gone on to become an unofficial bible amongst archigeeks. Weighs 2,7 kg 7 cm High, 24 Large 1,343 pages

Araki (2001) Interviews by Jérôme Sans Taschen

Of Japanese origin, Araki is essentially known for his explicit and sexually-charged photographs, such as those of Tokyo’s sex industry during the 80s and others of the curious Japanese bondage scene. Although more than 350 books have been published on his work, this beautifully bound book is the most comprehensive yet. 2,500 copies Weighs 19 kg 7.5 cm High, 51cm Large 636 pages Costs €2,500

All Taschen books available from Taschen Store Brussels Place du Grand Sablon / Grote Zavelplein 1000 Brussels

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THE HEFTY ISSUE

THE PENCIL

The One That Never Loses — You probably think you’re funny, that he doesn’t get you and that your jokes are lost on him, but believe us when we tell you the joke actually is on him. And it isn’t because you have a herd of sheep all approvingly laughing at your joke that you are any funnier neither. You are not. Illustration Jean-Biche Loosely based on the ‘Kubiac’ character, from ‘Parker Lewis Can’t Lose’


THE ONE THAT NEVER LOSES

CULTURE

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IN THE NAME OF… 86

THE SUPER DELUXE ISSUE

THE EYE

— Belgium entertains a strange relationship with religion. Although clearly faith-led, beliefs aren’t worn on one’s sleeve, with most followers of all walks of life preferring to confine their chosen doctrines to insular and hermetic places. In the first of our series on thematic visual reportages, we take a peek at five of the most peculiar places of worship in Belgium. Some are currently in the news, some are interesting for their secrecy, whilst others are simply architecturally striking. Photography Sarah Michielsen


IN THE NAME OF…

¤ Brussels’ Grand Mosque, situated in the city’s Parc du Cinquantenaire / Cinquantenaire Park, is the country’s most ancient Mosque, built in 1897 for the year’s ‘Exposition’. Also the headquarters for Belgium’s Islamic and Cultural Centre, it is traditionally the main communication channel between the country’s Islamic communities and the government – an issue of great controversy among Belgium’s many Muslims. Pictured is the women’s room, a vast and carpeted floor overlooking the main prayer room.

CULTURE

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THE EYE

¤ Driving distance from the tourist-friendly city of Durbuy in the Ardennes, the Château de la Somme is a strange affair. Dating back to the 11th century, it was purchased by ISKCON (The International Society for Krishna Consciousness) in 1979 and renovated into a spiritual centre dedicated to A.C Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada’s Vanipedia teachings. Made up of a group of 80 permanent residents, as well as other travelling pilgrims, the castle is a curious case of spirituality meets capitalism. Indeed, guided tours of the castle and its grounds are available at €5 a pop, and it boasts a hostel as well as the region’s best Indian food. The standout feature though was the striking contrasts afforded between the castle’s Goth-like style and its residents’ slightly more spiritual additions, such as lifesize portraits of the founder and gold-ornamented paintings, plates and door-knobs.


IN THE NAME OF…

CULTURE

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THE EYE

¤ Nestled in the heart of Brussels’ centre, the ‘Eglise du Béguinage’ has been, since April 7th 2009, the scene of some 230 illegal residents staging a hunger strike. Spurred on by their unions, the group made up of over 30 nationalities has been fighting for regularisation for months now, lobbying the authorities for the publication of a directive on the case, yet sadly having to resort to hunger strikes in a fi nal attempt at drawing some higher attention to their case. Speaking to the church’s priest, Jean Lochtem, we took note of the public outrage at the turn of events: “We have had absolutely no response from the Minister’s offi ce, not even an acknowledgement of receiving our many petitions,” reveals the incredulous priest. Having supported previous sittings in 2000 and 2008, both successful in their blanket regularisation of the plaintiffs, he simply cannot understand the government’s total silence this time.

¤ Historically known to date back further than the government itself, Belgium’s Free Masons Order has its headquarters in Brussels’ Rue de Laeken / Lakenstraat, walking distance from Place Sainte Catherine / Sint-Katelijneplein. Although slightly degraded, it remains a dramatic piece of ego-architecture, made up of several chambers, each as imposing as the other with their towering columns and ‘Egyptianised’ architectural style. Walk past the main door though, and you’ll be surprised how inconspicuous it all seems.


IN THE NAME OF…

CULTURE

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THE EYE

¤ Unbeknown to most, Brussels Airport provides travelers with seven religious services: Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim, Laic and Meditation for Humanists. They are responsible for everything from morally supporting staff (crucial during difficult periods such as Sabena’s bankruptcy), maintaining their respective chapels and assisting passengers having recently lost a loved one. They also are a firm fi xture of any plane crash’s emergency plans, although in Brussels this reassuringly is a rare occurrence. All chapels are on airside, and all are signaled by an internationally-recognised prayer room symbol.


IN THE NAME OF…

CULTURE

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THE STOCKISTS

The Stockists

A

A.F Vandevorst www.afvandevorst.be B

Baukunst www.bau-kunst.eu Bell & Ross www.bellross.com +32 (0)2 347 28 85 Braun www.braun.com Burberry www.burberry.com

E

Eastpack & Raf Simons www.eastpack.com/rafsimons +32 (0)3 298 20 00 Emporio Armani www.emporioarmani.com Essentiel www.essentiel.be F

Fasten Seat Belts www.fastenseatbelts.eu

L

Lacoste www.lacoste.com M

Monacelli Press www.randomhouse.com/ monacelli

C40 www.c40cities.org Cameleon www.cameleon.be

Sabre www.sunglassesgiant.com +32 (0)472 55 54 11 Samsonite Black Label www.samsoniteblacklabel.com +32 (0)55 33 33 70 Sonia Rykiel www.soniarykiel.com

Marc Jacobs www.marcjacobs.com 02 / 725 32 42

Stella Mc Cartney www.stellamccartney.com

Moet Chandon www.moet.com

Swatch www.swatch.com

G N

C

S

Giorgio Armani www.giorgioarmani.com Gucci www.gucci.com H

Cosmeticary www.cosmeticary.com

Hermès www.hermes.com

Cos www.cosstores.com

H&M www.hm.com

O

T

Taschen www.taschen.be

P

Piper Heidsieck www.piper-heidsieck.com +32 472 555 411

U

Ugo Zaldi www.ugozaldi.com

Phaidon www.phaidon.com V

D

Hoss Intropia www.hossintropia.com

Q

Veuve clicquot www.veuve-clicquot.com

R W

Delvaux www.delvaux.be Design Museum London www.designmuseum.org Dolce & Gabbana www.dolcegabbana.it Dyptique www.diptyqueparis.com

I

X

J

Y

K

Z

Karl Lagerfeld www.karllagerfeld.com Kotje www.kotje.be


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THE FULL-ROUNDED ISSUE

THE ROUND UP

pages 02 – 03

pages 04 – 05

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Giorgio Armani www.emporioarmaniparfums.com

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LA BELL E

Essentiel www.essentiel.be

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É V A S I O

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Symfonie.orkest.vlaanderen

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WWW.CIEDESJARDINS.COM 1437, CHAUSSÉE DE WATERLOO (FORT JACO - PRINCE D’ORANGE) – 1180 BRUXELLES TÉL: 02 375 72 39 – FAX: 02 375 74 46 – CONTACT@CIEDESJARDINS.COM

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Compagnie des Jardins www.ciedesjardins.com

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*For full Terms and Conditions, visit www.getafreenight.com/freenightpromo. Must be Priority Club® Rewards member to participate. Must register membership number in advance at www.getafreenight.com/freenightpromo and provide a valid email address. By registering, members will not earn base or Elite points or miles on any nights booked after their registration date during the promotion period at any IHG hotel (except in Japan). Free rooms are limited and subject to availability. Hotels in Japan are not participating. © 2009 InterContinental Hotels Group. All rights reserved. Most hotels are independently owned and/or operated.

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ADVERTISERS

THE LASTS

pages 56 – 57 56

97

page 67 ADVERTORIAL

THE WORD & MAASMECHELEN VILLAGE

02.

The Word & Maasmechelen Village — What if we told you we knew of a place, less than an hour’s drive from Brussels, where shopping actually means the client is king, where shopkeepers are forthcoming without being imposing and, more importantly, where discounts rule, albeit in style. The Word drives up to Maasmechelen Village outlet shopping for a day of recession-busting spending.

First fashion foray was understated knitwear specialist Essentiel, with its airy boutique, smiley shop attendants and good mix of pieces. Fixtures and fittings echoing the boutique’s high street counterpart, extending the brand’s overall experience to the outlet world, something paramount to the Maasmechelen concept. Then came Bodum for some inspired tableware (chunky tea cups going for €5 originally priced at €12) followed by Diesel with its delmontelined denim racks. If these were supposedly different retail offerings than what we were accustomed to in Brussels, it sure didn’t show. We returned to our adopted gastro-eatery for lunch, with some digging into their generous pizzas and others snacking on bruschettas, preparing for the rest of the day’s purchasing promenade. This included popping into G-Star, buying a pair of Converses’ and then letting loose in Versace, all the while amazed at how far €100 could actually stretch. They say ‘recessionistas’ is the new buzzword in marketing departments the world over, and this surely is where they come and play. The fi nishing touch though, is how unlike a retail outlet this all felt. You won’t have to elbow your way to the shirt of your choice, battling it out with crazed housewives with one too many discount-hunts under their belts. Nor will you have to remove a piece of year-old chewing-gum from your high-heels as we lost count of the amount of street cleaners we saw in the space of a couple of hours. Why we’ll go back and hope to take you with us? Because in many ways, and more so in these harsh economic times, it is a much better alternative to Paris. All you need to do is try it once, just once. Trust us, similarly to us urging you to go to the museum, you’ll thank us once you get there.

The Facts Door-to-Door Timing (down to a second)

52 minutes and 34 seconds (precise) Number of Boutiques

95 with national and international brands Shopping Bag Count

11 Should have Paid

€ 749

Actually Paid

€ 380

The Other Villages You Should Know

La Vallée Village in France (40 minutes away from central Paris) and Bicester Village (one hour from London)

04.

01. 02. 03. 04.

Spring Pickings Walking The Strip In The Bag The Plan of Attack

Maasmechelen Village www.maasmechelenvillage.com

www.superdry.be

Superdry www.superdry.be

page 75

page 81

delvaux.com

page 71

57

03

The day started off to somewhat of a bumpy start. It was barely past 8h30 on a Saturday morning and here we were, lost in Brussels’ suburbs, looking for a friend’s daughter we had to pick up. Eager to get on our way, we quickly came to our senses, promptly finding our bearings and setting sail for Maasmechelen, our Mappy instructions firmly plastered to the dashboard. Three turns to the right, follow the sign posting once the last highway exited ( E314 direction Leuven / Genk, then Exit 33 ) and you’re there in 52 minutes and some, door-to-door. Once arrived, the “wows” and “let me outs” audible from the backseat predicted a day of puppy-eyed looks, calculated buys and shop floor hysteria. From afar, a quaint village of pale-coloured village houses neatly aligned along a central high street instantly reminded us of what we ceased to like about downtown shopping: the crowds, difficult parking and an overall sense of unnecessary urgency. We hadn’t even set foot on the paved stones when we were already positively impressed by what we were sure was to be yet another grisly day out at a retail outlet. We’d be proven wrong more than a couple of times during the day… Having fi nally found our other group of friends, we decided on some necessary dayplanning around a freshly grounded cup of frothy coffee and morning-scented tea at our fi rst stop, Gastronomia Cellini. Our orders taken, we congregate around the Village’s directory, plotting our descent upon the high street’s many boutiques. Levi’s, Hugo Boss, Marithé+Francois Girbaud, Pringle of Scotland, Petit Bateau, Bodum, Villeroy & Boch, and the list could go on. If anything, it’d actually be more difficult to shop here, given the amount of choice – not to forget the fact that everything was heavenly discounted.

01.

THE TRAVEL SPECIAL

Newspaper Bag, Men’s “1829” Collection, Designed by Bruno Pieters – Cabas, Vegetable tanned calf – 250 examples

For subscriptions and more information, go to www.thewordmagazine.be

pub_RT_theword.indd 1

22/04/09 17:05:35

Delvaux www.delvaux.com

The Word www.thewordmagazine.be

Rouge Tomate www.rougetomate.com

page 95

page 99

page 100

2/27/2009

6:40:56 PM

www.chanel.com

La Ligne de CHANEL - Belgique Tél. 070 66 55 55 (0,15 €/mn., T.T.C.) - Luxembourg Tél. 900 71 519 (0,03 €/mn., T.T.C.)

A4_1.ai

Ristorante Bocconi, part of the Rocco Forte Collection “Hotel Amigo” Rue de l’Amigo 1 B-1000 Brussels T +32 2 547 47 15 F +32 2 547 47 67

A NEW DIMENSION OF STYLE

ristorantebocconi@roccofortecollection.com www.ristorantebocconi.com

the world vecto.indd 1

O-live www.o-live.net

24/04/09 15:37:32

Ristorante Bocconi www.ristorantebocconi.com

Chanel www.chanel.com


98

THE NANO ISSUE

WHAT'S NEXT

Af t er pl ay i n g i t b i g, i t w a s o n l y fi t t i n g to pl ay i t s m a l l , r e sol u t el y t i n y, u n a s h a m e d l y p e t t y. Hm m , a n d god k now s w e c a n b e p e t t y. T h e n e i g h bou r hood gos s i p? We h av e ou r s t r e e t sou r c e s.

So, b a c k to ou r p e t t i n e s s. We’l l t el l you a bou t you r c i t y’s w h i s p er s, t hos e u r b a n l e ge n d s p eo pl e a r e n’t too k e e n for you to k now. We’l l i n t r od u c e you to t h e l i t t l e p eo pl e, t h e o n e s you r a r el y h ea r or s e e, b u t t h a t a r e oh so v i t a l to you r d a i l y r ou t i n e. We’l l u n c ov er s m a l l-m i n d e d n e s s, lo b b y i n g for a t r u l y n e w-w av e b i p a r t i s a n s h i p. A f r e s h pol i t i c a l m a n i f e s to. We’l l s q u a b b l e ov er c o n s u m m a t e s, fi g h t for f a s h io n w a r e s l i k e e n r a ge d l i t t l e Ru s s i a n t e e n a ger s. Oh , a n d w e’l l s i t b a c k a n d w a t c h He t t i e goi n g ge ek-g a g a ov er T h e Na no Is s u e’s De s i g n Sp e c i a l.

T h e Wor d’s Na no Is s u e. A Soa p Op er a In-T h e-Ma k i n g. Ou t 5t h Se p t e m b er 2009.

Ty p e f a c e: Mi n u s c u l e b y T hom a s Hu o t-Ma r c h a n d

T h e g lo b a l r u mou r s? We fol low t h e t w e e t s to fol low.

You’ll have to wait until September 5th though, as we’ve decided to pass on doing a July-August Issue, preferring instead to bring you a September-October one (The Nano Issue), a November one (The Nippon Issue), then a December one (The Heritage Issue). That’s right; we’ll try our luck at monthly publishing towards the end of the year, and well, hope for the best.


A NEW DIMENSION OF STYLE

www.chanel.com

La Ligne de CHANEL - Belgique Tél. 070 66 55 55 (0,15 €/mn., T.T.C.) - Luxembourg Tél. 900 71 519 (0,03 €/mn., T.T.C.)

The Word Magazine  

The Word Magazine

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