Fashion International Workshop

Culture clash: overcoming language barriers with suppliers

Commissioning handmade rug designs from Moroccan weavers who don’t speak English or take measurements has been problematic for The Rug Trade. A year after placing her first order, Ella Jones, founder of The Rug Trade, decided it was time to meet her supplier in person. Jones had been buying vintage rugs and commissioning her own designs from a Moroccan weaver …



Green architecture in Vietnam

One man’s manifesto for building Hanoi out of traditional designs and natural materials. V-Architecture founder Ngoc Luong Le has been fascinated by Vietnam’s classical buildings of bamboo and local brick since his teens, when he spent summers in the mountain regions north of Hanoi, sleeping in temples. This early interest was nurtured during his architecture studies, which he began at …

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Aarhus, Denmark: The right side of the tracks

A long way from the glitzy developments underway in central Aarhus, Denmark, is the sight a of Tetris-esque collection of stacked containers in an abandoned freight station. It’s become a magnet for creatives but the area is under threat. Located on the edge of the city centre of Aarhus, Denmark’s second city, is an area that many could be forgiven …

Sardine startup Miss Can's kitchen-less restaurant in Lisbon, Courier, Aug/Sept 2016

Food International

Turning tinned fish and a tuk-tuk into startup success

Three Lisboetas have used their branding skills to put a modern twist on Iberia’s traditional tinned fish using snappy packaging, a kitchen-less restaurant and a tuk-tuk. Selling fish in tins wasn’t the original game plan. Tiago Ribeiro and his twin sister Bárbara Cabral had launched their own branding firm back in 2005. But business began to dry up as the …

Marvila, Lisbon, Area Guide Courier Aug/Sept 2016


Area Guide: Marvila, Lisbon

With nightclubs and bars sprouting up to meet the demand of northern European city-breakers and stag trips, there’s no denying that Lisbon is becoming overrun with young groups of tourists. Yet it is, nevertheless, one of Europe’s most talked-about startup cities; essentially Berlin but with sun. Cheap rents have seen a surge in the number of creatives and aspiring tech …


Design amid destitution in south Beirut

In the Shatila refugee camp in south Beirut, local charity Basmeh and Zeitooneh is transforming the fortunes of residents through the production of hand-embroidered goods, which are eying boutiques around the world. Located a 15-minute drive from upmarket bars selling £10 cocktails in the north of the city lies the Shatila refugee camp. It’s a ramshackle shanty town of breeze-block high rises, packed so tight …


Beirut: ‘This city fuels my creativity’

Lebanon’s chaotic recent history has witnessed a brutal 15-year civil war, conflict with Israel and the destabilising influx of more than a million Syrian refugees. But amid such significant turmoil, capital city Beirut is proving an inspirational home to a thriving group of young designers. Being resourceful and inventive is hardwired into every Beiruti’s psyche; making a living in a city …

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Area Guide: Mar Mikhael, Beirut

Beirut’s reputation as the playground of the Middle East during the 1960s and early 1970s was largely destroyed – along with much of the city – by the long civil war (1975-1990). And with huge swathes of modern-day Beirut under the control of militant Islamic group Hezbollah, it’s a description that has seemed distant for some time. Yet in the …

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Medellín: Colombia’s new coffee culture

In a radical move to modernise his family’s coffee farm, Pedro Miguel Echavarria now grows, roasts and exports beans to a global network of distributors. And through the opening of his own cafe in Medellín, he’s also helped create a vibrant cafe culture in Colombia’s second city. Coffee runs through Pedro Miguel Echavarria’s veins. His father, Pedro Senior, first started …