Lifestyle & Culture 2013: Our Top Picks

As 2013 draws to a close, we thought we’d share with you our highlights from a great year. Scroll through to see Lifestyle & Culture’s favourite cultural and food happenings, innovative concepts and product launches – see you in 2014!

Over the summer, we were thrilled by the news of Doug Aitken’s nomadic art show Station to Station, which saw the artist travel across America by train to highlight the cultural and creative landscape of the country. With a slew of musicians, artists, food designers and writers in tow, Aitken and his merry friends made pit-stops at ten stations along the route to install site specific artworks, and broadcast live performances and cultural happenings. You can read more about the project, and trawl through hundreds of videos, via the Station to Station website.

Music mogul Jay-Z wowed our New York contributor Rita Nakouzi this summer at the Pace Gallery, where he performed his single Picasso Baby in a six hour-long video shoot. Taking his creative cue from the self-titled “Grandmother of Performance Art” Marina Abramovic, Jay-Z invited prolific audience members, including Scott Campbell, Jemima Kirke, actor Alan Cumming and actress Lake Bell, to sit on a bench across from his stage and interact with him.

New biannual Riposte—designed for modern women—launched in November, featuring open and honest interviews with a notable roster of “bold and fascinating,” creative women, including designer Nelly Ben Hayoun, art editor Françoise Mouly, Anna Murray and Grace Winteringham of creative studio, Patternity, and Nancy Tilbury of Studio XO – featured recently on our blog. For each issue, the magazine follows a simple format of “five ideas, four meetings, three features, two essays and one icon,” and covers a wide range of inspiring and thought-provoking topics and themes, from art and design, to food, travel and politics.

We loved artist Alex Chinneck’s Sliding House Facade installation, which took over the front of a formerly abandoned house in the Cliftonville area of Margate, Kent.

Musician, Pharrell Williams also left us feeling optimistic with his feel good pop song Happy, which was accompanied by an interactive music video that lasts for an extraordinary 24 hours. The song also aligns perfectly with the principles of our Megatrends forecast for F/W 14, Rapture, in which unexpected surprise and laughter are used as a way to nurture happiness.

Aligning with another of our forecasts for F/W 14, Quietude, Japanese Tetsuo Kondo Architects installed an indoor cloud at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, which enabled visitors to take respite from the chaos of the outside world for a moment of contemplation and reflection.

In keeping with the themes of optimism, wellness and respite from our hectic day-to-day lives, writer and founder of The School of Life, Alain de Botton released his book Art as Therapy in October – a self-help guide that explores the ways art and culture can help to rebalance the psyche. The book is filled with examples of art, architecture and design from “across the ages,” alongside accompanying chapters and intimate or commonplace anecdotes on subjects such as money, work, anxiety, love and politics. An app and website also enables users to instantly connect with relevant topics and artworks in a digital, bite-sized manner – perfect for those busy schedules.

And last, but by no means least, we launched a new section within Lifestyle & Culture devoted to food, drink and olfactory trends, called Food & Flavors, which has so far explored the burgeoning interest in Scandinavian bread in London, Edible Flowers and living off the land, Natural Wines, and Long Pepper. Keep watching for two forthcoming reports on Heirloom Vegetables and Raw Juices, in early January.

During the course of 2014 we will be furnishing Lifestyle & Culture with lots of exciting new reports, so keep your eyes peeled. Here’s to a great 2014! – Samantha Fox

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