Stephen Bayley

‘The Ladder of Divine Ascent’, 12th century, from St Catherine’s Monastery, Sinai, Egypt. (This image and one below from Chromaphilia, by Stella Paul). akg-images/Erich Lessing

Moody blues (and pinks and greens): how colour influences our emotions

18 March 2017 9:00 am

When Australia imposed generic packaging in its war on cigarettes, there was consumer research into the most deterrent colour. Pantone…

American beauty: ‘Standard Station’, 1966, by Ed Ruscha

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream

11 March 2017 9:00 am

How art chronicled the birth – and death – of the American dream, by Stephen Bayley

Paradise regained: Milton Keynes shopping centre (now called thecentre: mk) in 1972

Milton Keynes is 50 years old. Should we celebrate?

21 January 2017 9:00 am

We may snigger at Milton Keynes but let’s not forget its utopian spirit, says Stephen Bayley

Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda in Easy Rider

Freewheeling round the world

10 December 2016 9:00 am

In these books, two handsome and popular telly adventurers consider, from viewpoints that are sometimes overly autobiographical, the culture of…

Trump l’oeil: the atrium of Trump Towers

Donald Trump's interiors: make America crass again

10 December 2016 9:00 am

Donald Trump’s taste is as revealing of the man as any of his outbursts, says Stephen Bayley

Maps are as much about art – and lies – as science

29 October 2016 9:00 am

Maps reveal the psychology of their creators as much as they describe topography, says Stephen Bayley

An act of doctrinaire official vandalism: the ‘hole’ during works in Les Halles district, 1975

The rise and fall of Les Halles – centre of Paris’s demi-monde

24 September 2016 9:00 am

Depending on your point de vue, Haussmann’s imperial scheme for Paris created townscape of thrilling regularity or boring uniformity. Whatever;…

Good riddance to Nicholas Serota

24 September 2016 9:00 am

In this week of toadying obsequies after the (rather late) retirement of Sir Nicholas Serota from his imperial throne at…

Brand ‘Picasso’: the artist surrounded by a portion of his 45,000 works, in Cannes, 1956

The squalid afterlife of artists' estates

17 September 2016 9:00 am

Artists’ legacies were once controlled by opportunist collectors or vengeful harpies. Stephen Bayley meets the German lawyer trying to civilise the process

A collector of genius: Peggy Guggenheim

Peggy Guggenheim, collector of genius

20 August 2016 9:00 am

She had come a very long way from the shtetl, but Marguerite ‘Peggy’ Guggenheim was still the poor relation of…

Fallingwater, Pennsylvania by Frank Lloyd Wright — one of the most astonishing houses ever built

Should Frank Lloyd Wright and Philip Johnson be linked at all?

20 August 2016 9:00 am

Architecture is sometimes described as the second oldest profession, but often — in both theory and practice — it competes…

Form, function and confusion: the Design Museum in 1989

How the Design Museum lost its way, by co-founder Stephen Bayley

13 August 2016 9:00 am

London’s Design Museum is on the move. But it lost its way long ago, says co-founder Stephen Bayley

The internal dreamworld of René Magritte

6 August 2016 9:00 am

Surrealism was, at least initially, as much about writing as painting. A plaque on the Hotel des Grands Hommes in…

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, multisexual kleptomaniac, scatologist and creator of Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’, c.1920

The woman who really made Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’

16 July 2016 9:00 am

Who really made Marcel Duchamp's 'Fountain'? Stephen Bayley looks back at the early days of the Dada movement a century after it began

An early folly: Rushton Triangular Lodge, Northamptonshire, built in 1597 by Sir Thomas Tresham as a symbol of the Holy Trinity

Let’s celebrate follies – England’s most distinctive contribution to world architecture

11 June 2016 9:00 am

Ruined castles, altars, temples of virtue, alcoves, labyrinths, pagodas: Stephen Bayley celebrates a peculiarly English obsession

True or false? The Temple of Bel, Palmyra, before and after its destruction at the hands of Islamic State

Why confront the ugly lie of Islamic State with a tacky fake?

28 May 2016 9:00 am

Can the beauty of Palmyra be reproduced by data-driven robots? Stephen Bayley on copies, fakes and forgeries

‘Like Georgia O’Keefe, Mapplethorpe eroticised flowers — possibly finding them more biddable than his frisky partners in gimp masks and chains.’ Left: Self-portrait, 1982. Right: Calla Lily

Robert Mapplethorpe: bad boy with a camera

2 April 2016 9:00 am

Robert Mapplethorpe made his reputation as a photographer in the period between the 1969 gay-bashing raid at the Stonewall Inn…

Through a lens darkly: from the series ‘New Brighton’ , ‘The Last Resort’, 1985

‘I enjoy the banal’: Stephen Bayley meets Martin Parr

27 February 2016 9:00 am

The photographer Martin Parr claims to like ordinary people, but are his pictures celebratory or mocking, asks Stephen Bayley

A fusion of ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ and Dungeons and Dragons, Dashi Namdakov’s ‘She Guardian’ is a grotesque, inappropriate and embarrassing intrusion into London

What's that thing? Britain's worst public art

6 February 2016 9:00 am

Bad public art pollutes our townscapes. Stephen Bayley names and shames the worst offenders as he unveils the winner of The Spectator’s inaugural What’s That Thing? Award

Junk artist Bernard Buffet in his château

Bernard Buffet: painter and poser

16 January 2016 9:00 am

Bernard Buffet was no one’s idea of a great painter. Except, that is, Pierre Bergé and Nick Foulkes. Bergé was…

Britain is absent from the V&A’s new Europe galleries. Are they trying to tell us something?

9 January 2016 9:00 am

Before cheap flights, trains were the economical way to discover Europe and its foibles. Personally, I enjoyed the old fuss…

The rise and fall of Sony

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Sony was the Apple of its day and more. Stephen Bayley charts its years of creativity unrivalled in the history of consumerism

A restored Perrin Frères pocket watch that began Michel Parmigiani’s career

Master timepiece craftsman Michel Parmigiani doesn’t only restore watches; he designs and builds his own too

5 December 2015 9:00 am

I wear an upper-middle Swiss mechanical watch made of stainless steel. It is priced in the high fours, not the…

Two wheels good: Belgian racing cyclist Eddy Merckx on the track, 1970

The bicycle may have triumphed over the car but it’s far from perfect

28 November 2015 9:00 am

The bicycle may have triumphed over the car but it’s far from perfect, argues Stephen Bayley

Franz Marangolo’s advertisement , 1950 (From The Life Negroni)

A soothing Negroni for la dolce vita

14 November 2015 9:00 am

The first draft of the famous story was called ‘A Martini as Big as the Ritz’. That’s not true, but…