Sophie Haigney

The rise of blocked-off design

Plexiglass bubbles hover over diners’ heads in restaurants. Plastic pods, spaced six feet apart, separate weightlifters in gyms. Partitions of all kinds are creeping up in workplaces. As offices, restaurants, bars and businesses reopened after months of lockdowns and closures, a new phenomenon emerged, one that I’ve come to think of as ‘blocked-off design’. It’s

Magic money: what can possibly go wrong?

39 min listen

We’ve been told for years that the magic money tree doesn’t exist – but has the Chancellor just found it? (00:55) Now that Hong Kong has come into closer orbit with Beijing, is Taiwan next? (21:15) And finally, we find out a little about the weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets – see them

The weird and wonderful world of hotel carpets

Consider the carpet. In all likelihood, you usually don’t. It’s simply something beneath your feet, soft or scratchy, bright or beige, thick or thin. But in a new book, Bill Young asks you to pause and really look at a particular genre of floor-padding: the carpets in the hotels around the world. In Hotel Carpets,

I didn’t expect to be so moved – galleries reopen

I’m in Mayfair and I’m boarding an airplane. Or rather, I’m boarding an approximation of an airplane. In the centre of Hauser & Wirth, there are airplane seats, organised into a formation that resembles a section of economy, and dislocated windows, hung on the walls where paintings might normally be. The seatbacks are stuffed, and