Meet the Nepali woman who flouted the cultural expectations of her remote village to become an internationally certified guide and one of the most accomplished alpinists of her generation

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Growing up in a village of 50 houses in Rolwaling Valley, Nepal, Dawa Yangzum Sherpa spent all of her childhood outside. Her parents, three brothers, and two sisters would spend most of the year in a village at 4,200 meters (13,800 feet), then move down the valley to a lower elevation for the winter. Despite being surrounded by Himalayan peaks sought after by mountaineers the world over-including Everest-they did not encounter outdoorsy sports like skiing and climbing. With no roads to their village and the nearest town a few days away by foot over a mountain pass, they did a lot of high-altitude walking to get everywhere, but it was not considered hiking. Dawa Yangzum’s formal education ended at age 11. …


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A select few are inscribed in history as pioneers of modern Italian design and architecture, Gio Ponti was undoubtedly one of them. A designer in the truest definition, today he is known as the ‘Father of Modern Italian Design,’ a tastemaker who co-created a phenomenon in style and beauty. From cathedrals to coffee machines, he was a ‘starchitect’ and opinion shaper that propelled Italian design into modernity.

Architect, designer, producer, publisher, writer, and progressive philosopher Gio Ponti was born on November 18, 1891, in Milan. The capital of Lombardy would later become his playground for creative adventures. He served in the military during World War I, from 1916 to 1918. After the war he studied at Politecnico di Milano, graduating in architecture in 1921. He began his career in partnership with Mino Fiocchi and Emilio Lancia from 1923 through 1927, Lancia then becoming his sole partner until 1933. …


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Japan has long been wedded to the natural elements of wood in both design and architecture. It is a material crafted in the legacy and rituals of the nation, spanning millenniums until the 19th-century when this narrative began to change. Traditional Japanese architecture sculps around the observation of nature, its rhythms, and connecting a structure so it forms a living entity. A home was considered a collection of living spaces with an open dialogue to encourage engagement. Wood as materiality played a salient role in this philosophy, and again is becoming the component of choice.

Following the Great Fire of Tokyo in 1658, strict rules around the standardization of wood and architecture became the national norm. This was the origin of kiwariho, the “art of splitting wood” in Japan’s nascent architectural preservation program, a collaboration between master carpenters and academy-trained architects. Hand-built and quick to assemble wooden temples, residences, and tearooms rose in the ashes of the fire, forging an architectural trajectory of structures appearing humble while having an intrinsic complexity. Prefabricated components were imported from neighboring communities to construct tiny spaces that seemed expansive through the right technique. …


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Most people today assume a certain level of subjectivity in journalistic articles or other written texts. And yet, people put a different kind of trust in infographics: they expect infographics to deliver hard facts, well-researched analysis, and reliable information. But this special trust in infographics means that infographers have a special responsibility. And while infographics are not a primary target of “fake news” accusations, the basis of their integrity is in danger: in the post-truth era, people not only disregard information provided by the news media but information in general.

Devaluation of Information

Due to the social developments of the last decade resulting from the financial crisis, information has lost its promise as a competitive advantage for professional careers and social/political participation and influence in Western societies. With the loss of upward social mobility, many people feel that their way of life, job security, pensions, medical care, and children’s futures are in danger. …


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What makes a car valuable? Is it where its origin lies, reflected in the faces of those who built it? The Toyota 2000GT Coupe arose from a nation whose “Made in Japan” label was, at the time, the punch line of a joke. Is it in a car’s technical achievements? The 2000GT’s inline-six engine, as well as independent suspension, disc brakes, rack-and-pinion steering, were then-exotic features we take for granted today. Is it within the stories it accumulates along the way? …


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The role of “heritage” has become provenance-a reputation built on consistently good products. As luxury and streetwear learn from each other, the latter’s penchant for graphic sportswear is elevated through high-end artist collaborations, turning bags, T-shirts, hoodies, and more into pieces of wearable art.

Defining “luxury” is no longer about heritage and craftsmanship the way it once was. After decades of globalization and manufacturing advancements around the world, expert quality and artisanship have gone from “nice to have” to “must-have”-and customers demand more. New luxury consumers assume that all garments today are better made than a decade ago. …


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“Rarely do I say this out loud, as beauty for beauty’s sake is somewhat of a gauche conceit in the world of commercial illustration,” explains Zoë van Dijk, “but honestly at the end of the day, I just want to make beautiful images.” Glaring at the world with a throbbing, starved desire, the occurrences of 2020 swooped up the world in its path. In a time where looming news would muster feelings of anguish, van Dijk’s delicate depictions have been a soft melody in the streamlet of sorrow.

Possessing a forte in light and shadow play, the Los Angeles-based artist creates atmospheric, occasionally moody scenes faltered in mystery and intimacy. Her ideas start with hand drawings that later apply ink washes, then they move onto Adobe Photoshop where there are more possibilities to experiment. There is a highly personal characteristic of her work, something that deliberately endeavors to engage a more emotional connection. “I think about the fact that I make relatively emotional work all the time,” she explains, despite not being emotional herself. “I tend to process emotions by myself rather than out loud,” she states. Choosing instead to emote visually-she does this by looking to connect with the underlying emotion in any article she illustrates. Light and shadow are how she transforms the robotic mundane into something mythical and sometimes magical. …


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In the past century, smoking weed has become a symbol of the 1960s counterculture movement, been public enemy number one in America, and conjured colorful images of morally-corrupt delinquents. But the times they are a-changin’. Shifting public opinion has led to a growing legalization movement, myth-busting, and new social norms.

“These high school boys and girls are having a hop at the local soda pop. Innocently they dance. Innocent of a new and deadly menace lurking in closed doors. Marijuana: the burning weed with its roots in hell.”

That’s how the trailer for the 1936 American film Reefer Madness opens, spoken in a menacing, reverberant voice as preppy teens jive and twirl. The film goes on to depict what happens when you smoke marijuana: hallucinations, murder, suicide, insanity. …


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The wagasa-Japanese paper umbrella-may seem to be distinctly outdated. Time-consuming and difficult to make, with a price tag to match, this item has had a turbulent history since the introduction of the Western umbrella, with many producing regions consequently declining. These days there are only three main centers of wagasa, with Gifu, a city in Japan being the most prominent.

The history of Gifu and the raw materials that are native to the landscape made it a perfect place for the complicated production cycle of the Japanese umbrella to flourish. In the Sengoku period, Gifu’s central location made it a strategic and economic nexus that was covered by many warlords; it eventually came under the rulership of the infamous Oda Nobunaga, one of the most influential figures in Japanese history. Under his stewardship and the free market that he established, the economy of Gifu and its surrounding areas grew immensely. Even after Oda’s death, expert crafts continued to flourish in the area, with Mino to the north becoming a nationally famous washi producing area, and Seki renowned for producing some of the finest katana, or swords, in the nation. Gifu itself became a town of high culture, with cormorant fishing and a geisha quarter, and difficult crafts such as lantern-and umbrella-making thrived. …


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When January ignited the start of a new decade, a year ticketed to mark the beginning of a modern roaring twenties, the world’s imagination was gripped by futuristic innovations from 5G to a breakthrough in AI human-level intelligence set to change humanity. Undoubtable advancements were on the horizon, but the technological revolution was also forced to share the stage with the resurgence of print media in 2020. After nearly two decades of decline since the turn of the millennium, print’s miraculous comeback stunned digital kingpins.

Back in March, we reported that Germany’s book market grew for the first time since 2012, backing a rising trend from 2018 when over 29.9 million people bought at least one book. It signaled that the analog rebellion had breached the mainstream, from printed books to the vinyl records, there was hope for delicate industries up against digital dominance. Then the coronavirus pandemic became a reality in nearly every corner of the planet, deepening the retail apocalypse being felt in exacerbated cities, towns, and high-streets. To understand how this year’s developments affected the resurgence, we spoke to Ulrich Dombrowsky of Buchhandlung Dombrowsky and Ines Sutter of BUCHSTÄBCHEN about their journey so far and the challenges 2020 presented them. …

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Berlin-based publishing house that specializes in developing content for aficionados of cutting-edge creative culture worldwide.

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