The Common Table

A platform for food futures and systemic change by studio_lovell

thecommontable.eu is a publishing platform for food futures and systemic change founded and edited by Sophie Lovell and Orlando Lovell where we share stories and ideas about food from around the world by people who are searching for ways to fix it. Our goal is to understand how systems of production, distribution and consumption can be changed – and to help identify the people and projects forging ways towards a better, fairer food future.

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The Common Table is a publishing platform for food futures and systemic change founded and edited by Sophie Lovell and Orlando Lovell.

Through The Common Table, we share stories and ideas about food from around the world by people who are searching for ways to fix it. Our goal is to understand how systems of production, distribution and consumption can be changed – and to help identify the people and projects forging ways towards a better, fairer food future.

As a mother-daughter creative duo, living together in Berlin, we have many years of experience in all things design, architecture – and food. Our home has always been a place where we have cooked and hosted many meals and fed heated discussions with wonderful guests. Now we have extended our kitchen table and turned it into something bigger: a virtual workplace and a platform for change – through food.

We are starting this platform by inviting as “dinner guests” to our virtual table people we love, people who inspire us, people we would like to know more about and people we believe should be heard. Together we will ask, share, gather, investigate and exchange.

If you have inspiring stories or thoughts to share about changing the food system, feel free to reach out, we’d love to hear from you. All are welcome at The Common Table.

Email us at hello(at)thecommontable.eu

 

Directions magazine: Odyssey

Sophie Lovell is Editor-in-chief of Design Hotels travel magazine no. 17

How do you make a travel magazine during a lockdown? By choosing a theme that is both universal and empathic: “walking”. By working with local correspondents and photographers. By aiming for a better diversity of viewpoints from all over the world. By reassessing what “travel” and “luxury” mean. By thinking contextually and holistically.

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How do you make a travel magazine during a lockdown? By choosing a theme that is both universal and empathic: “walking”. By working with local correspondents and photographers. By aiming for a better diversity of viewpoints from all over the world. By reassessing what “travel” and “luxury” mean. By thinking contextually and holistically.

With her editorship of the 2021/22 issue of Directions magazine, Sophie Lovell brought a new, more contextual approach. She brought contributions from poets and artists in from all over the world; introduced a piggy-back system for writers and photographers to work together on a story despite being thousands of miles apart; used only local contributors; wrote a ten-point “Good Traveller” manifesto; suggested a walking app collaboration for walking routes local to Design Hotels’ 300-odd partner hotels and encouraged the team to make the entire issue without a single flight being taken for it. The result was so good, they gave it two covers.

Editorial

This issue of Directions was made under extraordinary conditions in an extraordinary moment for travel, but with a great deal of care—and with hope. Our aim has been to make it a travellers’ companion, a healing, positive, timeless space. At the same time, it is the space where we push boundaries, feel our way into the future, and represent the evolution in our thinking.

With the whole world feeling out of step, it seemed natural to take walking as the anchor for this issue. Walking is an act and culture older than humanity itself, one that binds us to the land, and lets our imaginations take flight. The steady beat of putting one foot in front of the other also grounds us, connects us, and carries us forward into change. In our opening essay, the author and veteran walker Jini Reddy looks at great journeys made by foot—known and less known—and bring them in step with the times in an uplifting paean to walking.

Walking also sets loose so many new ideas. In My Own Private Odyssey, we asked 11 creatives to take and document journeys of their own from where they happened to be in the moment, and share with us their inspirations gathered along the way. The incredible gallery that resulted really blew us away, as did the wealth of multimedia material our invited artists and poets shared with us—some of which you will be able to experience on our digital platform as well.

A trip to discover the fruits of foraging and 4,000 years of farming know-how in the Andean high-altitude biospheres can bring us closer to the land and cultural practices that sustain us. But how do you do a story about the people and plants of Peru’s Sacred Valley during lockdown? Thanks to the wonders of technology, our author Carla Bragagnini was able to virtually piggyback along with photographer Antonio Sorrentino as he hiked up and down mountains and waded through fields. At one point the crew for this story was coordinating live on location from four different continents without a single flight being taken for the purpose.

This new buddy system proved so effective that we intend to use it as a model in the future as we endeavour to bring more local reporting by contributors with a genuine connection to place and culture (and also reduce our environmental footprint by doing so). This fits with our promadic view that travel should be proactive and purposeful. In that vein, with The Good Traveler, we share our new checklist of good principles for travelling: no dogma, no rules, just a work in progress, one step at a time.

There is no point in having good ideas if you don’t share them. The core of this issue of Directions has been about rediscovering the genuine joy and solace to be found in the simple act of walking. So while producing this magazine we reached out to all our 300+ member hotels and asked them to share their most picturesque, challenging, and inspiring walking routes and turned them into the brand new Design Hotels Walks, highlights of which you will find here in the Locator, and yet more online.

Finally, we cannot be sure what the coming year will bring in this great odyssey we all share, but we can be sure that when we move around our beautiful planet, the need to be more conscious of each other, of our communities and our environment is universal. So let us choose our paths together with care, with love—and with a spring in our step.

Hieronymus Journal No.1

Mindspace

lovell_studio is proud to announce the launch of Hieronymus Journal, a new periodical publication dedicated to progress through reflection, beauty, poetry and quality, for Hieronymus Stationers AG. Issue no.1 is a mindspace miscellany, it looks at both the mental and physical spaces people seek out in order to dream and create real worlds from fantasy; the creative…

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lovell_studio is proud to announce the launch of Hieronymus Journal, a new periodical publication dedicated to progress through reflection, beauty, poetry and quality, for Hieronymus Stationers AG.

Issue no.1 is a mindspace miscellany, it looks at both the mental and physical spaces people seek out in order to dream and create real worlds from fantasy; the creative and constructive spaces where something can happen. It also explores the places we go to in order to reach the intense concentration and focus needed to generate extraordinary achievement. It features especially commissioned interviews and original texts including: astronaut David Wolf talking about life and death decisions in Space; composer Max Richter on the architecture of his imagination; bestselling young Irish author Eimear McBride writing about her mind as a “conduit to desire”; renegade perfumer Geza Schön on the essence of being different, plus freediving under ice, Nordic retreats, the muses of radical fashion by author Jina Khayyer and more.

The Hieronymus Journal aims to provide a “Heimat”, a “home”, for inspiration that comes through deceleration, investigation and reflection but always in the context of the contemporary – the now. Thanks to the digital age, the awareness and value of writing culture, of photography and other forms of visual representation has changed. Amidst so much proliferation, excellence has become more precious and the kind of quality that can only be arrived at through time, skill and expertise has more value than ever before.  Our intention with Hieronymus Journal is to provide a platform for just such excellence in the written word and image – excellence that is born out of forward thinking, expressed in new and exciting ways.

The Hieronymus Journal is published by the Swiss firm Hieronymus Stationers AG, a brand dedicated to the high culture of paper and writing that sees itself in comfortable symbiosis with digital media. Taking time, to communicate by hand is about giving yourself time for a different kind of communication, it is not about falling out of time but giving the mind time for thought, for ourselves, and for others.

Language: English
Publisher: Hieronymus
Editor in Chief: Sophie Lovell

Assistant editors: Fiona Shipwright, Sebastian Schumacher

Format: 246 x 345 mm
Binding: open thread stitching, Japanese premium paper, 4-layer hot foil embossing, slightly perforated endpapers
Contents: 130 pages, natural paper, offset and silkscreen printing
Limited edition of 500 copies, numbered by hand

RAMS

Gary Hustwit's new film "Rams" featuring Sophie Lovell

Sophie Lovell is delighted and honoured to be featured in the new film “Rams” by the documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit (“Helvetica”, “Objectified”, “Urbanized”). The film premiered in October 2018 and will be available on general release in early 2019. “Rams includes in-depth conversations with Dieter, and dive deep into his philosophy, his process, and his inspirations….

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Sophie Lovell is delighted and honoured to be featured in the new film “Rams” by the documentary filmmaker Gary Hustwit (“Helvetica”, “Objectified”, “Urbanized”). The film premiered in October 2018 and will be available on general release in early 2019.

Rams includes in-depth conversations with Dieter, and dive deep into his philosophy, his process, and his inspirations. But one of the most interesting parts of Dieter’s story is that he now looks back on his career with some regret. “If I had to do it over again, I would not want to be a designer,” he said. “There are too many unnecessary products in this world.” Dieter has long been an advocate for the ideas of environmental consciousness and long-lasting products. He’s dismayed by today’s unsustainable world of over-consumption, where ‘design’ has been reduced to a meaningless marketing buzzword.

“Rams is a design documentary, but it’s also a rumination on consumerism, materialism, and sustainability. Dieter’s philosophy is about more than just design, it’s about a way to live. It’s about getting rid of distractions and visual clutter, and just living with what you need.”

Rams, 2018, 74 minutes
Produced and Directed by Gary Hustwit
Original Music by Brian Eno

Featuring: Dieter Rams, Mark Adams, Fritz Frenkler, Naoto Fukasawa, Klaus Klemp, Ingeborg Kracht-Rams, Mateo Kries, Sophie Lovell, Dietrich Lubs

Executive Producer: Jessica Edwards
Director of Photography: Luke Geissbühler
Editor: Kayla Sklar
Additional Photography: Fred Burns, Gary Hustwit, Ben Wolf
Sound Recording: Mike Dielhenn, Luca Torrente
Titles and Motion Graphics: Trollbäck & Co.

imm Pure Talents Contest 2018

Design expert jury

Sophie Lovell was once again a member of the imm design expert jury along with: Sebastian Herkner (Designer, Offenbach), Harry Paul van Ierssel (Designer, Studio Harry-Paul, Barcelona), Tobias Lutz (Managing Director and Founder Architonic AG, Zurich) and Rianne Makkink (Designer, Studio Makkink & Bey, Rotterdam).  The hosting of the Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2018 marked the fifteenth year for one of…

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Sophie Lovell was once again a member of the imm design expert jury along with: Sebastian Herkner (Designer, Offenbach), Harry Paul van Ierssel (Designer, Studio Harry-Paul, Barcelona), Tobias Lutz (Managing Director and Founder Architonic AG, Zurich) and Rianne Makkink (Designer, Studio Makkink & Bey, Rotterdam).  The hosting of the Pure Talents Contest at imm cologne 2018 marked the fifteenth year for one of the most internationally renowned design competitions for young designers. The competition, organised by Koelnmesse on the occasion of imm cologne, offers with the exhibition of the chosen participants a first step into the interior design business and awards prizes for the best three products in the competition. The winners of the awards will be determined by an internationally well known jury, which consists of the following design experts:

 

 

&beyond

The next-level publishing collective

The &beyond collective, an international team of writers and designers specialising in print and digital publishing, was founded in 2016 by the editorial and graphics team that made uncube magazine. Between 2016 and 2022, they conceived and produced a number of significant publishing projects including the “Archifutures” series and The Sonic Urbanism series. Although the collective is now all busy working on their own independent projects and initiatives they still consider themselves the best of colleagues and friends and continue to work together when the opportunity arises.

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The &beyond collective was an international team of writers and designers specialising in print and digital publishing. It was founded in 2016 by the editorial and graphics team that made uncube magazine, the digital magazine for architecture and beyond. Between 2016 and 2022, they conceived and produced a number of significant publishing projects including the “Archifutures” book series, volumes 1-6 for the Future Architecture Platform and The Sonic Urbanism series, vols. 1-3, for Theatrum Mundi. Although the collective is now all busy working on their own independent projects and initiatives they still consider themselves the best of colleagues and friends and continue to work together when the opportunity arises.

andbeyondcollective.com

uncube magazine

Architecture and beyond

From September 2013 to April 2016 Sophie Lovell was Editor-in-Chief of uncube, an award-winning digital magazine about architecture and beyond.

uncubemagazine.com

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uncube, the digital magazine for architecture and beyond.

Between 2012-2016 uncube published 43 themed, monthly magazine issues in a format combining the virtues of print with the convenience of digital. In parallel, uncube ran a blog publishing stories from across the spectrum of architecture, design, art, urbanism and beyond.

uncube’s approach was like no other architecture magazine. The self-imposed editorial mandate: to address topics that went beyond the conventional context of architecture discourse with a critical eye and a clear independent voice. Issues covered subjects ranging from robotics, outer space, acoustics and bioarchitecture to new forms of communities and expo architecture via materials such as bricks, and monographs on the likes of Frei Otto, Zaha Hadid and Charles Correa.

Sophie Lovell’s interviewees during this time included: Zaha Hadid, Greg Lynn, Temple Grandin, Ricardo Scofidio, Eero Koivisto, Werner Sobek, Achim Menges, the architecture cartoonist Klaus and many others. Collaborators and contributors were legion and included Paola Antonelli, Olafur Eliasson, Daniel Charny, Bernard Tschumi, Aaron Betsky and more.

uncube’s digital framework took two years to develop and continued to evolve beyond launch. The design won numerous awards, including Lead Awards Digital Magazine of the Year (2013) and was runner up Webby Awards Web Magazine of the Year in 2014 (pipped to the post by Wired.com).

uncubemagazine.com

WerkStadt Vienna

Design Engaging the City

An exhibition showcasing curated collaborations between designers and manufacturers in Vienna.

Curated by Sophie Lovell

WDC Helsinki
6th – 16th September 2012

MAK Wien
12th Dec 2012 – 17th Mar 2013

Ventura Lambrate Milan
9th – 14th April 2013

NAI Rotterdam
22nd Jun – 15th Sept 2013

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The exhibition “Werkstadt Vienna: Design Engaging the City”, curated by Sophie Lovell, showcases curated collaborations between designers and manufacturers in Vienna. Centuries of craft skills are mixed with new design thinking showing that design can be inspiring to everyone – producer and consumer alike. It is about the soft and hard values of design as a facilitator in bringing people together and enhancing the commercial and creative profile of a city at the same time.

“Werkstadt Vienna: Design Engaging the City” is about the rediscovery and revitalisation of local urban production workshops. In 2006 Neigungsgruppe Design (Tulga Beyerle, Thomas Geisler, Lilli Hollein) began a programme of pairing young, upcoming designers with traditional producers in the city of Vienna called Passionswege. The aim was to generate new dialogues between design and local manufacture, between the city and its makers and between material and technological expertise and experimental design attitudes. The Passionswege went on to become the foundation of the Vienna Design Week.

Amazing and inspiring projects arose from collaborations between designers such as Tomás Alonso (E), Mark Braun (D), Marco Dessi­ (I), Philippe Malouin (CAN), Max Lamb (GB), mischer-traxler (A), Adrien Rovero (CH) and Maxim Velcovsky (CZ) with traditional firms such as J.&L. Lobmeyr, the Viennese porcelain manufacturer Augarten and the Wiener Silber Manufactur. The results of the collaborations were then displayed in the shops and showrooms of the respective producers around the city and many pieces were to be taken into production or marked the beginning of enduring collaborations between designers and makers.

The initiators later invited the curator Sophie Lovell and designers Studio Makkink&Bey to explore the results of this collaborative experiment in a touring exhibition, and share the richness, variety and sustainability of such an experimental approach with other cities. The first two stops on the tour were: the World Design Capital Helsinki 2012 in September 2012 and the MAK Vienna in December 2012., followed by Ventura Lambrate Milan in April 2013 and NAI Rotterdam June – September 2013.

 


form magazine

Sophie Lovell as Executive Editor of form

The bilingual German design magazine “form”, first published in 1957, gained a new owner and a new editorial team in 2012. As Executive Editor, Sophie Lovell brought in a more contemporary vision to the magazine’s content. From 2012 to 2013, she was instrumental in rethinking the magazine structure and shortlisting new designers for the magazine’s relaunch as well as concepting themes, co-commissioning and also writing content.

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The bilingual German design magazine “form”, first published in 1957, gained a new owner and a new editorial team in 2012. As Executive Editor, Sophie Lovell brought in a more contemporary vision to the magazine’s content. From 2012 to 2013, she was instrumental in rethinking the magazine structure and shortlisting new designers for the magazine’s relaunch as well as concepting themes, co-commissioning and also writing content.

 

 

Endless issue #1

The Trip Family Traveling

Endless magazine is a new kind of travel magazine from Christiane Bördner, the maker of “I Love You” magazine, and her photographer husband and partner Marcus Gaab. For issue #1 Sophie Lovell compiled the design and art section entitled “Endless Inspiration”.

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Endless Inspiration…

“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way”

William Blake

There is a small window of time, when you first arrive at a new place, during which you exist in a heady state of heightened perception. Your focus on the new environment is tightly sharpened and nothing escapes your notice as you absorb and catalogue the wealth of detail in a new reality where your own everyday is replaced by another: Strangely cut date palms filled with gangs of scolding green parakeets, for example, or backs of buildings encrusted with a coral landscape of air conditioners. Stones laid in novel patterns on a pathway or alien fire hydrants by the kerb, exotic smells that you cannot yet place, the typography of shop and street signs, the curve of a door handle, the colour of the litter bins, the shape of a light switch or the pattern on a passing headscarf: everything fascinates, everything is new and the world seems reborn.

The magic of travel is all about taking off the blindfold of habit and routine and opening yourself and your own perception to the incredible beauty to be found in what is most likely someone else’s mundane, everyday reality, then allowing that acquired perception to help you see your own old and familiar in a new light. The magic of works of great art or design, be they most humble or highly sophisticated, is not really much different – all new experience can offer a key to the doors of perception. If your eyes and senses are open beauty is everywhere and inspiration endless…

Wallpaper* Germany Survey 2011

Going Deutsch - How Germany became a design superpower: an 84-page supplement

Every now and then Wallpaper* magazine produces a Germany Special Survey, a magazine within the magazine dedicated to Deutschland. This year it was conceived and edited by Sophie Lovell

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“Everyone has their own stereotypes about Germany: the wealthy European industrial giant; the old fashioned state with dirndls, Oktoberfests, black forests, autobahns, and sausages; the country populated by a hard working Volk with a strange sense of humour that just happen to make rather nice cars and be not too bad at football.

German industry is legendary, but for all its apparent sensible stability it is an industry that is full of variety and driven by change. The automotive moguls devote around one third of their corporate spending annually to research and development – and coming up with ideas that make hybrid look old hat. At the other end of the scale, tiny, mobile start-ups, like the Berlin graphic design companies we surveyed, are changing the shape of the creative industry. Centuries-old firms such as those in the porcelain industry are commissioning new works from conceptual artists and fashion designers, and bespoke furniture manufacturers are tiptoeing along the bleeding edge of the avant-garde.

So with this special supplement we would like to show you the Germany that is risk-taking, adventurous, quirky and forward-thinking. Of course the tradition is still there, along with the quality and precision that we have come to depend upon, but with their future strategies the new generation is using these standards as a springboard for great leaps into the unknown.”

Freak Show exhibition

Strategies for (Dis)Engagement in Design

“Our survival depends upon diversification through mutation. We need conceptual thinkers, lateral thinkers, revolutionaries, explorers, inventors, anarchists, activists, cross-disciplinarians and non-linear agenda-benders”

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A limited edition catalogue edited by Sophie Lovell to go with her exhibition of the same name. With works by: Auger-Loizeau, Pieke Bergmans, Dunne & Raby, El Ultimo Grito, Marti­ Guixé, Stuart Haygarth, Kueng Caputo, Mathieu Lehanneur, Studio Makkink & Bey and Jerszy Seymour.

“Right now design is on a critical path involving a radical shift in the understanding of its role in the development and expression of our society.

As humanity expands to fill all available space; as we invade, occupy and infiltrate every nook and cranny of the natural world and beyond; as technosphere merges with biosphere, the role of the designer is pushed into an increasingly pivotal position. Our environment is not self-sustaining, every detail needs to be designed – constantly. The designer, like the rest of us, is part of an enormously complex system that we ourselves have created. The designer is necessarily immersed in the social, intellectual, technological and political context of our constructed world. Thus the responsibility of designers is one of engagement since they are key agents in the process of its creation and maintenance.

But the system is flawed. It does not function properly: It is unbalanced, wasteful and unfit for survival. To engage within the system is to perpetuate the system. We need thinkers and designers to explore strategies that can generate change and to do that they need to disengage with the system. We need diversification through mutation. We need conceptual thinkers, lateral thinkers, revolutionaries, explorers, inventors, anarchists, activists, cross-disciplinarians and non-linear agenda-benders.

Who will give us what we want? Who will be the map-makers in our complex garden of forking paths? Who will make it possible for us to have and have not? Who will question our right to consume? Who will sweeten the pill and who are the ones that will feed us bitter medicine?

In order to think outside of the box you need to distance yourself from it. Traditionally those who disengage in this way are outsiders ‘freaks’ and traditionally they are suppressed or rejected since they tend to threaten the status quo. But now the status quo is threatening us and we are learning to value and to celebrate “difference”.

Freak Show: Strategies for (Dis)engagement in Design is an exhibition of objects by designers that think differently. In the realm of industrial design, a range of strategies is emerging from designers who have begun to challenge the system. They are the ‘freaks’ who are showing us that design is no longer what we thought it was. They are turning accepted norms on their heads and confronting our preconceptions about design. Their work is about rising to the responsibility of engagement through disengagement and as a result they are giving us an insight into what the world could be like if we can find the courage to accept change.”

Übersee magazine

A magazine concept developed by Sven Ehmann, Nicolas Bourquin and Sophie Lovell for Die Gestalten

Übersee was an experimental dummy/prototype for an international magazine dedicated to visual culture and inspiration. Its aim was to serve as a sourcebook for the creative world. Übersee was about forcing diversity, provoking new questions and finding and creating disturbances.

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Übersee was an experimental dummy/prototype for an international magazine dedicated to visual culture and inspiration. Its aim was to serve as a sourcebook for the creative world. Übersee was about forcing diversity, provoking new questions and finding and creating disturbances. Its editorial dispensed with the usual boundaries between creative disciplines mixing prose, product, art, interviews, features music, graphics, collage, typography fashion, photography and performance – seeking new connections via clusters and coincidence rather than categories. The layered graphic design concept was equally groundbreaking.

Qvest magazine

Architecture and Design Editor 2002-2004

From issue 4 in 2002 until issue 14 in 2004, Sophie Lovell was architecture and design editor of the pioneering Berlin-based magazine Qvest

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From issue 4 in 2002 until issue 14 in 2004 when this pioneering Berlin-based magazine had its throat cut for the first time, Sophie Lovell was architecture and design editor of Qvest. It was a great time for innovation in lifestyle publishing and the magazine managed to gain an international reputation on a shoestring budget thanks to a lot of effort and input by many talented and up-and-coming contributors, photographers and staff members. The daringly different spreads and cover artworks defied conventions and pushed boundaries – and not just in Germany. As a result Qvest was much imitated around the globe. It also won a whole bunch of Lead Awards and generally shook up the indigenous magazine industry – for a while at least.