Take a Culture Trip with Our Best Design Stories

We love travelling through design, whether that means seeking out the perfect pair of orange slippers embroidered with bells in India, an expertly turned stone bowl in Japan or a virtual reality version of the ancient world in Greece. Read some of our favourite design–led journeys from our archives.

May 27, 2020
A temple in Japan seen through trees.
   Photo: Jake Stangel

Exploring Samurai Design Tradition in Kanazawa

Kanazawa, a low–slung city of 450,000 on the Sea of Japan, is an ideal destination for lovers of samurai culture – and beautifully made objects. During the Edo period, from 1603 to 1867, samurais in the region became master artisans, working in ceramics, lacquerware, gold–leaf application, confectionery, silk painting and papermaking. In 2016, writer Susan Nerberg immersed herself in the still–thriving artisan culture, in the process relearning the timeless skill of monotasking.

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The corner of building in Havana with palm trees in the foreground.
   Photo: Kari Medig

The Scrappy Design Movement That’s Making Over Havana

In Cuba’s capital city, something unique is taking shape: a cultural movement redefining the country’s place in the design world. And a lot of it is happening in abandoned factory spaces, using materials found, recycled or brought into the country in travellers’ suitcases. Writer Simon Lewsen visited in 2019, and discovered a vibrant and unique design renaissance in progress.

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Piles of colourful saris in Delhi, India.
   Photo: Gunnar Knechtel

Delhi is a Dream for Shoppers and Fashion Designers Alike

From the narrow laneways of Shahpur Jat to the incredible selection of goods for sale at Chandni Chowk market, Delhi is an inspiring destination for designers and fashion–forward shoppers alike. Laura Osborne visited in 2015, exploring some of the city’s shopping hubs and meeting leaders of the thriving fashion scene.

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A hill in Athens covered in ancient ruins.
   Photo: Brad Torchia

How Technology is Rescuing Greek Antiquities From Human Damage

Athens is home to many of Ancient Greece’s most iconic – and most–visited – ruins. But is all the tourist traffic damaging these essential relics of history? Writer Curtis Gillespie travelled there in 2018 to find out how technology and design are suggesting alternatives to visiting the sites and artifacts of the past in person, and to ask whether the authenticity of an original can ever be replaced.

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Threads of alpaca fur in cream and purple.
   Photo: Brian W. Ferry

In Lima, Textile Tradition Meets Fashion’s Future

Peru has always been home to high–quality materials like baby alpaca and pima cotton, as well as exceptional craftsmanship. But a few years back, a group of young designers began bringing fresh, innovative energy to the country’s fashion scene. In 2016, writer Alexandra Redgrave headed to Lima to explore the burgeoning movement, uncovering edgy and internationally inspired style and a series of exclusive, travel–worthy boutique shops.

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