When did the cult of design begin? In the 1920s, heyday of both radical Bauhaus and luxe Art Deco? Or in the 1930s, when Richard Neutra was building those sleek modernist houses? Or perhaps the ’40s, ’50s or ’60s, when midcentury heroes Eames, Wegner et al transformed the way we wanted to furnish our homes?

In truth, architects, makers and engineers have always shaped the world around us. But the ‘D’ word emerged to convey the fusion of science and art, form and function that goes into the perfect design – and the quest for this surely informs our choices more now than it has at any other time.

We want to live a well-designed life, surrounded by well-designed things, so it’s a deciding factor in choosing everything from cars and watches to fashion and furniture, hotels and of course, our homes. So in this design issue, Alex Bagner charts the rise of the ‘Superhouse’ and explains how to commission one for yourself – surely the ultimate expression of all of the above. Emma O’Kelly advises us on the ‘art furniture’ collectibles to put in it, while we profile gallerist Thaddeus Ropac, soon to become your go-to man for the art you’ll want on your walls. We ask design heroes Sir Terence Conran, Patricia Urquiola and Marek Reichman about their idols. And we talk to a hero of our own – the creative director Fabien Baron, a man who has played a major role in shaping today’s luxury aesthetic.

Also in this issue, you’ll find superyachts for millennials, Pingus – Spain’s most coveted red wine – and the new breed of philanthropists changing tourism in Africa. 

James Collard, Editor in Chief

Paul Croughton, Editor

Cover shot by Phil Dunlop