Welcome to the first episode in our special four-part series on design! Today, Lilah speaks with the FT’s longtime architecture and design critic Edwin Heathcote to talk about an often-forgotten element of design in cities. It’s called “street furniture,” and it describes the objects we pass every day: from phone booths and lampposts to manhole covers and park benches. Last year, Edwin published a book on this called “On the Street, which elevates the small pieces of design that surround us on the sidewalk. He tells Lilah what he notices when he takes walks, and offers advice for how to see these details in our own cities, too.


We love hearing from you. Lilah is on Instagram @lilahrap and we’re on X @lifeandartpod. You can email the show at lifeandart@ft.com.


Links (all FT links get you past the paywall):

– Edwin’s piece about street furniture for the FT: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/49b0z0p

– Edwin’s book is called On the Street: In-Between Architecture: https://heni.com/publishing/on-the-street-edwin-heathcote

– Pieces from Edwin’s original series in the FT, published between 2015 and 2017: manhole covers // fire hydrants // telephone boxes // street lights // sidewalks // advertising columns // public benches

– We also recommend this recent piece by Edwin about Italian designer Enzo Mari, who hated the design industry: https://on-ft-com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/4aQvWPp


Special FT subscription offers for Life and Art podcast listeners, from 50% off a digital subscription to a $1/£1/€1 trial, are here: http://ft.com.ezproxy.cul.columbia.edu/lifeandart


Original music by Metaphor Music. Mixing and sound design by Breen Turner and Sam Giovinco

Read a transcript of this episode on FT.com

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