Christopher Beanland

Christopher Beanland writes about architecture, the arts and the media.

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Gateshead Car Park, Owen Luder, Gateshead

Concrete buildings: Brutalist beauty

The stark civic megaliths of the 1960s have been reviled for decades. Now, we are being seduced again by their concrete charms

Take a punth on it: From Veganuary to Decembeard – How each month of the year became a charity endeavour

Chloe Nicholls is one many people who will forego club-toilet vomiting, hangovers, and insufferable Bonnie Tyler karaoke renditions this month. "I'm actually looking forward to detoxing this New Year," she explains. "I've always wanted to do it." January was always a time of restraint – but lately it's become the atheist's answer to Lent, with huge numbers of people in Britain staying off the sauce for the duration.

Who would click to ‘like’ these buildings? The grand, bland plans for tech behemoths' HQs

The tech giants are getting architectural – but their plans are big, not clever

The pride of Sarajevo: How football is uniting a once bitterly divided nation

With Bosnia and Herzegovina qualifying for their first ever World Cup, football is playing a cruical role in binding a once bitterly divided nation

82-year-old Ruth Flowers, aka Mamy Rock, has been DJing since 2010

Tea dances to techno: the rise of the older-school DJ

The decks are no longer a place for spring chickens. Superstar DJs are knocking on: Tiesto is 44, Carl Cox is 51 and Pete Tong is 53. These guys should probably be in their shed tinkering with the mower. But in fact, there are even older spinners on the decks.

'Temperatures on the new boris buses hit a sweat-producing 30.4c last month'

On the buses: Public transport is undergoing a technological transformation

From hybrid engines and guided busways to coders' coaches and Formula One flywheels, Christopher Beanland reveals some of the latest innovations...

Enco in Palm Springs

Palm Springs, California: The enduring appeal of a desert playground

Palm Springs has long been the favoured resort of stars and architects, as Christopher Beanland discovers

Food that will serve up a serious debate

A dinner party with a difference will be serving up quirky dishes like “deconstructed caldo verde” (all the ingredients of soup served dried on a plate) and “the Lusophere Flip” (sous vide fish with sauces from former Portuguese colonies Macau, Goa, Brazil and Angola – which were once poor but are now thriving). The idea is to provoke debate about architecture and cities. “These Planetary Supper Club dinner parties are about getting people talking about the events of our time,” says artist and cook Zack Denfeld of the Center For Genomic Gastronomy, who devised the menus for the event, as part of Lisbon's forthcoming Architecture Triennale. “The fish dish for example is about imagining a more horizontal world where ideas, food and people flow equitably around the Lusophere.” Denfeld will also dish up Cobalt 60 BBQ Sauce (above) created with plants bred from mutations – which questions how we use and abuse intensive agriculture and bioscience in the kitchen.

Judge a book by its cover version

The Bookshop Band are Britain's only literary band. “We've just written a song inspired by Damian Barr's Maggie & Me,” says Ben Please. The Avon trio are fresh from a UK tour of independent bookshops and last month played Glastonbury. Authors who've had their books immortalised in song love it: “Rachel Joyce brought her family to see us when we played at a shop near her home,” says Please.

Easy money: the Sage payment app

Is a cashless society really on the cards?

The next wave of cash-free technology will see you paying for your plumber with a smartphone. Or will it, asks Chris Beanland?

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Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015