The Above Par Culture Edit: February 2023

HAP Design + Culture Editor Paul Jebara here: Long time no see. Missed the Culture Edit last month? An unfortunate ski accident and knee surgery meant I had to take a few weeks off work to recover—but I’m finally back on track whipping up HAP’s monthly digest your go-to bulletin for exciting culture, travel, and design news. And while February might be the shortest month of the year, there’s certainly been no shortage of cool fashion collaborations (Nike and Tiffany & Co.!), innovations in aviation (The first winery airline!), and more that should land on your radar. Without further ado, here’s February’s Edit, the first of 2023.

A New Coffee Table Book that Lives on the Edge

Living on the Edge: Houses on Cliffs is a new coffee table book, that presents some of the most spectacular residences constructed on the edge of cliffs from across the world. The book includes magnificent imagery and intriguing anecdotes of homes that appear to defy gravity, with spectacular views and one-of-a-kind design elements. The book also delves into the design issues of building homes on cliff faces, such as worries about stability and safety, as well as the inventive solutions utilized by architects and engineers. From a floating estate in Bali to a cantilevered house in Portugal, these residences are not only opulent living places but also testaments to modern architecture’s great achievements.

The Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden Celebrates 20th Anniversary

The New York Botanical Garden is set to host its 20th annual Orchid Show from February 12th to April 23rd, showcasing the beauty and diversity of orchids worldwide. The event, which is one of the largest and most popular orchids shows in the country, features over 10,000 orchids on display in the Garden’s stunning Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. This year’s Orchid Show will be curated by celebrated artist Lily Kwong, who delivers a serene and intriguing design inspired by ancestral links to the natural world.

New Zealand’s Invivo Air is the World’s First Winery Airline

New Zealand-based Invivo Air has launched a one-of-a-kind vacation experience that blends the best of both worlds: wine and flying. The world’s first winery airline presents guests with epic views of some of New Zealand’s most beautiful landscapes while sipping on some of the country’s best wines from Marlborough, Hawkes Bay, and Central Otago. The airline’s custom-designed planes are outfitted with everything a wine enthusiast might want, including a bar, lounge space, and seating that provides optimum comfort and relaxation. We’ll cheers to that.

An Atypical Fit for a Sneaker Collab: Nike and Tiffany?

Sneakerheads and lovers of Nike and Tiffany & Co. alike have been giddily awaiting details on the buzzy cobranded Air Force 1. That day finally arrived—along with a hefty sense of disappointment Photos of the sneakers, which will be available on March 7, were leaked earlier this week, causing Tiffany executive Alexandre Arnault to tease images of a Tiffany Blue sneaker box. Based on the leak, fans have voiced displeasure with the shoe’s design—defined by simple black suede uppers and a Tiffany blue swoosh—dismissing it as “lazy” and unimaginative. Still, the pair features stylish updates like sterling silver emblems on each heel and a sneaker maintenance set of a shoe horn, a shoe brush, and a whistle. Walk, don’t run.

Credit: Robert Peterson

Delta Airlines Launches Free Wifi On Domestic Flights

Starting this month through the end of 2023, Delta Airlines is rolling out free in-flight Wi-Fi on mainline domestic flight routes on 700 aircraft. The airline is the first major American carrier to offer this perk with Viasat satellite internet connectivity. Delta is also developing a new in-flight entertainment system that mirrors Smart TVs equipped with popular streaming channels and the ability to order food and beverages through the innovative interface. Sky-high convenience!

Croatia Chooses the Euro

Croatia, the newest member of the EU, has taken a significant step toward union with the organization by ratifying the euro as its official currency and joining the Schengen Area. The decision became effective on January 1, 2023, representing a turning point in the history of the nation and its journey toward becoming an integrated part of the EU. The adoption of the euro is anticipated to increase economic stability for Croatia, facilitate commerce with other EU nations, and make traveling around the world’s largest passport-free travel area even more convenient.

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