Inspiring ideas directly from our Lab


Silvio_BerlusconiFriday 12th April 2013 - by Kyl Chhatwal

Silvio Berlusconi. Former jester-in-chief, rascal, self-proclaimed “dream of all Italians.” Who recently found himself victim of another scandal, which—perhaps for the first time in his career—was not actually of his own making. In late March an advertising firm representing Ford India produced a series of ads for its compact, Figo, boasting an “extra-large boot.” One ad shows a cartoonish Berlusconi with three buxom Italian women bound and gagged in the boot of his car, one wearing


"I look to Italy"

LawrenceFriday 29th March 2013 - by Kyl Chhatwal

So wrote the English novelist D.H. Lawrence in a letter to a friend, while in Germany in 1912. Lawrence was a prolific writer and a prolific traveller. How he managed both— writing so prodigiously while constantly on the move—is a mystery of 20th century literature, one often explained using that ill-defined word “genius.”



Michelangelo_ModelThursday 21 March 2013 - by Kyl Chhattwal

The great Italian sculptor, painter and architect Michelangelo Buonnarotti—like many sculptors of his time—made tiny clay and wax models or “studies” of the human figures he would later hew out of marble. 

Hundreds of these models existed and, according to


Driving Lessons

TopolinoThursday 14 March 2013 - by Kyl Chhatwal

To anyone who has ever driven in Italy, particularly in the south, and found the experience, well…. cultural, then you’re in good company. John Steinbeck once wrote an essay for Harper’s in which he describes the experience of driving on Italian roads like this: “It seems hysterical, it follows no rules. You cannot figure what the driver ahead or behind or beside you is going to do next and he usual does it. But there are other hazards besides the driving technique. There are motor scooters, thousands of them,


Exit Strategy

Benedict XVIThursday 28th February 2013 - by Kyl Chhatwal
“There were moments of joy and light but also moments that were not easy… there were moments, as there were throughout the history of the Church, when the seas were rough and the wind blew against us and it seemed that the Lord was sleeping.” So said the recently-resigned Pope Benedict XVI at his final general audience on February 27, 2013, in St. Peter’s Square, Rome. As this is being written—Feb. 28—the Pope is on his last day on the job.