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Prince Charles Redefines Originality

In a small brick building in East London, in a school developed by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales, students from around the world are giving new life to a set of artistic principles that have been nearly lost. Their work is helping to revive a number of nearly obsolete skills in art, architecture, and manufacturing, with a new tilt toward sustainability.

By TODD OPPENHEIMER

A Traditional Balinese Craft Rediscovers Its Roots — in Leaves

If you’ve ever been lucky enough to visit Bali, Indonesia, you might have fond memories of white-sand beaches, ornate temples, and gracious hospitality. But for many Western visitors, the island’s most striking feature is its rich cultural heritage, including its many craft traditions. From the daily religious offerings made of rice, flowers, and banana leaves,…

Tips and Inspiration from England’s Great Dixter Gardens

Fergus Garrett, one of the world’s preeminent gardening experts, talks about the art of making fine gardens, and fine gardeners. His tips are drawn from his years managing Great Dixter House & Gardens, the famously gorgeous and uncommonly diverse set of gardens that lie just outside London.

By THOMAS C. COOPER

Listen to “Straw Bale: The Ultra-Ecological House”

As our environmental challenges mount — from devastating wildfires to hurricanes and floods — one solution, largely ignored thus far, may lie in using an unlikely-sounding material for home-building: straw. Has the lowly straw bale home’s time finally come?

Listen to “The Bonsai Kid”

A young Oregonian believes that he can create a uniquely American form of the Japanese bonsai tree. And he is literally betting the farm on the idea that if he builds it, they will come.

Listen to “When Indigenous Women Win”

In the mountains of Michoacán, Mexico, a band of determined indigenous women led the overthrow of a criminal cartel. Their victory revived the town’s traditional livelihood, and ushered in a model form of self-government.

Italy’s Endangered Violin Forest

Since the 16th century, Cremona’s luthiers—including Stradivari himself—have been using an unusually resonant wood from Paneveggio, known as Italy’s “violin forest,” to handcraft the world’s finest string instruments. Then a 2018 storm decimated the forest. A band of experts in Cremona is now rallying to save this iconic tradition. A documentary short.

Film by LUISA GROSSO

On a Rugged Greek Island, an Herbal Scientist Follows the Path of His Ancestors

It’s midafternoon on the Greek island of Amorgos on one of the longest and hottest days of the year, and Vangelis Vassalos is headed out to harvest. Vassalos, who is compact and wiry at 61, wears a floppy white hat to protect his bronzed scalp from the midday sun as he walks a few hundred…

Watch “Vangelis, the Ethnobotanist: A Mini-Documentary”

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