London’s Three Word Commission matchmakes a winsome roster of mostly East End artists with three-word prompts, puts their keys in a bowl, gives them some mushroom cookies and then sets them free in the anarchic yonder of imagination that is low-to-no presh art-making. Here, Steven Quinn creates a natural habitat for banana + dog + space, Hattie Stewart lays hands on NYC + triangle + fluorescent and finds a muse, and Rose Blake, daughter of Sir Peter Blake, conjures an homage to Magic Eye for this lonely enthusiast for whom earnestness is the wallpaper, water and air in a land of thunderbirds + love + Union Jack.

London’s Three Word Commission matchmakes a winsome roster of mostly East End artists with three-word prompts, puts their keys in a bowl, gives them some mushroom cookies and then sets them free in the anarchic yonder of imagination that is low-to-no presh art-making. Here, Steven Quinn creates a natural habitat for banana + dog + space, Hattie Stewart lays hands on NYC + triangle + fluorescent and finds a muse, and Rose Blake, daughter of Sir Peter Blake, conjures an homage to Magic Eye for this lonely enthusiast for whom earnestness is the wallpaper, water and air in a land of thunderbirds + love + Union Jack.


Pablo and David of Bistrotheque are responsible for our new London eatery, Hoi Polloi, a modernist take on hyper-seasonal English produce and flavors, in a setting as well-suited to a quick lunch or long dinner as it is to a full day of laptop work or midnight drinks. Their work is featured in a new exhibition by London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, ICA Off-Site: A Journey Through London Subculture: 1980s to Now, at the Old Selfridges Hotel. Installations formed around 50 custom-made vitrines, featuring works and designs by the likes of Giles Deacon, Zaha Hadid, Sarah Lucas, Lucky PDF, Studio Voltaire and Jonny Woo, showcase the creative culture of the capital city, from the post-punk era to the current day.


We debuted our custom Ace radios with Scotland-based Revo today when we swung the doors open at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch. Each radio in-room boasts a curated set of hot buttons that act as a portal to our favorite new discoveries and classic standbys, including independent radio, soundscapes and Monocle's round-the-clock coverage of everything on the planet. We want to treat your ears as well as we can, and the planet, too. These radios feature a digital amplifier that reduces power consumption but increases the amount of creative power in your own mind.
We’ll be changing stations and sounds on the hot buttons over time. You can keep track of them all hear, just kidding here, and we’ll be posting more about the waves in the air over time right here.
1 : KEXPBorn in Seattle, KEXP is our #1 homie. But we share so much beyond a hometown. Our love of music, discovery and community have made us steadfast friends and long-time collaborators. On the air for over four decades, this tiny radio-station-that-could started as a 10-watt transmitter is located on top of McMahon Hall on the University of Washington campus. It’s since grown to one of the most celebrated and respected independent, community-driven radio stations on the planet. It won a Webby for Best Radio Website when the internet was just a wee baby in 2004, and even opened a branch in New York City, serving all five boroughs. For a few years, we’ve collaborated with KEXP to broadcast live from the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during CMJ, and we’ve made some really good friends along the way.
2 : NTS RadioWith their first radio broadcast just months behind them, London’s NTS was born, in a sort of KEXP reversal, from the blog nutstosoup.com (now laid to rest). NTS aims to fill a void in the community of musically and progressively minded Londoners (and citizens of the world). A unique platform for inspired people to present their findings, passions and obsessions, NTS draws on local wisdom of the young and old in London from label founders to magazine editors to style icons to musical discoverers sailing the rocky seas of basement shows and pirate internet stations and tape deck-only road trips to bring the best and brightest to your ears day and night.
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3 : Monocle 24Monocle is a global briefing on international affairs, business, culture and design headquartered in London. In print Monocle’s 10 issues a year are dense, book-ish and collectable, and call on a global team of staff editors and over thirty correspondents from Beirut to Milan, Washington to Singapore. Monocle 24, their round-the-clock radio station launched its first broadcast a couple autumns ago from Midori House in Marylebone. Delivering news and comment, plus magazine shows covering a range of topics including food and drink, urbanism, design and print media, their newsgathering operation will soon stretch to new bureaux in São Paulo and across Asia, as well as more correspondents in emerging and established territories. Monocle, with a sharp ear and astute eye on the world, are old friends of the Ace family and some of our favorite armchair and expert thinkers on everything from straight-lined to particulate and curvaceous topics of conversation.
4 : Resonance FMResonance FM celebrates the ‘art’ of radio and music, and tends toward programming that pushes the status quo for what radio can be. Framework is one of our favorite shows dedicated to soundscapes and field recording. The more London-local shows like The Hooting Yard (an hour of field-recorded sounds from the speaker’s point in Hyde Park) and The Pensioner’s Show (an hour of one, gruff fellow ranting about the current state of pensioners rights and news) get our hearts racing.
We actually learned about Resonance while listening to Do or DIY with Vicki Bennett of People Like Us on WFMU (Ace Revo Broadcast Two). Vicki was doing some collaborations with Ergo Phizmiz and, at the time, guest shows from the Resonance studios in London. There’s a really great show of Christian Marclay performing live at the London Tate near Christmas from about 2005. It’s an hour-long, sprawling mix of sounds and song and it’s wonderful. Resonance is an audio volcano of things you never knew how badly you wanted to listen to until you do and then you feel like your brain is bigger. That’s what they do.
5 : WFMUWFMU is like the radical big-brother of free-form stations across the country. They’re not tied to any university or college, they have little rules to follow and they been at it for decades. They have a ridiculously diverse range of shows and hosts. And their library! It can make a grown man cry. You can listen to a dedicated rap show for three hours and then go right into a bad talk/call-in for an hour, and then into a show dedicated to antique phonographs. And they do it all with volunteers, few paid staff and membership drives that defy the boring, disenchanting norm. Long live the Woof Moo.

We debuted our custom Ace radios with Scotland-based Revo today when we swung the doors open at Ace Hotel London Shoreditch. Each radio in-room boasts a curated set of hot buttons that act as a portal to our favorite new discoveries and classic standbys, including independent radio, soundscapes and Monocle's round-the-clock coverage of everything on the planet. We want to treat your ears as well as we can, and the planet, too. These radios feature a digital amplifier that reduces power consumption but increases the amount of creative power in your own mind.

We’ll be changing stations and sounds on the hot buttons over time. You can keep track of them all hear, just kidding here, and we’ll be posting more about the waves in the air over time right here.

1 : KEXP
Born in Seattle, KEXP is our #1 homie. But we share so much beyond a hometown. Our love of music, discovery and community have made us steadfast friends and long-time collaborators. On the air for over four decades, this tiny radio-station-that-could started as a 10-watt transmitter is located on top of McMahon Hall on the University of Washington campus. It’s since grown to one of the most celebrated and respected independent, community-driven radio stations on the planet. It won a Webby for Best Radio Website when the internet was just a wee baby in 2004, and even opened a branch in New York City, serving all five boroughs. For a few years, we’ve collaborated with KEXP to broadcast live from the lobby at Ace Hotel New York during CMJ, and we’ve made some really good friends along the way.

2 : NTS Radio
With their first radio broadcast just months behind them, London’s NTS was born, in a sort of KEXP reversal, from the blog nutstosoup.com (now laid to rest). NTS aims to fill a void in the community of musically and progressively minded Londoners (and citizens of the world). A unique platform for inspired people to present their findings, passions and obsessions, NTS draws on local wisdom of the young and old in London from label founders to magazine editors to style icons to musical discoverers sailing the rocky seas of basement shows and pirate internet stations and tape deck-only road trips to bring the best and brightest to your ears day and night.

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Aaaaaaaaaand, we’re open.

Aaaaaaaaaand, we’re open.


Just about to open our doors at Ace Hotel London….

Just about to open our doors at Ace Hotel London….


St. Hilda’s in Shoreditch weighs in on rapper Action Bronson of Albanian and Flushing, Queens descent. #herewecomeshoreditch


Believing that almost anything and anybody would be too (2.) happy to see a contraband snapshot from our developing Ace Hotel London Shoreditch room art is something (and somebody) we’re going to get into habit of in the next week or so before we open our doors September 9.

Believing that almost anything and anybody would be too (2.) happy to see a contraband snapshot from our developing Ace Hotel London Shoreditch room art is something (and somebody) we’re going to get into habit of in the next week or so before we open our doors September 9.


Bibliothèque Design, just down the street a piece from Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, paid tribute to English engineering draftsman Harry Beck who in 1931 created the (now somewhat altered) present-day London Underground Tube map, uncommissioned, in his off-duty hours from the Tube’s Signals Office. As originally presented in Beck’s brief, Bibliothèque used only two colors, red for the Central line and black for the Northern Line, deleting those lines that require colors not loyal to the brief, leaving only a constellation of tentatively connected coordinates.
Beck’s radical proposal to create a stop-to-stop guide for Londoners rather than a geographically accurate representation of stop locations on a city map was seen as radical, even ridiculous, and was met with skepticism (like most good ideas). But the idea was posed to the public with a small pamphlet two years into Beck’s campaign and was, as they say, an instant classic.
Beck’s influence is recognized by graphic designers some seventy years later as a catalyst for user-friendly information design that followed its own instincts and logic, rather than cohering to established visual communication norms. A.A. Degani, in A Tale of Two Maps, suggested this year that Beck’s configuration of a “relaxed grid … which has a certain rhythm and charm” is “somewhat similar to the grid used by modern artists (such as Piet Mondrian’s painting Composition With Yellow, Blue and Red).”
Before such blue ribbons were awarded, Beck’s success with the Tube map alone boosted his confidence and conviction such that in 1951 he presented the Paris city government with a Beckified version of the Metro map he had drawn up in the late thirties, some fifteen years earlier. They thought the map scandalously radical and rejected it without public input — they weren’t to use a diagrammatic transport map until 1999. Poo poo, Paris! Beck’s iconic style is now the norm for transit and urban rail companies the world over.
Hats off to those who show up uninvited and reinvent the game.

Bibliothèque Design, just down the street a piece from Ace Hotel London Shoreditch, paid tribute to English engineering draftsman Harry Beck who in 1931 created the (now somewhat altered) present-day London Underground Tube map, uncommissioned, in his off-duty hours from the Tube’s Signals Office. As originally presented in Beck’s brief, Bibliothèque used only two colors, red for the Central line and black for the Northern Line, deleting those lines that require colors not loyal to the brief, leaving only a constellation of tentatively connected coordinates.

Beck’s radical proposal to create a stop-to-stop guide for Londoners rather than a geographically accurate representation of stop locations on a city map was seen as radical, even ridiculous, and was met with skepticism (like most good ideas). But the idea was posed to the public with a small pamphlet two years into Beck’s campaign and was, as they say, an instant classic.

Beck’s influence is recognized by graphic designers some seventy years later as a catalyst for user-friendly information design that followed its own instincts and logic, rather than cohering to established visual communication norms. A.A. Degani, in A Tale of Two Maps, suggested this year that Beck’s configuration of a “relaxed grid … which has a certain rhythm and charm” is “somewhat similar to the grid used by modern artists (such as Piet Mondrian’s painting Composition With Yellow, Blue and Red).”

Before such blue ribbons were awarded, Beck’s success with the Tube map alone boosted his confidence and conviction such that in 1951 he presented the Paris city government with a Beckified version of the Metro map he had drawn up in the late thirties, some fifteen years earlier. They thought the map scandalously radical and rejected it without public input — they weren’t to use a diagrammatic transport map until 1999. Poo poo, Paris! Beck’s iconic style is now the norm for transit and urban rail companies the world over.

Hats off to those who show up uninvited and reinvent the game.

Harry Beck Paris Metro Map


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