Laura Gascoigne: Reach for the Starchitects – The Switch House

A survey by the Office for National Statistics in May revealed that the British are changing their spending habits. Instead of filling our homes to the rafters with consumer durables and not-so-durables, we’re spending our spare cash on ‘experiences’, including recreation and, yes, culture. “People are interested in servicing a lifestyle rather than buying stuff,” one trend forecaster commented in The Guardian, while a senior executive from IKEA predicted gloomily: “In the west, we have probably hit peak stuff”.

Does this mean fewer family trips to the mall and more museum visits? The contemporary museum sector certainly hopes so, and to bring the hope closer to reality it is doing it best to make the two experiences as similar as possible. This is an ambition not confined to Britain. Is it any coincidence that Rome’s two contemporary art museums, MACRO