Jonathan Van Ness on being HIV positive: ‘It gave me a reason to really fight’

The charismatic star of hit TV show Queer Eye had a troubled and chaotic early life. Here, for the first time, he talks about his journey back from the brink and his life with the virus The words smoky lavender appear twice in Over the Top, a memoir by Queer Eye, the hyperventilating makeover show in which he stars. The first time it is used to describe the skin colour of a gun-toting meth addict he encounters during a stint as a sex worker in Tucson. The second to describe the colour of the thigh-high boots worn by the hair stylist at a salon he lands at in Los Angeles in 2008. He is 19. Later, First Wives Club, a …

15 Most Inhumane Ways That Cities Try To Fight Homeless People From Sleeping In Public Places

Not only are homeless folks discriminated against directly and culturally, but also structurally too. These exclusionary designs, denying people even the right to find a place to rest, are a stark illustration of our society’s collective disregard for basic humanity. Surely we can do better than this? #13 When You Wanna Look Inclusive But Hate Homeless People #14 More Anti Homeless Spikes….so Much For Community Spirit #15 There Are A Few Different Varieties But They All Serve The Same Purpose

Sardine tins for the poor?: Barcelona’s shipping container homes

Just a stones throw from La Rambla, the Spanish city is building 12 shipping container flats to help tackle its social housing crisis Barcelona has begun installing its first unsuitable and unsafe, and residents have said they are cramped, stiflingly hot in summer, and too cold in winter. The total cost of the scheme in Barcelona is 940,000 (840,000). We can deliver an apartment in a year while a traditional building takes six to eight years to reach completion, says Tonet Font of the citys social innovation department. Work is expected to be completed by the end of October. Nasibah Yagoub, 21, with her son outside a shipping container development being used for homeless families in Hanwell, Ealing. Photograph: Chris …

The invention of Essex: how a county became a caricature

The long read: From Loadsamoney and Basildon man to Towie and Brexit Essex has long been held up as both the authentic England and the crudest, stupidest symbol of Englishness As a child growing up in the 80s and 90s in Southend, a sprawling seaside town in south-east Essex, I noticed that people on TV often laughed at the very word Essex. Some years later, in 2016, my wife, Hayley, crossed the border into Albania from Montenegro while travelling with an old friend who, like us, grew up in the county. The border guard asked where they were from and when they told him, his response was quickfire: Ive heard a lot about

The skyscraper infinity pool sorry, but where’s the diving board?

It is meant to be a boundary-busting punch for the sky. But this design for a rooftop London pool is just another high-rise ego gimmick In 1924, swimming pool designerno apparent means of escape, as if the digital people are in some kind of sublime prison cell for the super rich. We are assured there is in fact a way in and out, courtesy of a rotating spiral staircase which rises from the pool floor, and that this is an entirely buildable proposition that includes an inbuilt anemometer to vary the water level and access to the pool. Underwater swimming … how the pool could look Photograph: Compass Pools The designer, Alex Kemsley, said, the building started life as a …

The art deco pub, the library and Poldark manor: Britains architectural gems at risk

As Save Britains Heritage campaign highlights historic buildings that could be lost to the nation, Cornish estate owners vow to take action For viewers of a certain age it is instantly recognisable. Botallack Manor, on the Penwith peninsula in western Cornwall, doubled as Nampara, the home of Ross Poldark and his family, in the original 1970s Poldark television series. Today, the Grade II-listed house, built in the 17th century and boasting spectacular views of the has enjoyed a new lease of life, the same cannot be said for the house. For the past five years it has lain empty and in an increasing state of neglect, so much so that it has been included in the latest (30th) edition of …

Goodbye to Gomorrah: the end of Italy’s most notorious housing estate

Famous as the setting for the hit Italian film and TV series Gomorrah, the towers of Le Vele became synonymous with poverty and organised crime until residents took charge When I think of my life in Le Vele, my skin crawls with rage, says Omero Benfenati. He looks out from a dark, narrow passageway framed by suspended steel stairways that block the natural light and lead up to abandoned apartments. Most of the windows are bricked up, and liquid leaks from split pipes on to the sewage and refuse-strewn asphalt several storeys below. We used to play down there, says Benfenati, now a housing activist. The uncollected rubbish bags make ideal goalposts for five-a-side football. Just a few years ago, …

Sterile or stirring? Britain’s love-hate relationship with new towns

Paternalistic social engineering or make-Britain-great-again utopianism? A new archive film compilation takes a look at the UKs controversial postwar towns People sometimes say to me, You must get a terrific kick out of having been responsible for a huge thing like a new town, said Sir Frederick Gibberd in an interview in 1982, 35 years after he created the new town of Harlow. Well, I get a lot of misery out of it, in fact. I go around and think, My god, thats unbelievably bad, and it could have been so good. If that was what the designer thought, imagine how everyone else who moved to Harlow felt. The interview comes in a short film at the end of Stevenage, …