Writer and "The New Era" editor-in-chief Hanna Nova Beatrice
Courtesy Hanna Nova Beatrice

“The New Era” Magazine’s Editor-in-Chief Prefers to Consume Media the Old-Fashioned Way

Hanna Nova Beatrice likes to read books and periodicals that innovate on texture.
By Kathryn O’Shea-Evans
February 6, 2021
4 minute read

Hanna Nova Beatrice is the founder and editor-in-chief of The New Era, a recently launched independent Scandinavian design publication. “It grew out of a strong belief in the [power of] print,” she says of the title, which comes out on a quarterly basis. True to form, the seasoned author and curator, who previously served as the editor-in-chief of Sweden’s interiors-focused Residence magazine, prefers to consume media the old-fashioned way, with an eye toward periodicals that innovate on physical pages. (She also peruses a select few online.) We recently spoke with Beatrice about what’s on her daily reading and listening lists, which include an exhibition catalogue, a podcast about the circular economy, and a genre of literature she prefers to keep out of sight.

How do you start your mornings?

I get up early with my one-and-a-half-year-old to make coffee and have breakfast. We have an hour alone together before the rest of the house wakes up, and it’s one of the best moments of my day. After breakfast, while he plays, I catch up on emails and read the morning editions of several papers online—the U.K. edition of The Guardian, and Sweden’s two main dailies, Dagens Nyheter and Svenska Dagbladet—as well as online design websites including Dezeen, Sight Unseen, and Trendenser.

What magazines do you read on a regular basis?

I want to celebrate publications that are driven by passion and push the boundaries of what a magazine can be right now. Titles that do this well include Disegno, which was set up by my friend Johanna Agerman [Ross] in the U.K. ten years ago, as well as the Danish interior magazine Ark Journal, which has a [distinctive] voice when it comes to content and graphic design. Apartamento has also been doing a great job ever since it launched [in 2008].

What are you watching or reading for fun?

I grew up without a TV [with a father working with antiques, and a mother working as a journalist], and that experience impacted me greatly. I’m not particularly interested in watching something. I wish I was, but I just don’t have that routine and always end up prioritizing other things. That said, I recently bought a Samsung Serif [television, designed by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec] in an attempt to start watching movies and documentaries together as a family. I want to avoid my toddler watching movies alone on his iPad. I find that sight very sad.

As far as books go, I’m currently reading Formafantasma: Cambio, the catalogue that accompanied the 2020 exhibition of the same name, shown at London’s Serpentine Gallery, that researched the global effects of the timber industry. I’m also reading Pierre Yovanovitch: Interior Architecture, as well as Welcome to Your World: How the Built Environment Shapes Our Lives by Sarah Williams Goldhagen and Wasted: When Trash Becomes Treasure by Katie Treggiden.

Favorite podcasts?

I enjoy listening to conversations around sustainability, business, and the built environment. At the moment I’m taking in The Business of Fashion podcast, as well as a show called Circular with Katie Treggiden, the author of the Wasted book I just mentioned, that explores new models of consumption.

Any guilty pleasures in your media diet?

I tend to read at least four books at the same time, along with a memoir. The last one I read was Shoe Dog [by Nike co-founder Phil Knight]. I prefer memoirs that are best-selling stories—I’m a bit embarrassed about this and always hide these books at the bottom of my pile. But I like reading them, because they trigger my energy levels.