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What’s new in the world of design: December 2016

From a cathedral-set fashion store to a science-based art exhibition, this month’s ‘What’s New in the World of Design’ is full of paradoxes, along with fabulous new fabrics and wallpapers and excitingly, a date announced for DENFAIR 2017. Read on… 

1. Alpha60 opens new store in Chapter House

One of Melbourne’s newest fashion stores feels more like a stage-set than a boutique. Alpha60 has opened its 10th store in Chapter House on Flinders Lane – a large hall adjacent to St Paul’s Cathedral.

You enter the store from Flinders Lane and follow the trail of mannequins up two flights of stairs. Then, you’re greeted with soaring ceilings, stained-glass windows and a grand piano.

The fashion brand has made the most of the unique space, bringing in its entire collection to showcase. The owners are also in talks with bands to bring live, acoustic music in-store, along with artists to create sound and light experiences to accompany the journey up the stairs. What can be sure is that this is no run of the mill shopping experience.

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2. MONA’s new show: On the Origin of Art

Always one to turn the notion of art on its head, MONA’s new show, On the Origin of Art, brings together the works of scientists in a labyrinthine space.

The four guest curators of this exhibition are cognitive scientist Steven Pinker, evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller, theoretical neurobiologist Mark Changizi and literary/evolutionary theorist Brian Boyd.

The museum’s head, David Walsh, asked these curators:”We need art – but for what?” The four curators then spent two years developing their own theory as to why humans like and appreciate art. Their theories are showcased in this exhibition, which has pulled together more than 230 artworks from 35 countries.

On the Origin of Art is showing until April 17.

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3. Designers Guild’s Jardin des Plantes collection

Designer Guild’s new collection takes inspiration from the evocative and illustrative art of the famous 17th Century botanists. The Jardin des Plantes fabrics and wallpapers feature prints in various scales on linens, cotton, velvets and woven damasks. Renderings of flowers, plants and butterflies run through the collection, as it takes inspiration from the formal Italian garden. Each design comes in Designer Guild’s famous myriad of colours and are available for curtains, blinds, cushions, bedcovers and upholstery.

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4. Marbleised Paint Designs by Murals Wallpaper

Murals Wallpaper is often pushing the limits with its wallpaper designs. The company’s latest launch is a collection of marble murals that use digitally printed techniques to capture marbleised paint effects through HD photography.

Marbleising traditionally involves using absorbent papers to pick up ink from a water bath and dates to the 12th Century. These prints, however, can be hung just like normal wallpaper, and make a stunning impact with minimal effort.

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5. 2017 dates announced for DENFAIR

One of Australia’s largest design industry events of the year, DENFAIR, has announced details of the 2017 event. Professionals are invited to attend on Thursday and Friday 8th and 9th of June, while a public open day is set for Saturday 10th June 2017. Special features include exhibitions from Cult, Ajar, Zuster, Space, Mokum, Domo, Anibou, Great Dane, Fred International, Designer Rugs and Bang&Olufsen, while there will also be a new ‘Sound Precinct’, a pop up gallery, a ‘Textile District’ and a DENFAIR restaurant, oyster bar and café.

DENFAIR only launched in 2015, but it has quickly become a key event for design professionals and those interested in all things colour, form and texture. Held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre, it’s one for the diaries!

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