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2018-07-22T08:45:44.735Z
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Sometimes the most utopian visions are born in the dreariest of places.

Art and design have always been two entangled disciplines whose permeable, malleable boundaries encourage cross-pollination and synergies. The latter is definitely the case with Barcelona-based brand of contemporary homeware DOIY's creative collaboration with New York-based photographer Suzanne Saroff who was given carte blanche to photograph DOIY’s latest collection through the looking glass, both figuratively and literally.

Located in Albert Park, a picturesque Melbourne suburb of wide leafy streets and heritage terrace houses, St Vincents Place Residence by local practice B.E architecture is a home of daring contradictions. Fronted by a beautifully restored Victorian façade, the recently renovated residence features a modern extension whose minimalist design is seamlessly interwoven with the historic character of the existing building by espousing a passion for high craftsmanship and art.

2018 marks the 50th anniversary of the Alhambra, the iconic design of fabled jewelry house Van Cleef & Arpels that has been resplendently gracing women in a plethora of variations for half a century now.

If we had to choose one word to describe Iranian photographer Gohar Dashti’s work it would be post-traumatic, with healing come in at a close second place.  Having grown up during the Iran-Iraq War in a town close to the Iraqi border, the artist has experienced firsthand the destructive power of war both in physical and psychological terms.

Utopia”, the new Library and Academy for Performing Arts in Aalst, Belgium, by Dutch practice KAAN Architecten, takes its name from Thomas More’s eponymous book, first printed in 1516 by prominent Aalst citizen Dirk Martens, often considered the first printer in Flanders.

Located in Vila Nova de Famalicão, a small town in northern Portugal, the New Church of Santiago de Antas by local architect Hugo Correia boldly eschews the architectural typology of Catholic churches for an idiosyncratic design of sculptural resplendence.

Beirut Design Week (BDW), now in its seventh edition, may not be as established as Milan’s or as glamorous as Dubai’s, but has something unique going in its favor, namely the city of Beirut.

In Greece, drinking coffee is a national pastime and there is record number of coffee shops to prove it. And yet, despite or maybe because of their ubiquitousness, the focus is more on the socializing aspect of the experience rather than on the coffee itself. Not so in KOFI microroastery, a new coffee shop in the centre of Ioannina in northern Greece where it’s the coffee that takes centre stage; literally, with the shop’s coffee roaster equipment on prominent display.

Located in Armadale, an up-and-coming leafy suburb of Melbourne, Australia, this monolithic-looking residence by local practice b.e architecture appears as if it has been carved rather than built. Comprising 260 tons of light grey granite that seamlessly clad the building’s exterior, the house is characterized both by a sculptural heftiness and an ethereal weightlessness, most pronounced when the sunlight illuminates the stone’s furrowed texture.

When an elderly couple commissioned Slovakian architectural studio Compass Architekti to design a house for them in Jarovce, a quiet residential borough outside of the Slovakian capital, Bratislava, they only had three basic requirements: a small house, no stairs and lots of space for their nine grandchildren. Although simple in nature, grouped together these demands presented quite a challenge.

Of all the cultural venues, the contemporary art gallery is the most homogeneous space out there. Based on the “white cube” concept popularized in mid-century New York, the modern art gallery is characterized by neutral interiors featuring straight lines, plain white walls and polished floors that constitute a self-effacing aesthetic that aims to excise all interference between the viewers and the artworks.

Taking advantage of the wild beauty of the sierras of Maldonado in eastern Uruguay, the Sacramonte Landscape Hotel defies all expectations of a luxury retreat by treating each guest room as an isolated cabin set amidst rolling hills, lush grasslands and clusters of vineyards.

New customers passing by Voice of Coffee, a new coffee roaster and café in Kobe, Japan, would be excused if they were reluctant to venture inside considering that at first glance the shop looks like it’s under construction.

When it comes to designing their own work studio, architects and designers not only have to create a functional workspace that provides both comfort and inspiration, a tall order as it is, but as importantly, they need to imbue it with the values that their practice represents. The architect’s studio is at its core the physical encapsulation of his identity and a reflection of his design philosophy, and so it is with Australian architecture and interior design practice WBL - Williams Burton Leopardi’s

The archetypal cabin in the woods is all about communing with nature but for architects it’s also a chance to explore the essence of what a home is and what it should offer its occupants. Freed from the constraints and demands of urban living, a cabin epitomizes a home stripped down to its core nature, the provision of shelter.

Despite IKEA’s meteoric evolution from the small mail-order furniture business that Ingvar Kamprad founded in Älmhult, Sweden, in 1943 to the global icon that it is today, one thing has remained sacrosanct: Kamprad’s utopian aspiration of making beautiful and inspiring furniture at a low price.

Self-taught American artist Josie Morway’s hyperrealist paintings immediately enchant the viewer with their brooding sensibility and mystical ambience. Often featuring exotic birds and other wildlife in stylized poses intertwined with lush vegetation and adorned with cryptic symbols, mysterious drips and obscure Latin texts, Morway’s work references religious paintings with the animals standing in for saints, an ecclesiastical allusion that is enhanced by her use of oils and enamels on wood instead of canvas.

While the neo-Gothic Palazzo Franchetti in Venice may seem an odd place to house an exhibition about the Memphis Group, the 80s short-lived design movement whose radical, funny and outrageous sensibility forever changed the industry's landscape, in reality, it couldn’t be a more fitting location. Known for its iconoclastic mischievousness, the group’s late founder Ettore Sottsass would surely be delighted to hear that their rule-breaking, zany designs are antagonizing the pompous interiors of the Venetian palazzo.

When the owners of this breathtaking, two-floor apartment in Vila Nova Conceição, an upscale neighbourhood in Sao Paolo, Brazil, commissioned Brazilian architect Fernanda Marques of Fernanda Marques Arquitetos Associados to renovate their home, they asked for two things: adequate space to properly display their burgeoning art collection and a swimming pool.