Out Now: Desktop #295 — Other Worlds

AUTHOR:  
Published:  July 1, 2013
Heath Killen
Out Now: Desktop #295 — Other Worlds

In May we went on a journey around Australia, visiting cities and towns and examining some of the relationships between design and places. In June we ventured out further, traveling internationally to meet a few of the studios in our Asia-Pacific neighbourhood to uncover connections between design and community. This month, we’re going interstellar – venturing out to the furthest reaches of the galaxy and into the realms of the imagination.

Desktop #295 — Other Worlds explores the links between design and fiction. In this issue we get out of the studio and into a spaceship for a trip beyond the stars – through virtual realities and across fictional lands. We’re taking in cinema, video games, literature, speculative projects, and possible future scenarios. We think that weird times call for weird designs, and the best way to get weird is to get as far out of the ordinary and every day as possible – so let’s do this!

The cover was designed by profiled designer Markus Hofko aka The Rainbowmonkey, and features another special embellishment by our friends at Avon Graphics. You may notice that something is a slightly odd about this cover – as if it’s stuck between two worlds. That’s because it is. Look at it in the daylight and you’ll make out the artwork above – everyday household objects that appear to be a little enchanted, perhaps possessed by something. All is revealed when you turn off the lights and …

… the strange spirits behind the madness come to life with glow ink the dark ink! Those objects reveal their true selves as strange, psychedelic characters from another place. This issue well and truly taps into something cosmic and slightly inexplicable, but of course it doesn’t end with the cover.

With this issue, we’ve officially passed the halfway point of the emerging spine graphic designed by Bianca Chang and photographed by Jacob Ring. Maybe you’ve been able to decipher what’s happening there. Let us know if you have!

Here are a few highlights of what to expect inside the issue:

Illustration by Alex Fregon

Shortstory: Happy Anniversary
In place of the usual Longform essay that opens each issue, we asked Australian author Adam Ford to contribute an original piece of fiction! This romantic short story features drones, hacking, and love that spans the reaches of the cosmos. There’s never been anything quite like this in Desktop before, and we think you’ll be captivated it!

Self portrait by Markus Hofko

Profile: The Rainbowmonkey
The Rainbowmonkey comes to us form a parallel dimension. Using the mild-mannered avatar of New Zealand based designer Markus Hofko, he transmits strange, clever and utterly beguiling imagery into the world – imagery whose purpose is largely unknown. Is this true, or just a little bit of make believe – you’ll have to read to find out…

Eurasia from George Orwell's 1984 as imagined by Studio Constantine

Feature: Story Telling
Once upon a time, seven Australian studios and a group of university students were invited to choose a person, place, event, or organisation from a work of fiction, and develop a visual identity based on their selection. Participants include Studio Constantine, Bec Worth, There, Small Studio, Naughtyfish, Small Studio, Martin + Vic, and in a special ‘Student Edition’ of the project – Andrew Ashton of WorkArtLife with his MADA class.

'Ant' apparatus from Animal Superpowers by Chris Woebken

Interview: File Under: Spatial (Non) Fiction
A conversation with Geoff Manaugh (editor of BLDGBLOG) covering speculative design, design fiction, landscape futures, emerging technology, and the strangeness of the real. Perpare to have your horizons permanently expanded with this lengthy discussion that takes in everything from climate change to cyborgs to the Die Hard films.

Mystery Road film poster by Carnival Studio

Folio: Cinema Australis
Three of Australia’s finest key artists share some thoughts on design for Australian cinema, and the aesthetics of Australian films. Hear from Jeremy Saunders, Marcus Cobbledick, and Demi Hopkins as they examine the unique colours, textures, and themes, that make up our identity on the silver screen.

Collateral design for New World by BTP

Perspectives: BTP + New World Whisky
Ultimately, designers are looking for stories, finding something unique to leverage in the expression of a brand, and a way to connect with people on a deeper level. BTP and clients New World Whisky examine their recent branding collaborations, and discuss drawing inspiration from the stars.

And of course there many more stories to tell in this issue, including an essay by Pat Armstrong that explores the concept of critical graphic design, a series of aphorisms and personal annectodes from various video game playing experiences by Daniel Neville, we bookend the “Other Canberras” exhibit from our May issue with a look at the recent CAPITheticAL 21st century Australian capital city design competition, Will McKenzie is our featured emerging talent in Fresh, and Jeremy Wortsman of Jacky Winter joins us as a special guest sharing his five favourite products in Life/Style.

So pick up a copy today and come with us on a journey to Other Worlds!

Desktop #295 — Other Worlds is available now from Mag NationBeautiful Pages, and other fine stockists of magazines around the country.

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