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This Week From The Editor

Creatives often question the real and are drawn to the aspects that are unreal, surreal, or imaginary; at times, interpreting our understanding of the real world as the truth itself. Yet, that which we can imagine and subsequently create, beyond the constraints of reality, becomes mystical and rhetoric. Here, the concept of irreal-ism comes into play.

Irreal Unreal Surreal

Transcending known certainties presents a unique lens through which the mainstream can be subverted, where reality is reckoned to take off its blindfolds. Beneath gilded titles of what we know and create, is a conquest to uncover what we haven’t, the synthetic universe of the irreal that fascinates and frightens in equal measure.

This week’s issue visits the promising realm of the irreal, not as an absolute departure from reality, but as an extension of it: AI proponent Ila Colombo reveals how customisable AI avatars can represent diverse identities towards authentic self-portrayals; the exhibition ‘Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis' throws light on parallel realities of climate change and climate crisis deniers; Per Carlsen persuades explorations of spatiality with surreal imaginary architecture.

In this age, is it valuable to define or to blur the boundaries between the real, the unreal, and the irreal?

Amit Gupta

Design thinker and AI proponent Ila Colombo in conversation with STIR

'Dear Earth: Art and Hope in a Time of Crisis' looks at relations with nature

06 MIN READ   Read More


Stanley Saitowitz says the role of architecture is to liberate its inhabitants

12 MIN READ   Read More


Per Carlsen’s renderings play with the possibilities of imaginary architecture

11 MIN READ   Read More

STIRfri Exclusive

International Design Awards 2023

Call for Entries

The IDA allows creatives to present projects before an esteemed jury, with winning entries showcased to a global audience.

31 OCT, 2023
Call for Entries


31 OCT, 2023




Offering a unique opportunity to architects, interior designers, product designers, graphic designers and fashion designers, the IDA Awards recognise, celebrate and promote visionaries who conceptualise and produce exquisite design creations.

Learn More


An artistic exchange with Mana Sazegara’s graphics and totems

An artistic exchange with Mana Sazegara’s graphics and totems

07 MIN READ     Read More


Rahee Yoon’s pursuits of nothing take shape within acrylic artworks

Rahee Yoon’s pursuits of nothing take shape within acrylic artworks

06 MIN READ     Read More

Beyond design & aesthetics

Can architecture education help vulnerable communities?


Bhawna Jaimini

Beyond design & aesthetics

Architectural education needs to equip students to make them question and confront the issues of access, to the very things they are learning to create.

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