have a dirty little secret: I love chintzy tchotchkes. It\u2019s quite a bold statement for someone who, admittedly, spends most of his day sitting at a pure white, absolutely clutter-less desk, wearing only the most inoffensively monochrome basics. And yet, although I tend to predictably eschew ornamentation of any kind (not to mention colour), there\u2019s still a small part of me that is inexorably drawn to the off-kilter excesses of hardcore d\u00e9cor.\r\n\r\nWe\u2019ve kissed goodbye the days of mid-century furniture ruling the design world, and the reign of minimalism on our catwalks has yielded to a new age of maximalist overload. Less is bore, and eccentricity is the new black.\r\n\r\nAlthough this visual about-face certainly has its cynics, few are willing to discredit that whacky design\u2019s arrival is exceedingly welcome. After all, everything was starting to feel a bit same-same. For the past ten years we\u2019ve been the Apple aesthetic\u2019s tireless evangelists; we\u2019ve genuflected ourselves at the altar of Scandi simplicity; and we\u2019ve followed a design bible typeset exclusively in Helvetica\u2019s sober logic. In some ways, this decade\u2019s habitually streamlined puritanism operated as a correctional antidote to the excesses of the 1980s-90s \u2013 coming to climax with the (appropriately) excessive swansong of the Global Financial Crisis in recent years.\r\n\r\nThere\u2019s little wonder that asceticism becomes voguish when austerity becomes necessary. But while the economic landscape continues daily to recuperate the strong footing global markets once enjoyed, a greater appreciation of the weird and wonderful has increased accordingly. The market only brings what we can bear \u2013 and what we\u2019re choosing to bear is becoming more odd, more fun and more-is-more every day.\r\n\r\nPerhaps, then, it comes at little surprise that one of the most recognisable (and highly controversial) furniture design studios of yesteryear is undergoing a renaissance. While we continue to crave eclecticism, humour, luxurious materials and ambitious silhouettes, Gufram \u2013 an Italian design studio that defined much of the pop art aesthetic of the 1960s-70s \u2013 is still proving that irreverent furniture, witty objects and boldly optimistic design plays an important role in our decorative schemes and collective imaginations, alike.\r\n\r\nNow a permanent part of Vitra Design Museum\u2019s \u2018100 Masterpieces of Design\u2019, pieces from Gufram\u2019s playful portfolio have also recently arrived on Australian shores thanks to Living Edge, representing the first time in Gufram\u2019s sixty-five year history that Australians can directly access their extremely collectible designs.\r\n\r\nNowhere has this become more patently obvious than in the flourishing popularity of the brand\u2019s iconic Pratone Green chair (above). So extremely outlandish and whimsical does it appear that Gufram\u2019s Pratone stands almost as a symbol of today\u2019s \u2018anti-design\u2019 mentality, absolutely hiding its functionality under a bushel of ultra-confident individualism.\r\n\r\nEven more striking, yet just as supremely functional as a coat stand, is the Gufram Metacactus (cover). Embodying the grit, the imagination and humour of Gufram\u2019s influence in the 1970s, Metacactus joins other equally gob-smackingly oddball designs such as The End (some rather glamorously morbid tombstone ottomans \u2013 opposite) to present a shocking version of the facts: design gives us the power to escape to anywhere we\u2019d like to go.\r\n\r\nNo more bourgeois boredom.\r\n\r\nNo more teetotalish tedium.\r\n\r\n...Let\u2019s get weird.