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Design Discussions with Canary’s Melissa Alexander

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Find out what we learned about Melissa Alexander in our latest chat from our Design Discussions series.

What inspires you personally and professionally?

I am constantly inspired by music, pop culture, contemporary art, avant-garde fashion, travel, comic books, food and the political climate. Inspiration can be found from so many moments and places, as long as we view things with an inquisitive perspective. It doesn’t need to be a huge defining moment either -I’ve been inspired by someone designing an amazing excel spreadsheet.

Inspiration: Jimmy Corrigan

Inspiration: Issey Miyake

How do you stay current on cultural trends that affect design?

I frequently travel for this very reason – it’s so important to see how the rest of the world regards design. When a community and culture prioritizes design as a problem-solving tool, amazing things can happen, especially when there isn’t a constant battle between politics, bureaucracy and creativity.

What’s next for the future of the design industry?

We need to focus on designing for the moon. And what I mean by that is, we shouldn’t limit ourselves to just our immediate surroundings, but rather, be confident in our abilities to design solutions for something bigger than all of us – from natural disasters and social justice movements to innovative materials to help us build and design, the possibilities to improve our society are limitless.

What one building or interior space do you wished you designed?

Not so much a building or space, but the sets and environments created by Es Devlin never fail to amaze and inspire me. Her work aptly illustrates that any space can be transformative and transcendent.

Inspiration: Es Devlin

The Skyspace at the Live Oak Friends Meeting House in Houston is a favorite of mine as well, as it exemplifies that even the simplest of gestures can have profoundly powerful and emotional impacts.

Inspiration: James Turrell Skyspace

What are your most favorite things on your desk?

When it comes to a work environment, my philosophy is: surround yourself with the colors that inspire you and things that make you smile. For me, these are my Poppin mint green accessories.

Melissa’s Desk


Melissa Alexander
Director — Canary, a Gould Evans Studio

Canary Director Melissa Alexander believes that any challenge can be solved through creative and forward-thinking design. Initially trained as an architect, she has spent her career working on environmental projects, integrating each project’s brand, space planning and FF&E selection within the overall architectural design. Melissa’s passion for music, art, fashion, textiles and furniture allows her to create vibrant interiors full of character and visual impact for a variety of client and project types. The foundation and success of her work stems from her passion for design excellence, ability to develop lasting partnerships and engagement in fostering inspirational and immersive environments.

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