ABWAB: A Permeable Pavilion Assembled from Discarded Bedsprings

Architect Fahed Al Majeed and curator Rawan Kashkoush in collaboration with Bee’ah, the Middle East’s fastest-growing environmental management company, created a permeable temporary pavilion for ABWAB exhibition during Dubai Design Week 2017.

ABWAB pavilion was constructed from 1100 coil springs collected from discarded bed mattresses found at Bee’ah’s facilities to host the 42 exhibited designs from around the MENASA (Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia) region.

Abwab Pavilion Exterior

All images © Dubai Design Week 2017, courtesy of Photo Solutions

Rawan Kashkoush stated to herkhsazeen that the new format caters to representing the MENASA region, rendering Dubai as a design hub for its centrality and its proximity to South Asia as well. ABWAB 2017 celebrated designs beyond the physical limitation that was present in the previous exhibitions and gathered designers within critical themes to have a cohesive outcome.

In an effort to introduce new names and fresh faces to the exhibition, Rawan employed a peer-selection process that she referred to as the Design Domino, in which the participant designers are requested to nominated other designers that have interesting projects to be exhibited. The designers’ chain eventually crossed borders and 250 designers were compiled. A committee was formed to create an editorial board to sift through the submitted designs to finally choose the 47 designs that were exhibited.

All the exhibited work showed a unique bond to either, a place, a craft or method. Some of the designs were within a problem-solving theme and others highlighted issues in the Middle East and South Asia region. And most importantly, all the works were a true representation of the designers themselves.

Eventually, Rawan curated a cohesive and holistic path of interconnected themes so that all objects were connected in a unifying chain.

Rawan’s intention for the exhibition is to elevate the level of design, treating it as a commodity. She hopes that by exposing the designers to the local market and to a wider audience, all the displayed pieces will find new homes and the legacy of the designers and their stories will live beyond the exhibition.

Ali Shawwa, Gossipers Sculptures

Dima Srouji, Hollow Forms

Herskhazeen also spoke to the architect Fahed Al Majeed about the design of the pavilion.  Fahed explained that he was instantly drawn to the material which is the coil springs from discarded bed mattresses when he saw it at Beeah’s facilities. It’s malleable yet strong, and it is something completely new as a material to be used in construction. As for the form, it responds to the surrounding bulking of the existing buildings and elements in the Design District. The entrances, exits and the circulation appear to be effortless as it is the natural flow of the crowd visiting the area.

Coil Springs are on lent from Bee’ah and will be repurposed again after DDW.


Living up to its name; Abwab translates as ‘doors’ in Arabic. The Abwab exhibition is Dubai Design Week’s key event for highlighting regional design talent from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia acting as a snapshot of design activity across regions to which Dubai is central. The platform seeks to empower design and designers through their exposure and is the only initiative of its kind in the MENASA.


About Fahed + Architects

Fahed + Architects is a multidisciplinary architectural practice, their principal architect is Fahed Majeed, is a RIBA Chartered Architect.

Ethos: Architectural expressions are distilled to capture the spiritual essence of the ‘place.’ Our projects display sensitivity to the inherent beauty of natural materials. Our architectural design hinges, in principle, on traditional climatic sensibilities that underlines our concerted efforts to promote eco-sustainable architecture.

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