Highlights// Design Days Dubai 2017
Text and pictures* by Mohammad Aljabi
At a glance, the fair included one-off collector pieces from an array of designers and disciplines ranging from environmental design to furniture and lighting all the way to jewelry and ceramics.
Here are the pieces that caught our attention.
Inspired by Palestinian embroidery, Jordanian designers Nisreen and Nermeen Abu Dail presented a collection of marble tables complimented by a wooden mural. The heavy stone slabs were etched and shaped by routers and finally finished and crafted by local artisans.
The finishing included different forms of extruded and embedded brass inserts that were layered on multiple levels in order to created a structured shadow play. The brass inserts were used to also shape the table’s legs. The cut edges of the Bianco marble are reminiscent of stone quarries, once you zoom in on the details.
The collection also included a wooden mural made of solid oak wood, titled “Shawl”. The inspiration behind this piece is evident as the patterns fade away towards the top of the piece resembling a worn off embroidered shawl.
Ammar presented a lineup of stools and chairs, titled “Macaron Seats”, that are made of molded and pressed rubber with wooden legs. The seating was infused with wooden chips giving it a terrazzo-like effect.
Tanween by Tashkee
Tanween program by Tashkeel presented a number of works by their collaborators. Hamza Omari designed a dimmable side lamp, titled Zea, that is controlled by rotating the fixture, the lamp is also powered on and off by touching the steel rim inlayed in the marble base.
From the designer:
“Interaction with Zea causes desert sand to slowly ebb back and forth, alternately and progressively exposing or covering a light source filtered through a repurposed Mashrabiya. Reminiscent of a Bedouin fire in its dyna mic shifting luminescence, the interaction between movement, sand and the user directly influences how much light fills the space.”
The intricate work is made of several elements such as an arabesque engraved light tube that is partially submerged in fine sand, once the lighting fixture is rotated it either conceals or exposes the pattern thus controlling the amount of light emitted from the piece.
Hatem Hatem, an Iraqi architect based in the UAE, presented suspended ceiling lights that are finished with calcified wireframes. The pieces are inspired by coral formations that were typically used in the area as an aggregate for heritage building.
“Calcified” lighting pendants were made of limestone fragments and brass. The project is an ongoing research to further investigate the potential of the material’s adaptation in the building process.
a hypothetical office
AHO presented a set of furniture pieces and pots that are made of processed crushed marble surplus from industrial locations. The final products are layered slabs and pots that mimics the natural sedimentation process that were completely made from industrial waste.
The collection includes a table, a bench, a stool, planters and a multipurpose slab.
Coletivo Amor de Madre and Atelier Marko Brajovic
The collaborative unit based their products on biomimicry, Foam.life is a product that is made from sugar cane and can be shaped into different forms, in this case it is shaped like bamboo.
The office had a sample of the material in action, once Foam.life was mixed with residual oils and water the material absorbs all oils leaving the water clear again. The foam.life would be later used in purifying water and clearing oil spills. The material is completely reusable and made of biodegradable material which makes it sustainable.
Jordanian young designers Farah Kayyal & Tarek Hreish presented a series of pieces that are made primarily from wood and colored resin. The collection included sets of side tables, a stool and a series of pendant lights.
1971 Design Space
The Sharjah based studio commissioned architect and designer Rand Abdul Jabbar to design the LOOP piece exhibited in the fair. The piece draws from the tensile structure concepts to build a playful rocking chair.
The chair comes in two diameters, 182cm and 152cm and combines the rigidity of the steel frame with the softness and lightness of the perforated fabric.
Dubai based architect and lighting designer Nader Gammas presented different concepts of steel lighting fixtures, the collection included a suspended lighting piece, wall mounted fixtures and table lighting. The pieces are built from different materials such as coated and uncoated steel and marble bases.
Coalesce Design Studio
The interdisciplinary studio has positioned a beautiful exhibition of different rotating stools accompanied by a coffee table and a wall-mounted mirror. The designer’s objective was reviving dying crafts in Pakistan. They introduced intricate and tessellated structures from steel supporting the rotating and playful wooden seats.
The shapes merges different concepts of Islamic ornamental structures, basic Vierendeel structural system and trusses made of different forms of treated steel and different colors. The collection also included wall mounted floating mirror with a metallic background and a trussed coffee table with a pyramid base and a glass top with some wooden inlays.
About Design Days Dubai
Design Days Dubai is presented under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and is held in partnership with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the Emirate’s dedicate Authority for culture, arts and heritage.
Returning for its sixth edition, Design Days Dubai is the Middle East and South Asia’s only annual fair dedicated to collectible modern and contemporary design works, this year taking place from March 14-17, 2017. Positioned as a fair of discovery, the fair’s unique format provides an international platform for the region’s emerging design studios and furniture makers to debut their contemporary designs, featuring them alongside an eclectic mix of the world’s leading design galleries. Running parallel to the exhibitor line-up is a program of special projects, talks, workshops and guided tours allowing visitors to discover and engage with the design community and the works on display.
A pillar event of Art Week, Design Days Dubai this year moves to a new location, Dubai Design District (d3), the home for the region’s design and creative industries. As part of the new move, the fair has commissioned the Dubai-based architecture practice, a hypothetical office, to add a series of new features to the venue including a new face and floor plan. Design Days Dubai has the continued support of returning sponsors since its 2012 launch edition, including the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Van Cleef & Arpels, Audi, and d3.
Click here for DDD 2016 Highlights
*Unless credited otherwise.