Niamh Barry "Walking’ free-standing screen-sculpture" - ©Todd Merrill.

Preview Design Days Dubai 2017 – Niamh Barry “Walking’ free-standing screen-sculpture” – © Todd Merrill.

Dubai 2017 – Walking’ free-standing sculptures and sparkling, over-sized flying chairs but also a social project in support of Afghan mothers and widows. From March 15, Design Days Dubai 2017 will prove that design can inspire women to become entrepreneurs and creatives in their own right. We preview 10 great stories that reinterpreted traditions and gave shape to urban memories.

• RELATED STORIES: Read more about Dubai design and architecture on Archipanic…


Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed’s social handicrafts supports Afghan widows

FBMI rug design created in collaboration with Aljoud Lootah - Courtesy of Design Days Dubai.

FBMI rug design created in collaboration with Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah – Courtesy of Design Days Dubai.

The Fatima bint Mohamed bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI) is an innovative social enterprise  that harnesses the traditional skills of Afghan women, many of whom are widows, to produce beautiful hand knotted carpets, embroidered furniture and local handicraft at fair market wages.  FBMI’s facilities provide all employees and their families with free access to healthcare services.


Ayah Al Bitar’s functional praying furniture

"The Sanctuary" by Ayah Al Bitar - Photo by Ayah Al Bitar.

“The Sanctuary” by Ayah Al Bitar – Courtesy of Ayah Al Bitar.

Saudi Arabian designer Ayah Al Bitar will showcase The Sanctuary, a storage structure designed to place all necessary items during prayer but also to be used as a portable unit to keep secular items throughout the day. “Men and women will not realize how much time and effort goes into finding storage solutions for a pre-prayer design set” says the Ayah Al Bitar.


Bethan Gray translates Omani architecture into cabinets and tables

Nizwa Cabinet by Bethan Gray - Photo: courtesy of Bethan Gray.

Nizwa Cabinet by Bethan Gray – Photo: courtesy of Bethan Gray.

Patterned furniture by British designer Bethan Gray were inspired by the architecture of Oman. The Shamsian Collection comes in vibrantly stained wood and brass marquetry. The series will be on display at the Britain Takes Shape exhibition.


Naba Debs’ landscape of skyscrapers-inspired tables

Steelscrapers by Nada Debs for Cities Boutique - Courtesy of Design Days Dubai 2017.

Steelscrapers by Nada Debs – Courtesy of Cities Boutique.

Cities Boutique will premiere Nada Debs’ brand new furniture collection that draws inspiration from “the rugged yet delicate urban landscape of the Middle East, by evoking the rhythm and energy of the skyscrapers which surround us”.  The Steelscrapers designs compose a colorful skyline of geometric volumes made of industrial  materials such as brass, copper and acid treated steel.


Niamh Barry’s luminous walking design

Niamh Barry "Walking’ free-standing screen-sculpture" - ©Todd Merrill.

Niamh Barry “Walking’ free-standing screen-sculpture” – ©Todd Merrill.

Irish designer Niamh Barry will showcase a Walking’ free-standing screen-scuplture made of patinated hand-formed solid bronze inlaid with opaque glass and LED lights. The design is “an expression of the silhouetted human form in motion” says Niamh Barry. Walking will be on show at Todd Merrill gallery.


Aisha Alsoiwadi’s concretoys

Concretoy by Aisha Alsoiwadi - Courtesy od DDD2017.

Concretoy by Aisha Alsoiwadi – Courtesy of DDD2017.

Aisha Alsoiwadi is a Qatari multidisciplinary designer who creates objects merging the intimacy of the home with the urban sprawl of Doha. Concrete teddy bears, childhood memory-shaped bricks and ceramic door knobs… “My designs deal with memory, nostalgia, and traces of time. They are made of materials inspired by my city conveying the safe feeling of being at home”.


Naqsh Collective’s bespoke table is inspired by mosque architecture

Bunyan Table by Nisreen and Nermeen Abu Dail.

Bunyan Table by Nisreen and Nermeen Abu Dail – courtesy of Naqsh Collective.

Jordan sisters Nisreen and Nermeen Abu Dail – founders of Naqsh Collective – will present the Bunyan Table. This piece was inspired from the architectural elements in Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu-Dhabi, introducing it in a minimal style” say the designers.


Marie Munier’s lighting design jewels

Spiral II - Courtesy of Marie Munier.

Spiral II – Courtesy of Marie Munier.

Lebanese jewelry designer Marie Munier will debut in Dubai as a light designer with spiraling hand-crafted brass and LED lighting sculptures. “Jewelry inspires women to become artists in their own right. The new designs invite them to interact in a unique conversation of personal style” says Marie Munier.


Aljoud Lootah’s ceramics

Aljoud Lootah's ceramics - Courtesy of DDD2017.

Aljoud Lootah’s ceramics – Courtesy of DDD2017.

Leading Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah’s hotly-anticipated first ceramic collection will play with geometric patterns and human memories conveying a contemporary and “smooth” attitude.

• RELATED STORIES: Read more about Aljoud Lootah designs on Archipanic…


Geraldine Gonzales’ flying chairs

Gerldine Gonzales Flyinh Chairs installation - Courtesy of Territoire(s).

Gerldine Gonzales Flyinh Chairs installation – Courtesy of Territoire(s).

Geraldine Gonzales’ creations are known for a sense of suspended mystery and glowing fragility that seem to emerge from an enchanted world. In Dubai, the French sculptress will present an installation of sparkling, over-sized flying chairs that aim to mesmerize visitors with glittering reflections. The design will be on show by Territoire(s) debuting gallery.

Steelscrapers by Nada Debs - Courtesy of Cities Boutique.

Steelscrapers by Nada Debs – Courtesy of Cities Boutique.