Dubai 2020 – A clever public bench concealing human interaction and social distancing in a post Covid-19 era and a ‘calligraphic chandelier projecting luminous ‘calligraphic’ patterns inspired by Emirati architecture are amongst our favourite design debuts at the 6th edition of Dubai Design Week.
RELATED STORIES: read more about Dubai Design Week 2020 on Archipanic…
A creative tool for kids who suffered during the Syrian war
Leen Amin Kahaleh believes that “design is a mindset that helps me look at things in a different manner”. With NUS NUS, she has created a playful and multifunctional tool for therapiests who work with kids who suffered during the war in Syria and have been through a lot of truamatic events.
The tool is made out of crayons and chalks and is meant to be used for building structures and for drawing and coloring as well. The designer has also created a manual suggesting practical activities that involve the features of the tool and how to use it.
Butterflies-inspired rugs empowering Afghani women
Pallavi Dean from Roar design studio teamed up with Zuleya, a newly created retail brand by the Fatima Bint Mohamed Bin Zayed Initiative (FBMI), to create the new METAMORHOSIS carpet range inspired by butterflies found in the UAE and Afghanistan. FBMI sells sustainable handwoven carpets and lifestyle products made by women in Afghanistan. The profit from Zuleya’s sales is invested back into FBMI, supporting thousands of women and their families in Afghanistan.
“If there’s one word we wanted to capture, it was ‘transformation’,” says Pallavi Dean, creative director of studio Roar, to Archipanic. “With Zuleya by FBMI, we wanted to bring that essence to the modern Middle East, in a way that is sensitive and contemporary.”
Frugal seats by working-class migrants in the UAE
Dubai-based artist Christopher Benton has collected frugal seats created by working-class migrants in the United Arab Emirates. The furnitures are made from found objects such as street signs, plastic cement paint buckets, emoji pillows and beaded car seats. Other designs focus on repairing broken seats through whatever materials are at hand at the time.
“It’s their way of ‘design thinking’. They would make objects that defied gravity or taste – but they never defied logic.” Says Benton. All chairs have be returned to their owners after Dubai Design Week.
Post Covid-19 public benches
Referring old outdoor seats that were commonly found in most Emirati homes, JALEES minimal yet vibrant benches by Aljoud Lootah in collaboration with the American Hardwood Export Council take into consideration post Covid-19 social distancing. Contrasting the horizontal octagonal oak planks are circular seats sliding along the length of the bench.
The JALEES benches’ seats are able to slide closer when people want to seat closer or can be pushed away from each other. Smaller sliding and removable tables can be added to place cups of coffee, phones or small personal belongings.
A calligraphic chandelier reinterpreting Emirati architecture
Freelance architect and interior designer Nada Abu Shaqra has created QAWS, a graphical chandelier inspired by the vernacular architecture of the Emirati. Composed of a cascade of lighting units, the chandelier is made from brass, concrete and 3D-printed plastic. Inlays carved in the materials refer to decorative Muqarnas and local calligraphy and project graphic patterns across the wall. The designer was one of the three residents of the Tanween Design Programme on show at Tashkeel gallery.