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Dubai Design Week

From traditional Middle Eastern craftsmanship to Islamic inspired architecture and design, this Dubai Design Week welcomes a wide range of contemporary and traditional projects from across the region as well as internationally, including a series of events, talks and workshops for all visitors to explore.

For exhibitions, Iconic City returns to Dubai Design Week, this year shining a light on the North African city, Casablanca. The exhibition, titled ‘Loading…Casa’ is curated by Salma Lahlou, and will showcase new works from a sound artist, graphic designer, photographer and interior architect to portray the city she lives and breathes: Casablanca. Once Upon Design exhibition, Curated by Noor Aldabbagh showcases works by architects, product designers and graphic designers experimenting with elements of heritage from the Arabian Peninsula.

The works focus on customs and oral traditions inherited through generations that are implicitly linked to spaces. Visitors can head to Albastakiya, for a full programme of talks, workshops, film screenings and walks as well as an exhibition organized by the Alserkal Cultural Foundation. Concrete, Alserkal presents While We Wait, the meditative, immersive installation designed by Palestinian architects and designers Elias and Yousef Anastas. While We Wait is comprised of pieces of stone quarried in various regions of Palestine, which fit together to form a large, lattice-like, self-supporting structure. Produced in Palestine, elements of the process use traditional techniques from the region.   Many projects and pieces on display are also inspired by the regions culture and Islamic traditions. Designer Fadi Sarieddine joins forces with Nadine Kanso for a special collection to mark the third edition of Dubai Design Week. The Khawatir collection brings together their creative worlds as Sarieddine applies the Calligraphy designs of Kanso to a collection of mirrors and seating. Furthermore Design Tech Services will be launching the book ‘Sacred Light’.The book explores how natural and artificial light have played a big role throughout the history of sacred Islamic Architecture,   The popular Abwab pavilion returns this year, showcasing 46 works from designers and creatives from across the MENASA region. From furniture and product design, to textiles and graphic design, the pavilion is a celebration of the burgeoning creative communities in the region. Middle Eastern and Islamic inspired pieces include: – Bouchra Boudoua’s SKOURA collection, designed and created in collaboration with Morrocan potters. Made from a locally sourced clay from the region of Ourika Valley, the collection is inspired from old mud houses one can find in the Berber villages of the High and Mid Atlas Mountains of Morocco.

– Jassim Alnashmi’s ‘Culture Cross’ chair which is the physical manifestation of the merging of East and West cultures, which is strongly present in the principles of design. – Ali Shawwa’s ‘Gossipers Sculptures’ is an attempt at recognizing the integral role the social interaction, gossiping, plays in human connection. The work considers Middle Eastern characteristics from the sand dunes, abayas and Arabic coffee cups. – Hozan Zangana’s ‘Sufi Vase’ is inspired by the spiritual dance named Sufi. The silhouette of the wide dress, shaped by arms and shoulders, is also a well-known motif in Middle East, architecture, used to embellish cupolas and ceilings.

– Kuwait-based Kawther Alsaffar presents ‘Dual Bowls’ developed from studying Kuwaiti sand casting with Alwafi craftsmen and discovering untapped potential for dual metal casting in Kuwait. This process is unique to the capabilities of the Alwafi workshop. – The Zawya Coffee Table, created by UAE-based The Hub Interiors Takes its roots in traditional Islamic heritage. The table re-imagines the symbol of the Islamic star using geometric principles. It caters to varying seating areas, the extruded Islamic star is a versatile living space furniture feature. – Dubai-based Lujain Abulfaraj’s project ‘DHADH’ is an homage to the Arabic language, and is named after the letter that is unique to it.

Comprising eight unique modules that can be combined and recombined to create the entire 28 Arabic letters, Abulfaraj has expanded her typographic experiments into huge foam structures with a trilateral purpose – as a furniture piece, a plaything and a letterform. – Traditional prayer mats are used five times a day, transforming any non-religious space into a sanctuary. As they are unidirectional rather than symmetrical, the top end of the prayer mat includes lettering as a motif. The Sajjadah 01 prayer mat by Rasha Dakkak uses calligraphic text as its motif, inviting every Muslim to pray, and inspiring contemplation by shifting across semiotic registers. For more visit Dubai Design Week

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