From a trio of mirrors depicting Dubai’s arid panorama to a set of sand-cast chairs by feminine artisans in Sharjah, Dezeen’s Natashah Hitti has picked seven designs from Downtown Editions 2019 that commemorate regional traits.
Held throughout Dubai Design Week, Downtown Editions happened for the second time this 12 months as a part of the town’s Downtown Design truthful, which has been held yearly since 2013.
The occasion, which ran from 12 to 15 November, is devoted to showcasing bespoke and limited-edition designs by each established and rising designers and types, with a give attention to the Center East.
As a former journalist and attendee of earlier festivals, director Rue Kothari needed to take a unique, extra curatorial method to the occasion to create a commerce truthful that’s “by the trade, for the trade”.
“Downtown Design represents an important hyperlink within the area’s design ecosystem,” mentioned Kothari. “We’re dedicated to creating an expertise that nurtures each exhibitors and guests.”
“This can turn into an thrilling different to conventional design festivals; exhibiting what’s revolutionary and related, whereas representing the spirit and dynamism of our good, rising financial system,” she added.
Learn on for our decide of seven bespoke designs that highlight parts of the scene:
Capital Assortment by Fernando Mastrangelo
This trio of mirrors by New York-based designer Fernando Mastrangelo references the various facets of Dubai’s panorama as a “tribute” to the area.
Debuted at Downtown Editions, every mirror within the Capital Assortment is handmade utilizing hand-dyed sand blended with resin.
The golden-hued Sahara mirror references the 2 major parts of Dubai, solar and sand, whereas the irregular-shaped Marina mirror represents Dubai’s well-known waterways, with gray sand designed to emulate the metal constructions of the area’s man-made cityscape.
The third Aurora mirror encompasses a swathe of pink and purple-coloured sand, paying homage to the colorful sunsets within the metropolis.
Hajar chair by the Irthi Up to date Crafts Council
Based mostly in Sharjah within the UAE, the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council is devoted to “empowering girls” with craft by way of its artistic, cultural and industrial initiatives.
One in every of these initiatives, the Safeefah x Sand Casting Design Lab, noticed a gaggle of feminine artisans collaborate with designers to supply a group of sand-cast furnishings, together with a desk and a set of chairs.
Every bit within the Hajar assortment is handmade utilizing a mix of water, sand, concrete, clay and soil, and upholstered with beige camel leather-based.
Concepts Taking Form assortment by Design Kraft
Dubai-based studio Design Kraft offered a group of playful furnishings at this 12 months’s Downtown Editions truthful, comprising a collection of vibrant tables and lighting.
Titled Concepts Taking Form, the furnishings was impressed by designer Sidarth Menon’s new child daughter, who was making “surrealist-like” varieties with Play-Doh when he realised how easy shapes could be reimagined in a playful and inventive approach.
As Menon defined, the gathering is about expressing your self. He mixed refined supplies like marble and onyx with daring colors and shapes to create items which might be each playful and minimal, as a substitute for the maximalist patterns that always inform conventional Center Jap design.
Safeefah chair by the Irthi Up to date Crafts Council
Emirati artisan Ghaya Bin Mesmar collaborated with Laura Blasco, Juanmi Juárez and Alex Estévez from Barcelona-based Mermelada Estudio to make this chair from a mix of outdated and new Safeefah palm-weaving strategies.
The design was impressed by photos of conventional Areesh homes discovered within the UAE desert, that are constituted of palm fronds. One of many photos confirmed an Areesh blown down by the wind, making it seem like a “majestic cone”.
The designers noticed the potential to show this cone-like kind right into a seat, knowledgeable by themes of privateness and safety.
Katta by Yara Habib for Tashkeel
Emirati artwork facility Tashkeel offered this screen-divider at Downtown Editions, which was created by Dubai-based designer Yara Habib as a nod to the standard Bedouin communities.
Based mostly on the inside dividers sometimes used within the Bedouin tents, Habib’s Katta design includes 400 parts constituted of quite a lot of supplies, with individually hand-woven wood panels impressed by genuine UAE patterns.
Every particular person panel can rotate to supply “personalised privateness”. Constituted of wooden, aluminium, corian and pretend suede, the advanced means of weaving the threads into every panel is a approach for the designer to attach with the Bedouin historical past.
Preservation bench by Houtlander
South African designers Stephen Wilson and Phillip Hollander from Houtlander studio offered their Preservation Bench at this 12 months’s Downtown Editions truthful.
Three benches curve upwards to create a singular “gravity-defying” twisted kind, designed to emulate the sapling rising from the forest ground and up in direction of the cover.
Created in partnership with the American Hardwood Export Council, the bench is constituted of thermally modified American white oak and does not use screws or mechanical fixings in its manufacturing in a bid to be as sustainable as potential.
The studio calculated that each one the white oak used to make the bench would get replaced by way of pure regeneration within the US hardwood forest in lower than one second.
Ten Tables by Binchy and Binchy
Up to date design apply Binchy and Binchy aimed to protect the area’s heritage when creating this assortment of tables, impressed by totally different architectural constructions throughout the UAE.
The studio mixed conventional supplies and Center Jap patterns with fashionable applied sciences which might be often utilized in large-scale building, reminiscent of laser etching, 3D printing, water-jet reducing and CNC milling.
Every of the items’ bases are constituted of 1000’s of sheets of compressed paper which might be taken from outdated books and images concerning the area, to create “a historic archive remodeled to stone”.