5 Emirati Designers Influencing The Middle-East’s Largest Design Festival
- 20 Nov '23
- 10:58 am by Vruti Desai
If all that comes to mind when you think of UAE designers is luxury, innovation, and ingenuity, you are looking in the right direction. Elevating Dubai firmly on the global home décor stage, the Middle East’s most remarkable and profuse design event showcased striking innovation and creativity. While exploring the magnificent convergence of design and technology, Dubai Design Week 2023, located in its swanky design district, pushed the boundaries of transformative engineering. A celebration of both regional and international, designers from across Europe, Asia, and America showcased their designs, fostering an exquisite blend of traditional and modern thinking.
Dedicating a section of the fair to limited-edition and bespoke design, the ‘Dubai Design Fair’ highlighted UAE-based talent. This annual festival is a platform for the local creative community, featuring emerging artists, and young practitioners to present their signature collections and innovative products. From minimal and contemporary to industrial and playful, here are DP’s top five discoveries from the fair.
1. Dachah Studio, Qurs Stool and Kuthub Chair
Featuring exquisite pieces of furniture, Dachah Studio by Aisha Alyassi – a young aspiring Emirati designer–challenges herself to create signature and elegant home décor objects. Drawing inspiration from the gentle curves of the UAE’s dunes that seamlessly blend with the desert landscape, the Kuthub Chair is an ornamental piece of furniture that expresses contrasting emotions. The apparent visual discomfort of the chair depicts the hardships of the desert terrain despite its outwardly smooth dunes. The Qurs Stool celebrates the traditional baked goods in the Arabian Gulf, known as’ Qurs Ugaili.’ It resembles the conventional headpiece worn by men in the Gulf that, mark the importance of the circular form in the Gulf, offering a sense of security. Thus, it abstracts the Middle East’s deep-rooted traditions and culture in a modern, minimal craft.
2. Sarah Al Dulaimi, SEIGAIHA | The Wave
Aspiring to create visually captivating and functionally innovative designs, Sarah Al Dulaimi combines her artistic vision with furniture design. Inspired by the iconic Japanese painting, ‘Great Wave of Kanagawa,’ the ‘The Wave’ is a signature armchair with soft edges and prominent crescents. While the first two crescents form the seat and the back, the third crescent curves around the back, influenced by the Arabic ‘mashrabiya’ with the beautiful Japanese Seigaiha pattern. This fusion of cultural influences transforms the backrest into a sea of waves that reflect the essence of the Japanese canvas while resting harmoniously on an armchair that communicates the same design language of warmth and comfort. ‘The Wave’ celebrates the often overlooked rear view of furniture pieces, drawing the viewer’s attention to the back rather than just the front, making it the focal point of the furniture.
3. Diana Hawatmeh & Sheikha Al Serkal, Art Deco and The Flow
This beautiful collection of rugs, ‘The Art Deco’ and ‘The Flow,’ celebrate art and colour in our daily lives. The irregularity of the shapes and bright colours are reminiscent of the geometric designs of the Art Deco movement, elevating the overall effect to be more playful and modern. Artists Diana Hawatmeh & Sheikha Al Serkal come together to remind us that art should be bold, exciting and unexpected, representing the innovative spirit of the Art Deco movement. Meanwhile, ‘The Flow’ rug swirls on the floor, signifying the flowing currents of the ocean and energy, using tints and shades of browns and blues to demonstrate changing seasons.
4. Parallel Studios, Roots
Redefining the rich artwork of tapestry that defines the UAE culture, Parallel Studio harmoniously orchestrates an assemblage of mirrors, weaving them together in unity. Driven by the desire to bridge the gap between art and accessibility, these three young visionaries – Rund Samman, Omar Ahmad, and Ali Charafeddine showcase an artistic symposium that surpasses sheer reflections, ingeniously encapsulating the flow of emotions, traditions, and the interwoven human narrative. ‘Roots’ takes you on a transformative journey to redefine the role of mirrors as captivating artistic pieces that transcend mere reflections and highlight their ingenuity and craftsmanship. This fusion is meticulously designed to provoke sentiments, spark conversations, and inspire creativity..
5. Nella Figueroa, Ávila
To create a lasting impact in the design world, Nella Figueroa, a multidisciplinary designer, blurs the boundaries between product, interior design, and art. ‘Avila’ is a unique artisanal water jug and cups handcrafted from sustainable and locally produced materials. Paying homage to the essence of UAE – the desert, oasis and palm trees – the clay vase depicts timelessness by creating a base made of date seeds.
Showcasing UAE’s craftsmanship, traditions, and richness, the artist highlights the point at which contemporary and traditional homes come together with ‘Avila; as a product to remind the user of the conventional Emirati values.
There’s no denying that we all aim for a sustainable future with a splash of creativity and innovation for a better living. With a diverse range of multidisciplinary designers and young innovators, Dubai Design Week 2023 continues to promote the creative process of pursuing, practising and encouraging emerging ideas to craft an eco-conscious environment.