Cosentino Middle East has unveiled DePaso at the 2018 Downtown Design fair, created in collaboration with the American University of Sharjah (AUS). The installation is a bespoke project commissioned especially for the event. Commercial Interior Design visited the site-specific installation to speak to the Cosentino Middle East team and the AUS faculty and students, who worked on the project.
Designed by the fourth year interior design students of the university, DePaso is a tactile and immersive installation that pays homage to the inherent qualities and visual poetry of material surfaces. Signifying ‘passage’, DePaso is a physical path through an engineered universe of architectural skins comprised of large format slabs from Cosentino’s versatile Dekton Industrial collection designed by architect Daniel Germani. The Dekton Industrial collection was created in response to the current explosive design trend for exposed concrete, hot on the heels of the 2018 Milan Design Week.
With a footprint of 17m2 and a height of 3.4m, DePaso is a minimalist and playful architectural structure of contrasting textures. The installation also embodies the passage of time and the resulting gentle decay on cement and concrete – the defining materials of our urban environment.
Commenting on Cosentino’s maiden year at Downtown Design, Eddy Abou Khalil, general manager, Cosentino Middle East says: “Downtown Design is the region’s leading design fair and we are happy to be part of their biggest and most ambitious edition ever. Our presence here is a reflection of our positive market outlook and our commitment to supporting the growth of the design industry. We will continue to invest regionally; we’re here for the long haul.”
Talking about the installation, Miriam Llano, marketing coordinator, Cosentino Middle East says: “Globally, Cosentino supports the talent and creativity of future architecture and design professionals. Our installation at Downtown Design in collaboration with the students of AUS is part of this commitment. At the beginning of this exciting project, we didn´t know what to expect from the students. We threw them a design challenge to create a piece that embodies the DNA of the brand and we were pleasantly surprised when they responded with a minimalist architectural piece. The journey through DePaso is a sensorial experience where one comes in contact with the simplicity, versatility and truth of Dekton by Cosentino.”
The collaboration was initiated earlier this year with the creation of a design brief. Following this, the students attended an induction workshop at the Cosentino showroom in Dubai Design District to understand the brand DNA and explore the material surfaces. The students then presented multiple options in a design review held at the university. After the winning option was selected, the design underwent several iterations to create the final working model.
Reflecting on the experience, Juan Roldan, Assistant Professor, Department of Architecture & Design, AUS says: “DePaso aims to be an immersive passage, a first-hand experience with the textures and scale of the new Dekton collection. Other than the opportunity of designing for one of the most prestigious brands in the world, DePaso is a stepping stone for the interior design department at AUS as it links the academic and theoretical with professional experience. Instructors – prof Camilo Cerro and myself – need these constant challenges to transcend mere “design on paper” and stretch the limits of our design capacities into the real experience of designing and building for a real client, within a defined budget and timeline. Thanks to Cosentino for making this happen.”
Paid partnership with Cosentino Middle East