To celebrate the timeless essence of Italian design with budding and established designers of the United Arab Emirates, Peroni Nastro Azzuro organised the second edition of The Italian Way Product Design Award. At an event concluding the results of the contest, Joud Malhas was announced as the winner. The contest challenged some of the most creative minds in the region to explore how they can blend their artistic vision with Italian culture. The entrants to the competition were tasked with submitting an object of any scale, particularly inspired by traditional crafts and Italian style, to be suitable for the outdoors.
Peroni Nastro Azzuro collaborated with Dubai-based design firm, Superfuturedesign*, and Italian company, Alias. The best five designs were judged by an international panel of industry experts including Roberto Palomba, from Palomba Serafini Associati; Andrea Sanguineti of Alias; Giulia Fiumi from Peroni Nastro Azzurro; Andrea Sensoli from Superfuturedesign*; Matteo Bernocchi from H&H Investment Group; Alessandra Misuri, professor of interior design at the University of Abu Dhabi; Fadi Sarieddine from Fadi Sarieddine Studio; and Maja Kozel from Maja Kozel Design.
The Italian Majlis by Malhas is a modern interpretation of gathering and the spirit of conviviality, but overall a celebration of ethnic design by contemporising it through the deconstruction of its patterns into functional elements. The winning entry will be produced as a prototype by Alias.
The judges stated that The Italian Majlis design exquisitely aligns with the innovative concept of ‘The Italian Way’.
Accepting her award at a celebratory party held at the Molecule restaurant on the fringes of the Dubai Design Week, Malhas said: "It's an amazing self-actualisation moment. I am so happy to know that the judges believed in my design and saw the innovation in it, and I can't wait to see it come to life."
The other shortlisted candidates for this year included Elizabeth Valkovics, Ammar Kalo, Joud Malhas, Ruchi Joshi, and design collective Caravan, which comprises Ivan Parati, Emanuela Corti, and Filippo Corrado.
An honourable mention was given to Elizabeth Valkovics and her "Shams Lounger". The judges agreed unanimously that the Shams Lounger has the most beautiful aesthetics.