Dubai Design District (d3) will host an exhibition featuring 10 Emirati designers during Milan Design Week, curated by Emirati product designer Khalid Shafar.
Entitled ‘UAE Design Stories: The Next Generation from the Emirates’, the exhibition aims to highlight talent from across the country, with designers showcasing current design pieces, artworks and projects.
The theme of UAE Design Stories is ‘Emirati Landscape: Flora, Fauna, and Soil’, with many designers looking at natural resources and traditional techniques found across the UAE.
Debuting in Milan, the exhibition will then travel to London as part of London Design Festival in September for a second exhibition entitled ‘Nomadism: Yesterday & Now’, where the same 10 designers will display specially-commissioned pieces. The show will then return to Dubai as a final showcase, and will be exhibited during Dubai Design Week (13-19 November).
Some of the designers will be showcasing pieces that directly respond to the natural theme of the exhibition, with common threads including palm trees and the UAE landscape.
Aljoud Lootah will display ‘Al Areesh Stool’ constructed from dried palm fronds of palm trees, while jewelry designer Alia bin Omair will present a collection called ‘Leaf’ inspired by palm tree fibre. Sculptor and product designer Azza Al Qubaisi will also utilise palms as a material with the ‘Yareeda Bench’ – made using kurab wide palm trees.
Interior designer Roudha Alshamsi will showcase two pieces called Acacia 11 and Acacia 111, designed through the study of the local Emirati wildlife and landscape. Artist and designer Latifa Saeed will also be using traditional Emirati materials and techniques for her ‘Kinetic Khoos-Fly’ piece.
Zeina Alhashemi, a conceptual artist and designer, will be showcasing the ‘San’am Rug’ – a modular rug made from double-sided authentic camel leather.
Other works include ‘Stingray’ by interior designer Alia Mazrooei – a piece of furniture inspired by the body and movement of a stingray; a 3D-printed sculpture developed using an algorithmic, generative code-base process by Salem Al-Mansoori; as well as a project by Bedouin Emirati artist Ahmad AlAreef who has designed a project focuses on the formation of sand dunes.
Architect Abdalla AlMulla will be displaying a wall installation called Intrinsic Flux and a table called OctWov, while self-taught home cook, Bader Najeeb, will fuse design and food to create a culinary experience for visitors at the show.
Previously, two other exhibitions highlighting contemporary design from the Middle East had been exhibited: Middle East Revealed and Middle East Design Now!, created in collaboration with Wallpaper* magazine and d3.
Speaking to Shafar about the Middle East Revealed exhibition, he said: “Just because we are creating contemporary design it doesn’t mean we are losing our identity.”
Shafar is also set to present a new lighting installation with Czech lighting manufacturers Lasvit. The two first collaborated during last year’s Dubai Design Week, where Shafar designed a lighting piece called Silent Call, which responds to various times of prayer.