Emirati designer Khalid Shafar has released an evolution of his Illusion collection, inspired by Dubai at night, which he describes as “a city made of vibrant criss-crossing lights”.
The collection features seating objects rendered in rope-woven lines that reflect a sense of movement and geometric shapes, causing various angles of shade and shadows when faced with light.
The lines are wrapped around or over timber frames, a material Shafar commonly uses in his designs.
“Illusion is created by the engineered tension between lines and frame,” Shafar explained. “Viewed from all sides your eye searches for a start and end to the woven form.”
The new additions to the collection include are two new bar stools, Illusion Bar I and II, for both residential and commercial solutions.
The bar stools were preceded by the Illusion Stool – the first item in the collection- which serves as both seating and a magazine rack or storage compartment created by the ropes held under the seat surface.
Following the stool was the Illusion Dine chair, which features a linear weaving that represents motion and speed, “captured like a still image of a city highway in the night”.
The Illusion Arm was the last of the collection before the launch of the new barstools.
Shafar’s Illusion collection was shown at the Middle East Revealed exhibition during London Design Festival in 2014, among designs by other creatives in the Middle East including Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah and Lebanese designer Fadi Sarieddine.
Shafar said the exhibition allowed for a more accurate representation of what contemporary design in the Middle East looks like today, where contemporary sensibilities are pushing to the forefront, while still holding on to heritage and Arab identity.
In 2015, Shafar along with fellow designers and creatives, launched Design Ras Al Khor (DRAK) initiative as part of the Dubai Design Week programme, with the aim of pushing the Ras Al Khor area on the design map. It is also where Shafar’s design studio is located.
We spoke to Shafar about building Dubai’s design scene and his plans for DRAK. Read full interview here.