Middle East-based designers you shouldn’t miss during Milan Design Week

Middle East-based designers you shouldn’t miss during Milan Design Week

Design, Middle Eastern designers, Milan design week, Salone Del Mobile

Designers from the Middle East are growing their presence at worldwide design fairs, with this year’s Milan Design Week featuring a number of exhibitions from the region, as well as larger collaborations with international brands and creatives.

Here are a some of the exhibitions and collaborations not to miss during this year’s Milan Design Week: 

PostCraft Collection by BD Barcelona Design 

Cabinet Talisam by Bahraini architect Maysam Al Nasser.


Design brand BD Barcelona is celebrating creativity in the Arab world through a selection of works entitled the PostCraft Collection, bringing together designers from five different countries across the GCC, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Each designer will be represented by a gallery in their respective countries, supporting the designers in developing and producing their pieces, based on a curatorial brief. The BD Barcelona Design team has also collaborated with each local designer to develop their work for the exhibition.

Curated by Samer Yamani, a Syrian-Spanish designer based in Barcelona, PostCraft will feature furniture pieces, design objects as well as installations.

“PostCraft is an attempt to draw the creative scene of the Gulf’s Post-Oil era, the major economic shift in the region that will definitely affect all cultural and creative aspects,”  Yamani explained.

“We see before us a future favouring simplicity, quality, and unique and varied local design tendencies that will not only preserve local values and culture, but feed the global desire for diversity, and feed our yearning for cross-cultural relationships, inspiration and mutual understanding.”

Salone del Mobile, BD Barcelona Design stand, Padiglione 16 Stand B31. Open from 17-22 April 2018. 

Up, Close & Personal by Nada Debs 

Funquetry by Nada Debs.

Lebanese designer Nada Debs will be debuting her solo design show during this year’s Milan Design Week, showcasing a series of new collections at Rossana Orlandi Gallery.

The exhibition will feature four new collections under the title ‘Up, Close & Personal’, which all tell the story of the designer’s new take on craftsmanship.

The four collections include Funquetry, My Beirut, Refraction, and Tatami, as well as her You & I carpet collection, a collaboration with FMBI who works with craftswomen in Afghanistan, which was first unveiled during the 2017 Dubai Design Week.

Rossana Orlandi Gallery. 17-22 April 2018. 

UAE Design Stories: The Next Generation from the Emirates

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.

The nomadic exhibition will opens in Milan, highlighting current design practices and materials, and showcasing pieces exploring the indigenous landscape of the Emirates.

The Pool NYC, Via Santa Maria Fulcorina, 20, 20123 Milan. 17-22 April 2018. 

Hawa Beirut and Wake Up Call by Richard Yasmine 

Hawa Beirut by Richard Yasmine.

Lebanese interior architect and furniture designer Richard Yasmine will be showcasing two collections during Milan Design Week, including Hawa Beirut and Wake Up Call.

Hawa Beirut is a furniture collection inspired by Lebanese architecture, namely arches that are prevalent across the entire Middle East. The collection consists of two chairs, as well as a low coffee table that can be flipped, and a decorative divider that is made up of multiple materials.

The second collection, Wake Up Call, aims to create awareness around preserving the natural environment. It comprises limited edition table lamps made from a brass structure and hand blown, organically-shaped sandblasted bulbs, under which rests an abandoned bird nest, as well as semi-precious stones that exude various “energies”.

Hawa Beirut – Future Dome room 0B, as part of Ventura Future, via Giovanni Paisiello 6. Wake Up Call- Palazzo Siam, miFAC Gallery, 5Vie, via Santa Marta 18.  17-22 April 2018.

Unsighted exhibition 

Bahrain-based design collective Bahraini Danish will be exhibiting alongside seven other international designers, who are all tasked with the brief to create something while being unaware of its context, playing with the idea of an “anti-brief”.
Without standard parameters, the project aims to emancipate the designer from notions of style, spatial specifications and project demands. The focus is on creating objects that are active and autonomous agents in their environment, not complementing a space, but impacting it.
The exhibition is designed by Canadian architect Nicolas Bellavance-Lecompte, with the aim to create a survey of international contemporary collectible design.
Palazzo Dei Demoni, Via Cesare Correnti 14, Milan. 15-22 April 2018. 


Khalid Shafar for Lasvit 

Although not a lot of details have been revealed about the lighting piece designed by Khalid Shafar for Lasvit, what we do know is that the piece will be on show during the lighting brand’s Monster Cabaret event, although it does not follow the same theme.

Shafar has created a glassware object that is both functional and sculptural, and has been working on it over the last year and a half.

The mystery is all the more reason to see the piece!

Teatro Gerolamo – Piazza Cesare Beccaria 8, Milan. 17 – 22 April 2018. 


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