When Hamad Khoory and I set out to create LOCI Architecture + Design, we envisioned a design studio that is passionate about the context in which it lies. We intended to utilise a design team’s global experience and knowledge to promote regional design that relates to a project’s place and immediate local context, hence our motto is “Think Glocal”.
Dubai is proving itself as an emerging design centre, but the lack of an artistic identity poses a character crisis to a city trying to reinforce its self as a regional design hub.
Nonetheless, there has been a substantial shift in design ideology in recent years. Clients, as well as designers, are now seeing the importance of placing value on “homegrown” design. That being said, there are designers that we really admire who have managed to stand out from the crowd by respecting their context.
This was clearly reflected in the work that the candidates have brought forward during the Commercial Interior Design Awards. A great deal of my attention was placed on work that reimagined social and cultural cues into renditions that fit our modern setting.
We commonly see designers/commercial developers falling into the same trap of repeating clichés and recycling cultural elements to make their work more “regional”. However, the designers that draw inspiration from our terrain, folklore, spirituality and our expansive history of architectonics are the ones that deserve the public’s attentiveness.
A melting pot of different professions and cultures, Dubai is the ideal backdrop to host and create strong regional designers. I believe that we, as a design generation, will usher in an era of self-discovery that will cement a design culture for those who come after us.