With Design Days Dubai opening to the public on Monday 14 March next week, d3 business partners are busy readying themselves for the fair.
New digital radio station Molecule is preparing its line-up of live interviews with designers and a soundtrack that reflects the range of international exhibitors; Lighthouse is preparing the terrace bar; and Haworth is sourcing furniture for the studio.
Here’s a run-down on what to expect from the designers and makers at the forefront of the city’s rapidly evolving creative industries who have taken up permanent residence in d3.
This multidisciplinary designer creates products that mix Emirati culture and the meticulous details of craftsmanship with traditional silhouettes and modern geometric elements. Two of her designs were acquired by the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia in 2015; this year she is launching her first ceramics collection at the fair.
Called ‘Tebr’, which translates to Raw gold in Arabic, the collection is comprised of porcelain vases, table lamp, and tableware depicting intricate patterns that adorned the historic architecture of the United Arab Emirates, and explores how they could be introduced into modern everyday lives.
Brought up in Saudi Arabia and educated at Parsons The New School of Design in New York, Ayah is inspired by women’s rights, and her thought-provoking concepts demonstrate how design can break down cultural boundaries and trigger social change. Since launching her brand in May 2015, she has enjoyed tremendous success and astonishing growth throughout the GCC.
At Design Days Dubai, Ayah will present her latest piece The Sanctuary. This unique and inspirational design that was specifically developed to facilitate Islamic prayer which takes place five times a day, be it at home, office, or mosque, whilst being usable on the go and conveniently portable.
Swedish designer Cecilia Setterdahl started her career as a painter, but an invitation to attend an Indian wedding in Mumbai and a chance meeting with a carpet company resulted in two original paintings being hand-knotted into bespoke carpets, which quickly became the concept behind her brand Carpets Canvas Cushions. She relocated her business from Switzerland to Dubai in 2015, and has opened both a showroom and a gallery in d3.
Cecilia produces only a limited edition of up to 10 carpets from each unique artwork, an assurance to clients that they’re purchasing something truly special and unique. At this year’s fair, Cecilia will be exhibiting exclusive carpets including Watching, Cherry Tree, Folded, Art Money Blue and Art Money Red.
Lebanese architect Fadi Sarieddine founded his eponymous, multidisciplinary atelier in Dubai in 2013, bringing an experimental design approach to unconventional materials, and adding functions and compartments to otherwise basic objects.
For his third consecutive year at Dubai Design Days, Fadi Sarieddine will showcase a furniture line developed as part of a year-long research study into the progression of Arabic design and architecture and the massive design gap caused by a century of political disruptions in the region. The exhibition entitled ‘Damascus Revisited’ features a series of geometries that come together to create pieces of different functions. The series follows a process of deconstructing the famous Damascene table by probing the traditional relationship of its brass tray and foldable wooden legs.
This innovative social enterprise, established in 2010, harnesses the traditional skills of the Afghan people to produce beautiful hand knotted carpets, embroidered furniture and local handicraft at fair market wages.
Zuleya, the rebranded retail arm of FBMI, will be launching during Design Days Dubai 2017. With a new flagship showroom located in d3, Zuleya will display some of the finest handicrafts made in Afghanistan with a live weaving workshop alongside.
Mid-Century Modern Line Studio is the first gallery in Dubai entirely dedicated to high-end original Mid-Century Modern antiques. Opened recently by Frenchman Patrick Rochette and his brother Philippe in the heart of d3, it prides itself on bringing to Dubai some of the greatest furniture, lighting and home accessories by the greatest designers of the post-war period. All the objects on display are first editions, have been carefully selected, and are sold with a warranty certificate.
MCML Studio will be exhibiting at Design Days Dubai for the first time in 2017 and will present original pieces by Augusto Savini, Gerard Guermonprez , Maxime Fillon, Genevieve Dangles, Marco Zanuso, Pierre Paulin, Rogier Vandeweghe, and Maison Arlus.
Founded by interior architect Wajih Nakkash in 1983, Nakkash Gallery is a family run enterprise offering an array of collectible yet affordable limited edition art pieces, furniture and accessories that are effortlessly stylish and elegant, and suitable for all spaces. The gallery is headquartered in d3 and services clients throughout the UAE and GCC with exclusive international collaborations alongside various furniture suppliers and designers.
Nakkash Gallery was the first UAE design gallery to exhibit at Design Days Dubai back in 2012 and returns to the fair with exceptional design by Nikita Bettoni, Alberto Nason, Lucidi & Pevere, and Saccal Design House.
Pallavi was born in India, raised in Dubai and spent years working in London and her designs reflect these eclectic influences. Her portfolio includes a string of high profile projects in the Middle East, North and East Africa and the UK, across the hospitality, commercial and residential sector. In 2010 she won the Middle East Young Interior Designer of the Year award, and in 2013 her firm won Sustainable Interior Design Initiative of the year. Pallavi debuted as a product designer at last year's Downtown Design.
Pallavi Dean is one of seven UAE-based designers working with American Hardwood Export Council’s (AHEC) Seed to Seat initiative. The designers have been given an open brief and asked to design ‘something to sit on’ made from a selection of four American hardwood species. With Seed to Seat, AHEC aims to identify the true environmental impact of design and build on its extensive work with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). Pallavi’s ‘me+mine’ chair, along with the other six, will be exhibited at this year’s Design Days Dubai 2017.
This creative lab was founded by four Italian architects in Dubai in 2009, and has a sister company, ASZarchitetti, founded in Florence in 1998. The studio led by design director Cecilia Morosi is one of three finalists of this year’s Urban Commissions, a competition set up by d3 and Dubai Culture in 2014 to engage design students and professionals residing in the UAE and promote its diverse production industries. The brief for the competition’s third edition was to design a table with various seating combinations that celebrates the Emirati tradition of gathering and creates a setting for conversation, collaboration and respite.
Mu.TABLE comprises a series of simple, minimalist, modular elements composed of concrete blocks which double as planters, and Marine Plywood tabletops mitred at 45 degree angles to lock into a welded steel structure without the use of screws.
Tarik Al Zaharna
Founder and director of T.ZED Architects, Tarik Al Zaharna’s ongoing interest in the UAE’s context has nurtured the humble beginnings of what could become a new and dynamic architectural movement, producing submissions for international architectural competitions, as well as detail-rich, contextually relevant private and commercial projects.
Tarik is one of the seven designers participating in AHEC’s Seed to Seat initiative and will also produce a standalone design installation, commissioned by KOA Canvas.
For advance tickets for Design Days Dubai, please click here.