Design Days Dubai is one of the leading design fairs in the Middle East dedicated to collectible and limited edition furniture and design objects. Along with featuring international designers, galleries, and upcoming designers from around the world it also presents a series of workshops, installations and talks. ARCHITECTEM was at the VIP opening today and we have rounded up a short list of not to be missed highlights of the fair:
Shelter for Urban Commissions by Hinjal Kumar
Urban Commissions is a design initiative launched by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and Dubai Design District (d3) to engage with the local design community and product industries. The second edition of Urban Commissions ‘Shelter’ invited UAE’s residents to design a meeting point for d3 users, establishing a functional gathering point for the community . The winning design is by Hinjal Kumar, final year Architecture student at American University of Sharjah . Her submission proposes a shelter alongside a lifestyle transformation; ‘Bike d3’. The structure is a spiral slatted bicycle storage system, defining intimate shaded space for users and offers solutions for alternative modes of commute in support of healthier lifestyle.
Almost Natural Shelter by Architecture + Other Things
Architecture + Other Things is a collaborative and interdisciplinary platform exploring alternative models of practice and production, deploying technology in search of novel production methods and aesthetic conditions to produce work at multiple scales and within multiple disciplines. Conceived as a hollow object, the interior of Almost Natural Shelter rejects traditional part-to-whole relationships through the design of deep and spatial textural formations. This shelter emerges from the integration of messy computational design methodologies and chemically volatile non-linear fabrication. In specific, High Density Foam is persuaded to chemically self compute in an attempt at uncovering a shelter that has almost natural spatial qualities such as non-linear textural differentiation and interplay between line, surface and mass.
The motivation behind Almost Natural Shelter is to question the production of space and aesthetics in the Anthropocene, which is a new geological era that has emerged out of the unprecedented influence of the human race on the planet’s ecological systems. The project posits that the blurring between the natural and the synthetic in the Anthropocene can materialise a space conception that exhibits qualities that are both natural and synthetic. The blurring between the synthetic and the natural is also evident in the manufacturing processes at play within this shelter. A juxtaposition of slow and precise manufacturing techniques such as cutting and gluing with messy and fast operations such as melting. This results in a determinate and synthetic exterior and an interior that exhibits an amplification of texture that is almost natural. Almost Natural Shelter was commissioned by 1971- Design Space.
Noah Raford at the Audi Innovation Talks
The Audi Innovation Talks series is a wonderful complimentary event at Design Days Dubai supporting creativity, new ideas and progressive thinking. We especially look forward to the Dr. Noah Raford led talk on 14 March 2016 from 6:00 – 7:00pm at the Audi Lounge. Dr. Raford is an advisor on future, foresight, and innovation at the UAE Prime Minister’s Office and has helped establish the country’s first national foresight unit and is part of a special projects team that identifies emerging opportunities, develops strategic partnerships, and prototypes future initiatives. Some of his recent projects include: The UAE Drones for Good Award, the UAE 3D Printing Innovation Alliance and the world’s first “Museum of Future Government Services”. Dr. Raford has completed his PhD at MIT, Masters at the Bartlett School of Architecture, and a multi-disciplinary undergraduate degree at Brown University.
Transformations: The Emirati National House by Yasser Elsheshtawy
Another one on our must attend list is Yasser Elsheshtawy’s overview of ‘Transformations: The Emirati National House’, the exhibition to be presented at the National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia during the upcoming 2016 Venice Biennale. The talk will take place in the Studio space at Design Days Dubai on 16 March 2016 from 7:00 – 8:00pm. Yasser Elsheshtawy is the curator for the National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia 15th International Architecture Exhibition (2016). He is an Associate Professor of Architecture at the United Arab Emirates University, where he also runs the Urban Research Lab. Elsheshtawy will introduce his curatorial concept, which explores the transformative aspect of the housing model of Emirati traditional homes, known as ‘Sha’abi’ (Folk) houses, first planned across the UAE in the 1970s to house what was then a fairly transient population. Over the years, resident families made various architectural modifications to the standardised model, thus reflecting their changing lifestyles. Elsheshtawy’s talk will present his research into this transformative process of individualisation and his plans to represent this unique element of the UAE’s architecture at the Venice Biennale. The National Pavilion UAE la Biennale di Venezia is commissioned by the Salama bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development.
Double Square Collection by Aljoud Lootah
Aljoud Lootah is a multidisciplinary designer based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, whose work explores the realms of product design and personalised corporate gifts. Holding a keen interest in the idea of contrasts in form and function, she composes her creations by mixing traditional silhouettes & concepts with modern elements. We especially loved two pieces from her “Double Square” collection; the Unfolding Unity Stool Marble Edition and the Double Square Coffee Table. Double Square is a collection of geometric furniture which takes inspiration from Arabesque patterns and motifs. It depicts a recurring Arabesque 8- Pointed star motif which consists of two squares, one rotated 45 degrees with respect to the other. This is the starting point of a variety of Arabesque patterns and through it, different combinations can be generated. As a product designer Aljoud has been involved in projects that distinctly interprets the Emirati culture, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design. She continues to produce bespoke objects for government organisations and private companies and has been involved in various retail and residential interior projects.
The Spirit of Nature: An Exhibition by Van Cleef & Arpels
French High Jewelry Maison Van Cleef & Arpels as luxury partner and sponsor of Design Days Dubai presents a dazzling array of its precious creations that are bound to appeal from serious jewelry aficionados to every art and design enthusiast. Now in its 5th year collaboration with design Days Dubai, the Maison presents its Heritage creations, a rare selection of pieces from the Van Cleef & Arpels’ Private Collection and creations from the Pierres deCaractere – Variations collection and the Seven Seas collection
Design Days Dubai is taking place from 14 – 18 March 2016 at the Venue, Downtown Dubai. Register for Design Days Dubai Public Programme here