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Here's the roundup of what you shouldn't miss at Design Days Dubai 2017, where innovation takes the stage
Words by Sophie McKinley in Design & Architecture · Mar 14th, 2017
Design Days Dubai is back for its sixth edition, with a record number of exhibitors from the UAE and around the globe. One-of-a-kind designs and customisation take centre stage in the fair’s new space at Dubai Design District (d3). Innovative design and custom-made luxury is the star of the show at this year’s Design Days Dubai. Stand-out pieces range from the decorative to the almost deceptively functional.
The ‘Wave City Coffee Table,’ for one, is equal parts work of art and furnishing. The unique design by Stelios Mousarris at the Cities exhibit required the bending of wood and steel, 3D printing, and hand-painting. Pierre Renart’s ‘Wave Desk’, at Territoire(s), combines carbon fibre with a rosewood veneer. Both works are singular and involved hours of meticulous handcrafting.
‘Seed to Seat’ from the American Hardwood Export Council was a collaboration with seven UAE designers with true sustainability at its heart. The Rock ‘n’ Roll chair by Fadi Sariedinne was made with just 0.16 cubic metres of wood. According to a life cycle assessment, this can be replaced by new growth in just 0.22 seconds.
The stunning ‘Flying Chair’ by Geraldine Gonzales at Territoire(s) is composed of the finest Austrian crystal. The paradoxical piece is simultaneously unusable as a chair but works perfectly as a chandelier and lighting source. This unconventional design fits perfectly with the trend of finding unexpected uses from what is seemingly done and dusted.
‘Walking’ was another breath-taking piece created by Niamh Barry on show at the Todd Merrill exhibit. The free-standing sculpture that combines metals, glass, and LED lights is unique from every angle. ‘Walking’ and the rest of Barry’s metal and light pieces exude a warm glow and combine the best of technology and craftsmanship.
The Bronze Box, a more large-scale project and part of his ‘Metamorphosis’ collection, is a room created by Maître d'Art Pierre Bonnefille in collaboration with Leclaireur that is meant to be a tranquil and peaceful space. The room, in which the walls and ceiling are covered in canvases painted with gold leaf, can be lit by the reflections from a single candle for an unmatchable meditative experience.
Also at the event is Ayka Design from the award-winning interior designer K. Michelle Evans. The design boutique’s bespoke hand-made rugs continue to combine movement, abstract art, and bold colour palettes. Another innovative design is the Kratos console from Vick Vanlian, made of resin cast legs with a top-part made of painted steel and wood. The console was inspired by the Greek god of power, strength, and movement.
Sahar Madanat from Jordan won the first ever Audi Innovation Award for her tableware set designed for one-handed use, which was chosen unanimously as the winning design by the judging panel. The design successfully came up with an innovative use out of an existing solution. Madanat went on to speak about how cutting edge innovation doesn’t always mean the latest technology or the creation of something that’s never been seen. It can be something very simple but with an innovative and unexpected twist.
The other big winner on display was the ‘Mu.TABLE,’ the winning design of the Urban Commission, a design competition organised by d3 and the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority. The communal table was designed by the Dubai-based SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*. The modular design will be produced and installed around the landscape of d3 this year. The trend of combining artistic form and function continues throughout the fair.
Design Days Dubai runs from March 14 to March 17, and is held at Dubai Design District.