‘UAE Design Stories: The Next Generation from The Emirates' highlights some of those bright Emirati talents. Brought to you by Dubai Design District (d3) and supported by the UAE Ministry of Culture and Knowledge Development, participating Emirati creative talents have been selected to represent their commissioned design pieces, artworks and projects in a bid to highlight current day design practices and materials. Different design stories are told and showcased in different cities including Milan, London and Paris, before returning home to Dubai.

London Design Festival

Date: 20 - 23 September 2018

Location: The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Ln, London E1 6QR, UK

Opening Times: Thu-Fri 10am - 7pm, Sat 11am - 6pm, Sun 11am - 5pm

Chapter 2 titled Objects of the Past: Today, invited participating designers to delve into the historical photographic archives of the UAE through the various resources available and unearth pictorial history surrounding the regions nomadic roots. Each was tasked to interpret pieces from the archives into modern day designs, taking their inspirations from the UAEs ancestors. The designers had to bring to life products and pieces using modern day design methodologies and processes, showcasing contemporary interpretations of items that held great value to those nomadic families for whom traveling though deserts and oceans was inherent and living in various landscapes and conditions was a lifestyle.

The designers and their commissioned design pieces will return to their home town for the finale of the series of exhibitions that be held as part of Dubai Design Week from 12 – 17 November 2018.

Mandoos Collection, by Aljoud Lootah

Mandoos Collection, by Aljoud Lootah

Mandoos collection is inspired by wooden chests decorated with brass nails that were commonly used in the past to hold a person’s most valuable and precious possessions such as documents, jewelry, clothes, money and a bride’s dowry. With time, these chests became an intrinsic part of the UAE culture and traditions with their significant designs and engravings.

Even though families in the UAE may still display a mandoos in their homes, the item no longer serves its original purpose.

This collection is designed to pay homage to this important household item and celebrate its history through modern design elements.

The surface of the boxes depicts an intricate camel leather weave to mimic the patterns found in the traditional craft of Khous, and is embellished with metallic studs and leather straps.

The leather boxes, handcrafted using traditional techniques combined with modern design touches, come in different sizes with separate compartments and drawers, each for a specific purpose.

The Mandoos boxes are lined with high-quality suede in rich teal, a staple color that is often found in Khous weaving, for an additional aesthetic appeal and modern contrast.

Tie-In, by Abdalla AlMulla

Tie-In, by Abdalla Almulla

Nostalgic memories of our primary settlements remind our younger generation of their past settings. We are always reminiscing on the beauty that once existed, the landscape and its locally weaved palm-leaf architecture. The imaginative and ingenious ways in which palm leaf has been used to construct buildings and to create an interior beauty of shadowing breezing patterns.

Our nomadic ancestors constructed buildings without architects. This statement inspires the potential to create. The selected item from the past is ‘Al Areesh Al Mogasas’ a palm leaf temporary winter building. The construction methodology of ‘Al Areesh Al Mogasas’ divided mainly into two main components: Palm fond and Ropes, the building walls were made of palm fond that were densely put together using ropes as a connecter. These two components create room for contemporary interpretations and is used as a guideline to create a self-assembling tool with the function to flexibly transform itself into different forms.

Modern day tools allow the designer to bridge the nomadic methodology of a rope connector into an industrial manufactured node. Each node is designed to fit three vertical elements of different heights into different axis, this methodology allows to assemble various scales of forms. The result of our exploration showcases a low curved seating partition composed of vertical elements of different heights and connected by modular nodes. The form of a curve demonstrates the flexibility of our methodology to be ortho or organic.

Ejfa, by Alia bin Omair

Ejfa, by Alia Bin Omair

Ejfa is an old hairstyle wherein hair is divided into two equal sections after which each section is braided separately. The Ejfa can be placed at the side or back of the head to hold large tufts of hair together.

Ejfa headpiece is inspired by this hairstyle and replicates the braiding techniques of past generations. The headpiece is made of small 18k gold bits shaped like braids to take us back in time.

A unique yellow-tinted mirror technique has been used to create a reflective material that is appealing to the eye.

Qaser al Haakim, by Ahmed AlAreef

Qaser al Haakim, by Ahmed AlAreef

Qasr al Hosn was originally built in the 1760s as a watchtower, with a commanding position overlooking the sea. It was later transformed into an impenetrable fort and subsequently the first official presidential palace in Abu Dhabi. In its heyday, it was at the centre of daily life for those in government.

“Qaser Al Haakim” is the current presidential palace and is inspired by the Qasr al Hosn. The installation, named after it, seeks to juxtapose the two structures which are vastly different in both form and function. Today, Qaser Al Haakim which was only opened in 2018, is mainly used for official receptions.

The piece includes an archival video of Qasr Al Hosn, from almost 50 years ago, to create a contrast between the past and the present that leaves the viewer in thought.

Silent Notes, by Azza Al Qubaisi

Silent Notes, by Azza Al Qubaisi

“Al Tanbora” is a musical instrument that’s been popular in the Gulf for over 200 years. It is of African origin and came from the Nubian area between Egypt and Sudan.

“Silent Notes” is a coat-stand that is inspired by the “Al Tanbora”. It has been built with three asymmetrically organised main frames in different sizes, resulting in a light and airy object with volume. These rest on a marble base that resembles the lower part of the actual instrument.

The decorative pattern, replete with metal wires, is a modernized version of the original style seen on the instrument.

The Spindle, by Roudha Alshamsi

The Spindle, by Roudha Alshamsi

The spindle was used for weaving and spinning, a craft practiced by dexterous women who worked with wool. The process began by shearing animals for this prized material. After it dried, the yarn was spun on a drop spindle, dyed and then woven on a floor loom. This craft was used in multiple modes, including for the construction of houses and furniture.

“Spindle” is an ode to each piece that was made by these incredibly skilled Emirati women. Here, the tool is reintroduced as a piece of pendant lighting; the wool around it is representative of natural indigenous color pigments including turmeric, indigo dye and pomegranate which were used to dye wool in vibrant colours including red, violet and yellow.

Kaj, by Alia Mazrooei

Kaj, by Alia Mazrooei

“Kajojah” a support system used by our ancestors, which is a table base made out of metal with a cushion on top used to make telli, a traditional embroidery handmade braided out of silver and gold threads seen on women clothing.The Kajojah is a form of two cones mirrored on top of each other, stabled to hold the cushion.

‘KAJ’ was inspired by the cone form of the Kajojah to design the base of the tray table, made out of a gypsum based resin in a terrazzo style. The top of the base is a tinted transparent organic form with a flat surface acting as a tabletop.

Cuphee, by Salem Al-Mansoori

Cuphee, by Salem Al-Mansoori

Traditional Emirati coffee cups are symbolic of the age-old art of Arabian hospitality. They represent both artistic and cultural heritage and tradition. Qahwa, or Arabic coffee, is an integral aspect of the region’s culture and is served at almost every occasion.

Cuphee seeks to explore the shape of the Emirati coffee cup and produce several variations of the original form. The methodology centers around a multiplicative process through a computer program to generate interesting but functional forms that challenge the cup’s iconic shape. As the designs were anticipated to be complex, 3D printing with resin and polyamide has been used to produce the final objects.

The outcome is an invitation to meditate on the endless possibilities of the computer-aided design process.

The participating Emirati Designers: