Interiors Weekly

New voices of design

November 6 - 13, 2018

Gulf Weekly New voices of design

Stunning works are being exhibited by emerging practitioners residing in the region who have collaborated under an innovative design programme set to help shape the future of home interiors with a touch of history.

The Tashkeel and Van Cleef & Arpels’ Voices of Design exhibition opened yesterday in Dubai and runs until December 13.

Established in 2008 by Lateefa bint Maktoum, Tashkeel provides a nurturing environment for the growth of contemporary art and design practice rooted in the UAE.

Voices of Design revisits five years of design innovation, with works from the Tanween Collection and the Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize competition. The exhibition features furniture, lighting and arts-based works.

Among the exhibitors are:


Zuleika Penniman.

Coral Sun. 2016. Table lamp.

Gold, silver, steel, repurposed coral. Dimensions variable.

Limited edition series of 10.

Coral is a powerful reminder that this is a region of confluence between man and nature, sea and desert, sun and the passing of time. Using the light bulb as a metaphor, Penniman recalls the coral’s past in all its natural glory, directing light through its translucent geometry. Using repurposed coral salvaged from traditional houses scheduled for demolition, the series exhibits the dualistic nature of coral, one that is extremely resilient yet delicate and ephemeral.


Hamza Omari

Zea. 2017. Table lamp.

Stone, sand, brushed stainless steel/copper/brass.

40 (L) x 58 (W) x 16 (H) cm.

Limited edition series of 15.

Zea aims to bring sand back into the home and inculcate a rooted and reverent sense of the past. Desert sand slowly ebbs back and forth, alternately and progressively exposing or covering a light source filtered through a repurposed mashrabiya. Zea also harks back to traditional construction and domestic spaces through its base of handcrafted Fujairah stone.


Studio MUJU

Moza. 2016. Chair.

Teak wood, brass, leather, woven fabric.

70 (L) x 65 (W) x 150 (H) cm.

Limited edition series of 10.

Studio MUJU aims to revive and reinterpret traditional Emirati handcrafts. Sadu is a form of weaving that is on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Through extensive interaction with the weaving process, Studio MUJU translated the essence of the woven fabric into the realm of furniture and lighting design.


Lujain Abulfaraj

DHADH. 2017. Children’s seating.

HD foam, fabric (available in vinyl or wool).

280 (L) x 140 (W) x 40 (H) cm.

Available in various limited edition.

Named after the letter unique to the Arabic language. Observing how her children found no enjoyment in Arabic classes or books, Abulfaraj saw the need for an interactive language-learning activity. Building on her design practice and Lara Assouad’s Modular Arabic Typography workshop she took at Tashkeel, DHADH was born – eight modules that can be combined to form all 28 Arabic letters. Strong and resilient, the pieces encourage perpetual play with children’s energy in mind.


Rand Abdul Jabbar

FORMA: Two. 2016. Stool.

Burma teak wood.

70 (L) x 34 (W) x 48.5 (H) cm

Limited edition series of 10.

The table sheds light on a disappearing craft of dhow building. A collaboration between designer Rand Abdul Jabbar and dhow builder, Mutayya, each piece is entirely handmade. By exposing the public to the beauty of dhow building, the FORMA series aspires to instil a renewed sense of appreciation for the craft, its history and the profession that it sustains.


Salem Al Mansoori (Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Artist Prize)

Winner | 2013 | First Edition.

Mimicry. 2013.

3D-printed synthetic polymer.

Responding to the inaugural theme ‘Metamorphosis’, this series of 3D-printed, polyamide sculptures represents the transformative stage of the life cycle of the butterfly. Salem chose four species, inspired by their colours and the emotions they evoked - the dark grey Small Copper, the bright pink Swallow Tail, Mazarine Blue and Green Veined Pearl.

Using basic platonic shapes to represent each butterfly, he applied progressively complex algorithmic transformation to them.

The title Mimicry is borrowed from the scientific term used to describe the phenomenon seen in butterflies of mimicking the patterns of other creatures on their wings as a form of protection. It also refers to Salem’s geometric imitation of a natural process.


Vikram Divecha (Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Artist Prize)

Winner | 2014 | Second Edition).

Degenerative Disarrangement. 2013.

Pavement bricks.

Dimension Variable.

Responding to the 2014 theme ‘Turning Point’, Vikram chose to focus on the defining moment during the creative process. His ‘turning point’ was a conversation about how stonemasons work within time constraints, which ensured disarrangement in the course of development.

The resulting installation used construction materials and industrial production methods, made of four tonnes of pavement bricks uprooted from a bus stop and re-laid in the courtyard of House 33, Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, the diagonal yellow lines originally painted on the pavement became dispersed to form an abstract geometric pattern in their new location.


Ivan Parati (Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Designer Prize)

Winner | 2015 | Third Edition.

TileTable. 2015.

Wood, lacquer, copper.

TileTable is a modular coffee table, which responds to the user’s requirements. Consisting of three elements with a variable geometric layout, the piece offers almost an infinite number of possible arrangements. It takes traditional Islamic elements and projects them in a contemporary aesthetic and function.

It is manufactured from timber products using the ancient wood-turning technique. Elements are connected by double threaded bolts and finished with a thick, black lacquered coating with copper trim to emphasise its pattern.

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