Dubai Design Week’s popular exhibition Abwab will return to this year’s program, festival organizers announced today. A showcase of emerging and established creative talent from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia (MENASA) region, Abwab (‘doors’ in Arabic) will showcase entirely new work from designers and studios from Algeria, Bahrain, India, Iraq, Palestine and the United Arab Emirates.
Rawan Kashkoush, Creative Director of Abwab says: “The Abwab pavilions are a microcosm of diversity each year, showcasing design in a format that brings the region closer together. Sat side by side, the ideas of each of the countries are emphasised. The exhibitions tell of their origins more clearly when we are able to read them all at once."
Located within the walkways of d3, Abwab will be housed in a pavilion cluster designed by architects Meitha Al Mazrooi, Hatem Hatem and Fortuné Penniman of UAE-based architectural practice A Hypothetical Office. Integrated within the d3 site, the pavilions will be made from a re-appropriated greenhouse structure to form a ‘housh’ or courtyard, a playful nod to Arab neighborhood nostalgia that is both enclosed and permeable. Paths of filtered light and shady, canopied public spaces allow for access and pockets to converse in – the negative space acts as a harbour and gathering space for visitors.
Hatem Hatem from A Hypothetical Office says: “The structural language of the Abwab pavilions will be composed of faceted surfaces that provide intimate enclosures, lit by lighting specialists Acdc. The surface material is a form of woven plastic mesh that allows for light and transparency, enclosed between a field of columns and delimited by reclaimed rubber flooring donated by Bee’ah.”
Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, Chief Operations Officer of d3, said: “One of our ambitions at d3 is to fully enable creative potential and our flexible spaces here at d3 allow us to offer a platform for artists and designers to showcase their work within a suitable infrastructure. In working with Downtown Design and Hypothetical, we are proud to establish the Abwab series and help champion some of the best examples of design from the MENASA region.”
The Algeria pavilion invites visitors of all ages to become musicians, performing improvised beats in time to a subtle soundtrack using colourful, contemporary Algerian design-drums. Curator Hellal Zoubir, an established painter and designer, has commissioned graphic designers Moura Krinah and Walid Bouchouchi, interior designer Souad Delmi Bouras and product designer Mohamed Ourrad to create a visual and reflective space defined by large graphic posters and mirrored floors.
The vast quantity of millennia-old artefacts found in archaeological sites throughout Bahrain is testament to the island’s ancient art of pottery. The Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities has appointed interdisciplinary designer Othman Khunji and architect Maitham AlMubarak to design an accessible and interactive interface and video installation to teach visitors the value and heritage of this largely forgotten, traditional craft.
Architect/designer/cultural researcher Rand Abdul Jabbar and designer Hozan Zangana also turn to history in the co-curated Iraq pavilion with elegant, abstract forms that reference ancient architecture, sculpture, calligraphy and poetry.
Olive wood carving represents a third of the artisanal industry in Bethlehem, but cheap imports and mass customization are threatening this tradition which has its roots in the 16th century. French-Palestinian architects Elias Anastas and Yousef Anastas have created an innovative olive wood structure in the Palestine pavilion that celebrates the imperfections of the olive wood master carvers’ craft.
India has been producing world-class encaustic cement floor tiles for almost a century and to reference this artisanal history, multimedia artist duo Thukral & Tagra have built an interactive ‘Memoir Bar’. Visitors can write down a memory or emotion, record it in their own hand-made, hexagonal floor tile and add it to this ‘library of memories’ where they can deposit, transfer or exchange it for another one.
In the United Arab Emirates pavilion, curator and multidisciplinary designer Salem Al-Qassimi and Maryam Al Qassimi draw inspiration from the ubiquitous cafeteria’s that have become an integral element of the Emirati culture. As a cultural concoction, the cafeteria is a mélange of disparate tastes, visuals, and ideas coming together to form a multicultural singularity. The pavilion titled Afaaq Al Mustaqbal, attempts to highlight the many layers of this cultural phenomenon.
Notes to Editors
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About Dubai Design Week
Dubai Design Week is one of the world’s newest and most ambitious international design events, conceived to shine a spotlight on Dubai as a leading design hub, and share the UAE’s thriving design scene with the world at large.
Dubai Design Week was established in 2015 in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), and is held under the dedicated patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, a strategic partner of the event. Dubai Design Week is also supported by Dubai Design & Fashion Council, Audi, Huawei and Swarovski.
In Dubai’s collaborative spirit, and as a reflection of the city’s global outlook, its design week is both regional and international in scope, encompasses public and private spheres, culture, education and entertainment, and spans multiple disciplines, ranging from graphic and product design to architecture and industrial design. Panels, keynote speeches, panel discussions, public performances and educational workshops all contribute to the greater discussion of what design means for the region and the world.
In 2015, 23,000 visitors from around the world gathered in the city to discover the work and ideas of over 150 designers drawn from around the region and internationally. The success of the inaugural edition cemented the future of Dubai Design Week as an annual event.
Coinciding with Downtown Design, the region’s leading, quality-driven design trade fair, Dubai Design Week also includes a number of unique headline initiatives, such as Abwab, the Global Grad Show, Destination and Iconic City.
From 24 to 29 October 2016, over 150 events will be staged in a citywide 6-day celebration of design that will enthrall Dubai with design, engaging the local community and visitors alike.
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About Dubai Design District
Dubai Design District, (d3), one of the TECOM Group’s communities, is a destination dedicated to design. The chosen home for the region’s growing collective of creatives, artists and designers, d3, is a shining beacon of inspiration and innovation. Created to answer the growing need from the industry, d3 provides businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals from across the design value chain with a thriving community where they can collaborate, create and inspire.
Known for its versatility d3 has become a popular events space, attracting international crowds to cultural exhibitions such as Dubai Design Week, Fashion Forward and Meet d3, which have simultaneously driven footfall to d3’s distinguished repertoire of design-focused outlets, art galleries and eateries.
With this year’s launch of lifestyle boutiques, contemporary art galleries and culinary concepts in its core 11 buildings, d3 is a buzz with creativity. Taking a novel approach, d3 has selected original concepts to form a creative community of new retail outlets, restaurants and innovative pop-up events that invite visitors to enjoy a more authentic shopping and dining experience.
d3 is constantly evolving. To cater to its growing number of residents, d3 will feature a one million square foot Creative Community in 2018, which will act as the site’s cultural epicentre, inspiring emerging designers and artists. Another key goal for d3 is to continually surpass the expectations of its visitors, and so by 2021 d3 will also boast a bustling 1.8km Waterfront esplanade running alongside the Dubai Creek, with international and design-led hotels, boutique retail concept stores and an outdoor events space, as well as a host of hospitality and leisure facilities.
To support its many creative partners, d3 offers individuals and businesses the choice of operating either as a free zone entity or as an on-shore business, each with its own merits.
Dubai Design District
Yasmine Kassem: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tara Mallon : email@example.com
About Dubai Culture & Arts Authority
The Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (www.dubaiculture.gov.ae) was launched on March 8, 2008 by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai. Dubai Culture plays a critical part in achieving the vision of the Dubai Strategic Plan 2021 of establishing the city as vibrant, global Arabian metropolis that shapes culture and arts in the region and the world.
The organisation has announced several initiatives that strengthen the historic and modern cultural fabric of Dubai. These include:
o Art Week - Art Dubai, Design Days Dubai, and SIKKA Art Fair which promotes Emirati and local artists in the UAE
o Middle East Film & Comic Con
o Dubai Festival for Youth Theatre
About Dubai Design & Fashion Council
The Dubai Design & Fashion Council was established in late 2014 by the Dubai government to position the city as the Middle East’s emerging international design capital and to nurture regional talent. The Council is chaired by Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group CEO of Tecom Group, and run by CEO Nez Gebreel. Its board members consist of 15 individuals who represent a mix of key stakeholder groups, including government, academic, not-for profit and private sector experts, such as Laila Suhail, CEO at Dubai Festival and Retail Establishments; Khalid Al Tayer, CEO of Retail Business of Al Tayer Group; Patrick Chalhoub, CEO of Chalhoub Group; and fashion designer Reem Acra.
The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 16 locations in twelve countries. In the second half of 2016, the production of the Audi Q5 will start in San José Chiapa (Mexico). 100 percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include quattro GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy).
In 2015, the Audi Group delivered to customers approximately 1.8 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 3,245 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and about 54,800 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2015 financial year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €58.4 billion and an operating profit of €4.8 billion. At present, approximately 85,000 people work for the company all over the world, about 60,000 of them in Germany. Audi focuses on new products and sustainable technologies for the future of mobility.
AUDI AG’s commitment to the region was confirmed through the foundation of its fully owned subsidiary in 2005. The current Middle East model range comprises the Audi A3 & S3 Sedan/Sportback and RS 3 Sportback, A4 and RS 4 Avant, the A5 Coupe, Sportback, Cabriolet and RS 5 Coupe and Cabriolet, the A6, S6, RS 6 performance, A7, S7, RS 7 & RS 7 performance, A8, A8 L, S8 & S8 plus, the Audi Q3, Q5 & SQ5, Q7 and the Audi TT Coupe/Roadster and TTS Coupe, the Audi R8 Coupe as well as the R8 Coupe V10 plus.