FN Designs, in collaboration with WTD Magazine and supported by retail giant Bloomingdale’s Home – Dubai and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirate’s dedicated Authority for culture, arts, and heritage, will go on to exhibit works of 10 regional designers at Design Days Dubai from March 17 to 21, 2014. Working with certified wood and natural finishes, each designer has created one masterpiece which was then used to produce 10 pieces of a kind only. In addition to the display at Design Days Dubai, at Booth 2, the collection will be exhibited and sold exclusively at Bloomingdale’s Home – Dubai for USD 1,000 each from March 17 to April 17, 2014.
Making the announcement, H.H. Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum, founder and director of FN Designs, stated, Design Days Dubai is an event under ‘Dubai Art Season,’ the city’s umbrella arts initiative launched by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.’ “The project we have worked on this year is reinterpreted from Designer Francisco Torres ‘Unique Concept’ ’10/100/1000′. We are truly grateful to Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, and Bloomingdale’s Home – Dubai for their exceptional support in making this event possible, and WTD Magazine’s collaboration who have utilized their expertise and have worked closely with the designers. It is truly wonderful to see how these young designers have turned a simple, utilitarian stool into functional sculpture with playful geometric shapes. Their excellent craftsmanship depicts imaginative departure from the conventional.”
Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “The ‘10/100/1000’ initiative complements the overarching goal of the inaugural ‘Dubai Art Season.’ By nurturing and fostering Emirati and UAE-based talent, and providing them with a wider platform to showcase their works to a global audience, initiatives such as ‘10/100/1000’ are taking a crucial step in spearheading the grassroots art movement, and we commend them for their efforts. We wish the artists good luck in their endeavours and will continue to support them as they champion Dubai’s arts scene into the international circuit.”
“As an international brand, we are honoured to support international art and local cultural activities that resonate with both our customers and visitors in the region. As the first major retailer to participate as an off-site exhibitor for Design Days Dubai, we look forward to giving our customers a unique and engaging shopping experience through this highly-anticipated exhibition,” said Dee Sarai, General Manager, Bloomingdale’s-Dubai.
Each piece is a work of art. Meitha Al Mazrooei, Editor, WTD Magazine, said, “Interiors are no longer decorated, they are curated. Contemporary furniture has become the new collectible with more people investing in signature pieces. Rather, blurring of the line between disciplines of art and design. ’10/100/1000′ is very contemporary and community led program that is a response to the current interest.”
Talking about the Emirati heritage, Sarah Alagroobi who is one of the participating designers, stressed, “It is both and honour and a privilege to be a participant in ’10/100/1000′. Being a part of Dubai’s design development and transformation is a key opportunity as we have never before been able to trace the design development of a nation, as we can with the UAE. The ability to have access to a platform that is so renowned and to be engaged with Arabs who are eager to develop in design is truly remarkable. Of course as I am Emirati myself, all the designs that I create stem from Emirati culture, heritage, and livelihood. When I design, the key note is to infuse a strong sense of empathy in what I do. The audience needs to build a relationship with my work, and since my work is a part of my being, naturally, it evokes Emirati Heritage.
Designer Noora Al Awar believes culture and environment has a considerable impact on design. She commented, “The environment always has a huge influence on the way someone thinks, and designing here would correspond to the needs of the people surrounding us. Eastern design comes with new activities, and new perspectives as you get to design for different purposes. The perception of eastern design to most people might include ornamentation and Islamic patterns, but I see eastern design as serving programs such as praying chairs, Quran stands, and other small detailed furniture pieces that exist only among this environment. Eastern design is an opportunity to introduce the rest of the world to the culture here while western design more often serves an international audience; for things such as a chair, tables, or other.”
Another designer Hatem Hatem, said, “Decor is just a more commercially specific name for design. Design definitely overlaps with art, a designed piece with an embedded meaning to it is much more powerful than a piece that lacks one. Design creates challenges and allows for opportunities to discover new things. It’s a science without a book sometimes, it’s a very exciting thing to do”.
For designer Nada Abu Shakra, “Design is what we need to do by our second nature. It should happen by default when dealing with anything around us. Design is what makes the world a better place to be in. It makes you look at whatever is surrounding you from a different positive lens. For me design is an art. It is the main and primary thing that exists and expresses itself without the need or the lack of decoration. Décor is a secondary and unnecessary ornamentation that can be added to an already finished design.”
Talking about inspiration designer Bahar Al Bahar, said “Inspiration to me is a luxury that does not always exist. There is not once specific thing that inspires me, but rather I have an openness to things such that anything may become an inspiration”.
While for Fatima Al Zaabi inspiration could come from anywhere. She said, “There are many things that inspire me from my culture and the environment I live in to the raw form of material. I also like to look up projects from design blogs and magazines; they usually spark ideas and push me to work on something new. My stool is inspired from the local environment and Emirati traditional craftsmanship. It portrays the topological formation of ripples translated by the wind on sand dunes. With the use of parametric scripting and modeling I was able to create a series of components producing an undulating, light-filtering effect that transforms into a sculptural stool.
Bahar Al Bahar, Fatima Al Zaabi, HatemHatem& Nada Abu Shaqra, Khalda El Jack, Noora Al Awar, RaneemAlnrshe, RanimOruouk, ReyanHanafi, Sarah Al Agroobi and RashaDakkak& Noor Jarrah and SemaOrouk
About FN Designs
Dubai based FN Designs takes pride in promoting art in the Middle East and making it accessible to all by creating a more design-centric social community within the emirates through innovative and collaborative events. Home to a bevy of young artists, FN Designs was conceived in 2008 by H.H. SheikhaWafa Hasher Al Maktoum, who is founder and director of the multi-disciplined art and design studio, and is recipient of many prestigious awards including ‘Patrons of the Arts Award’ by His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. Conceptual and visual design, illustrations, photography, publication and clothing are among the many pragmatic and creative solutions offered at the studio.
About WTD Magazine
WTD is an architecture and design publication based in Dubai. It acts as an essential component of design discourse in the Middle East. The publication documents the thought process by which our cities are built and acts as a channel to project possibilities.
Through community interaction WTD intends to provoke a reaction from the public in order to reconstruct our current built environment. Where it uncovers the local untapped creative force that can shape the future of our communities and direct it towards one that has potential. The publication acts as a threshold between genius design and its final physical form.
About Design Days Dubai
For its third edition this year Design Days Dubai will again host an exciting mix of galleries from around the globe, bringing together an inspiring selection of work from both emerging and established designers. While the emphasis will be on collectible contemporary design, the fair will also offer a fine selection of modern, 20th-century work.
The 2014 edition of Design Days Dubai will run from 17–21 March at The Venue, Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai. Running a day longer than previous editions, the fair’s final day, Friday 21 March, will include a special programme of family-oriented events, offering an unprecedented opportunity to discover world-class design and engage with some of its leading practitioners.
About H.H. Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum
Born in Dubai, H.H. Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum -founder and director of FN Designs and AMOR magazine- She developed a creative mind and an artistic eye at an early age. She first picked up a camera at the age of 6 during a school trip to Dubai Zoo, and it was inevitable that she would grow up with a passion for art and photography. She now holds a degree in Business Administration and has a Bachelor’s degree in Arts and Design.
About Meitha Al Mazrooei
Meitha Al Mazrooei graduated from the American University of Sharjah in 2010. She is the founder and editor of WTD Magazine, an architecture and design publication based in Dubai. The magazine covers architectural discourse in the region and sheds light on disfavored spaces in the M.E.
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