UAE Designer Exhibition showcases 16 emerging talents in the Emirates

Recycled materials, 3D printing and traditional craftsmanship are all featured in a Dubai Design Week showcase of established and emerging UAE-based designers.

Located in the Downtown Design tent, the UAE Designer Exhibition showcased the work of 16 designers and studios working across a range of disciplines.

A fixture in the Dubai Design Week calendar, this year’s edition was curated by Dubai design consultant Cyril Zammit with a particular focus on sustainability.

ANQA Studios presents furniture made from recycled plastic

Among the standout works was a collection of furniture from ANQA Studios in Dubai, made from recycled plastic.

ANQA presented chairs, a mirror and a table all made with a plastic material that combines different shades of pink to create a surface pattern reminiscent of flowers.

“There is no waste in nature, everything is reused,” studio co-founder Doloris Schreiber told Dezeen. “That’s what we’re trying to do here. We have a lot of this stuff, let’s use it.”

Palm veneer by Reem Jeghel
Reem Jeghel’s Palm Veener is made from pressed palm fibers

Sharjah-based Reem Jeghel showcased objects made using a material she developed, Palm Veener, which uses pressed palm fibers to create a wood veneer-like finish.

Eco-friendly materials have also been a focus of Talin Hazbar. The Syrian-born artist presented a series of seats made with ocean waste, obtained thanks to the collaboration with the Dubai Voluntary Diving team.

Talin Hazbar

Dubai-based studios MEAN (Middle East Architecture Network) and Twofellas Studio both presented 3D printing experiments.

The former worked with 3D printing manufacturer Nagami on a chair that combines a continuous and rippled shape with a thickness of just six millimeters, while the latter presented a vase that mimics the texture of coral.

“It’s a statement about the current state of plastic pollution in the oceans affecting coral reef habitat,” said Twofellas Studio.

Twofellas Studio at the UAE Designer Exhibition
Twofellas Studio has created a vase that imitates the texture of coral

Several contributors have shown contemporary applications for traditional crafts.

These include Dana K Amro, whose Khose stool features a weave of three Emirati materials – palm fronds, straw and recycled Talli threads – and Zena Adhami, who has created a series of carpets that explore the meaning of love in the Arabic language.

“According to Dr. Fatima Mernissi, a sociologist, writer and one of Islamic’s foremost feminists, there are over 50 words for love in Arabic,” Adhami said.

Zena Adhami carpets
Zena Adhami has created rugs that explore the meaning of love in the Arabic language

The exhibition also saw origami artist Ali Bahmani go beyond the world of paper, creating a folded sculptural mirror, while Egyptian ceramist Maryam Elattar unveiled plates that explore the concept of ‘flow’.

Other exhibitors included Amna Alshamsi, elNoori, Nourhan Rahhal, Zainab Alblooki, Fatima Alawadhi, Hajar Aktenaiji and Hamza Al-Omari.

Ali Bahmani at the UAE designer's exhibition
Ali Bahmani created origami-like mirrors

The works were presented within a scenography designed by the Dubai architect duo Studio D.04, made up of materials typical of Emirati homes.

The UAE Designer Exhibition was part of Downtown Design at Dubai Design Week which ran from 8-13 November 2022. Check out the Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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