Home makeover: Stylish furniture options
Some of the most fashionable pieces from this year's Design Days Dubai
As one of the leading fairs in the Middle East and South Asia region, Design Days Dubai is a platform for collectible and limited edition furniture and design items. From bringing together leading international designers and galleries, along with the world’s fast emerging talents, Design Days Dubai was one of this year’s big events.
\nAs the fair’s third annual edition, Design Days Dubai promised to surpass last year’s event by increasing the number of exhibitors and participants as well as by broadening the diversity of the design presented.
\nFair director Cyril Zammit says: “We are stronger in the palette of choice, both price wise and style, and we are definitively now the strongest fair for contemporary design."
\nDesign Days Dubai 2014 introduced six special installations by renowned designers Giles Miller, Michael Anastassiades and Tom Price, as well as a design student from ECAL in Switzerland. With 20 countries represented at the fair, we even saw work from Lebanon’s Guillaume Credoz and China’s Elaine NG Yan Ling.
\nAlso particular to this year’s Design Days Dubai was Discover, a new section that put the spotlight on the contemporary design scene of a particular country. This year, we saw four Parisian galleries representing France.
\nZammit was especially excited for the Carpenters Workshop Gallery and Steinitz’s booth, calling it, “a magnificent recreation of a classic Parisian flat with wooden panels from the 19th century, a chandelier from the 17th century and a great set up of the latest contemporary creations by Maarten Baas, Rick Owens and Frederik Molenshot.”
\nWhile there were also other great exhibitors like France’s Galerie Yves Gastou and AARC from Algeria, we’ve compiled a set of 10 leading show stoppers that really turned out this year's Design Days Dubai.
Gallery S. Bensimon
\nGallery S. Bensimon provided an inside look at its work and dedication to being a source of bespoke, one-of-a-kind objects that truly inspire originality. The Pixel tables, shown here, were designed by Ilia Potemine and display the intelligent creativity that Bensimon looks for in its range of designers and products. Many of the products on stand illustrated simplicity while also standing out for their bold shapes. Bensimon participated in a new initiative at this year’s Design Days Dubai called ‘Discover’, which highlighted an art scene from one particular country, with this year’s focus on France.
Ymer & Malta
\nAlso part of the Discover series, Ymer&Malta is a world-renowned French gallery that introduced a number of new artists to Dubai’s design scene. The gallery exhibited its exclusive contemporary design furniture and objects, which were created by some of France’s most talented designers and craftsmen. Seen here is the Mirage series by industrial designer Benjamin Graindorge. The whimsical nature of Ymer&Malta’s collection contrasted greatly against the classic or grunge style of many other designs seen this year. Another product on display included a wooden bench that developed into the branches of a tree toward one end.
\nAnother gallery that stood out to CID this year was ArtFactum, with its quirky objects like this oiled walnut wood lamp by Marc Baroud and Marc Dibeh. Made from a split, bended and welded steel rod with a polished etched aluminium sheet, the lamp can be posted near a wall for a more exhibitionary style or on top of a desk. The light stood out to us for its odd shape and almost friendly demeanour. We look forward to seeing more from ArtFactum in the future, especially since the rest of the objects on stand displayed equally experimental characters.
\nDesigned by Valentin Loellmann and available through Gallery Gosserez, the desk and stool came from Loellmann’s Spring/Summer collection. Made of coppered metal and burned oak wood, the desk and stool are minimal, authentic and bare just the right amount of antiquity. The copper is bent in a way that implies it wasn’t worked on with a machine. And that sort of craftsmanship is something worth sustaining in the long run, as it reflects the timeless quality and natural beauty of imperfect objects.
Clear Edition & Gallery
\nThe Pentagone Lamps by Claudio Colucci are made of aluminium and display a geometric pattern that speaks to Middle Eastern tastes. Due to the cut outs of the surface’s design, light shines through and creates playful patterns on the wall and ceiling. Founded in Tokyo in 2007, Clear Edition & Gallery has explored the limits of design and has formed a collective of artists who manipulate boundaries and experiment with conventionality. The Pentagone Lamps were a favourite example of this, as they are not only functional, but the more you look, the more you discover the intricacies of their design.
Coalesce Design Studio
\nThe design group from Pakistan, Coalesce Design Studio introduced a number of new designers to the regional scene like Bilal Kapadia, Salman Jawed and Mustafa Mehdi, among others. This floor table shown here is made of rosewood and was designed by Hassan Lakda and Rai Yasir. The wood is cut into geometric shapes, while a steel frame borders the wood and adds a digital-like dimension. Other products displayed included another table made of rosewood and steel, and a light sculpture made of hand-carved Burma teak.
\nFounded in 2007, the Seoul-based design platform acts more like a co-op for designers. Seen here is the Fabric Table by Ilhoon Roh. The coffee table is made of fibreglass reinforced plastic and comes with either a satin or high gloss finish, while a toughened glass top can be adjusted to the top. Other products displayed by _Croft included a geometric chair assembled by block pieces of wood as well as a bench intricately made of carbon fibre. Each piece is reflective of the Korean agency and illustrates the designers’ collective thirst for conceptual design.
\nHere’s one for the pop art lovers. Designed by Benjamin Rollins Caldwell for the American gallery, the Binary Cabinet is made of recycled computer parts, hard disks, motherboards and drives. Caldwell’s creations were \nrecently the point of a lot of media buzz due to Lady Gaga’s fascination and photo-op with the Binary Chair. The pieces displayed by Industry Gallery all play to their own tunes while somehow staying in sync. From Caldwell’s tech-glamorising products to Mathias Bengtsson’s Growth Chair, each piece demands its own space and honours the up-and-coming trend of pop-design.
Naqsh Design House
\nJordanian design studio Naqsh Design House has once again delivered polished beauties that boast sharp lines, clean materials and surfaces, and subtle applications of Middle Eastern tradition. Shown here is a coffee table by Nisreen Abu Dail made of wood with embroidered steel and glass. The shape and colour of the table bode well with the transparent glass surface and orange design. Abu Dail’s designs are at once contemporary, political and ornamental.
\nThe South African gallery brought a number of big hits this year including the Kassena Server, shown here, designed by Dokter & Misses. The hand-painted beech timber displays a tribal-inspired design that certainly stands apart from many of the sleek and minimal products showcased this year. Southern Gild definitely has a way of bringing together a number of inspiring pieces that apply natural and cultural aesthetics. It was a fresh and welcomed assortment of artistic pieces.