Fancy checking out what’s new in contemporary furniture design and art? Well you can peruse the work of the world’s top designers at Design Days Dubai, which starts today. The fair is now in its fifth year, and will feature work from more than 250 designers, including limited-edition pieces by Dutch designer Marcel Wanders (who is known for his iconic knotted chair – read more about his involvement in the fair here). Fast fact: Design Days is the Middle East and South Asia’s only annual fair dedicated to purchasable collectible design works. If you haven’t yet had the chance to head down, or are still unsure as to what Design Days entails, we’ve gone ahead and thrown together a list of the pieces we thought worth seeing. Here they are…
1. Woven by Saher Oliver Samman
British-Palestinian furniture designer Samman has been in the UAE since 2013, and he loves to blend a European design perspective with Arab aesthetics. He likes to work with leather too, which can be seen in this piece, ‘Woven’. His work will be at the WASL exhibition, which is the largest retrospective of design work produced in the UAE to ever have been put together. Find this at the WASL exhibition at The Venue, Downtown Dubai. Read more about it here.
2. Al Noor by Ghassan Salameh
Al Noor is a lighting installation by Beirut-based designer Ghassan Salameh: it’s made out of eight unique handcrafted, woven metal tapestries. Each one of the eight pieces is different in its weaving pattern, as well as the material and colour combinations – those used include red copper, brass, stainless steel and black metal. Attached to each tapestry is a series of LED lights, so they can serve as lighting as well as decoration. Find this at The Venue, Downtown. Read more about it here.
3. Automax Tables by Sunny Chen
A concave-convex set of multifunctional tea tables, which also double as bookstands, shelves or cabinets. They come in different colours too, including white, green, black, red and yellow, so you can mix and match it up a bit. Sunny Chen is a Chinese designer, and her work will be shown alongside that of other Shanghai creatives. Find this at The Venue, Downtown. Read more about it here.
4. Braided Series by Latifa Saeed
Emirati designer and artist Latifa loves to incorporate some element of weaving and braiding into her work, which can be seen in her incredibly comfy-looking braided series, which features woven chairs with little wooden legs. Find this at the WASL exhibition at The Venue, Downtown Dubai. Read more about it here.
5. Elephant by Anjali Srinivasan
Saddened about the disappearance of India’s glass-bangle-makers, UAE-based creative Anjali heated up glass bangles to a temperature of 700ºc, then contorted them using the force of gravity and tension in different directions to create this table of sorts.
6. Emiraty Shelf by IBDAA
If you can’t get enough of the UAE, then get a shelf shaped like it. This is the first design by IBDAA, a local online furniture marketplace. Find this at the WASL exhibition at The Venue, Downtown Dubai. Read more about it here.
7. Little Rocker by Viktor Udzenija
Dubai-based architect and designer Udzenija made his product design debut back in the 2014 edition of Design Days with the Little Rocker, and is now bringing his first creation back to life with this limited-edition piece. PS: He was involved in the design of the already-iconic Index Tower in DIFC. Find this at the WASL exhibition at The Venue, Downtown Dubai. Read more about it here.
8. Stone and Industry by Lex Pott
Rising Dutch designer Lex Pott’s work is characterised by his approach toward natural materials, with most of his work designed from wood, metal and stone. This piece, Stone and Industry aimed to combine industrial, geometrical shapes with more organic materials and colours. Pott will also have a live performance at Design Days on Wednesday from 11am to 1pm that experiments with the sun, Dubai’s strongest natural element by developing photographic images on plant leaves using chlorophyll processing, an organic photography process combining natural sunlight and photosynthesis. Find out more about that here. Find this at The Venue, Downtown. Read more about it here.
9. Tile Table by Ivan Parati
Ivan Parati was last year’s winner of Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Design Prize, and his work is so great because it makes us think. If square tables are too mainstream, then perhaps the Tile Table is for you. Parati’s magnetic coffee table allows you to switch it up into any shape you desire. Find this at the WASL exhibition at The Venue, Downtown Dubai. Read more about it here. Also of note is the fact Design Days has workshops, talks, screenings and performances – see a full list of those here. Find Design Days at The Venue, Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai, 4pm to 10pm from March 14 to 17, and 1pm to 7pm, March 18, a day pass isDhs50. Tel: (04) 5631408. Metro: Burj Khalifa/Dubai Mall. designdaysdubai.ae.