Last March the inaugural edition of Design Days Dubai presented, for the first time in the area, opportunities offered by high-end design. This year, the fair is set to present again the best of design both regionally and internationally to collectors and a wide audience of design enthusiasts, March 18 – 21.
The show will present galleries from South America to the Far East that have never exhibited before to an international audience, along with a series of public talks, workshops, mentor sessions and live design performances.
Here is a look at some of the highlights:
Wendell Castle's The New Edition Table
R 20th Century will be participating in the fair again this year, presenting iconic works by Wendell Castle, Oscar Niemeyer and Joaquim Tenreiro, and new pieces by The Haas Brothers, kelly behun | STUDIO, David Wiseman, Thaddeus Wolfe, and Jeff Zimmerman.
Moissonnier's Louis XV Chest of Drawers
As one of the four design brands participating in the 'Bespoke Design' section of Design Days Dubai, the French luxury design house, Moissonnier, brings a strong regional influence to its coveted pieces, which will be on display.
Tai Ping's Voyage
Under the watch of a local designer, the legendary Chinese rug maker, Tai Ping, is set to showcase a bespoke collection with regional flair for the discerning patrons and design lovers.
Each day, there will be a series of events from workshops to designer talks, performances, off site tours and film screenings. Designers and industry professionals who will be giving talks include: Sandra Lane, Gunjan Gupta, Rue Kothari and more.
Max Lamb will host a “DIY Furniture” workshop, while The British Crafts Council will show a series of short films on the value behind British contemporary crafting.
Italy-based, Belgian designer Jens Praet in collaboration with Ivo van den Baar and Almer Dumont from Wandschappen, will use resin to transform approximately six kilograms of shredded glossy paper from leftover magazines into a unique 'Shredded' Side Table during Design Days Dubai's opening hours. This live performance, a derivation of the award-winning Praet's critically acclaimed 'Shredded' Series, off which a piece is part of the permanent collection of the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh since February 2012, is the designer-trio's reaction to the huge amounts of wastepaper produced in offices. The designer-trio will also conduct an interactive public workshop 'Shredded Wares' based on the same concept.
At the core of their work, Studio Swine balance a rich sense of aesthetics with ecological thinking resulting in material experimentation within the field of art, design and fashion.
Studio Swine Construction Series
Designers Azusa Murakami and Alexander Groves will create one piece of furniture a day during the fair using reclaimed concrete, rebar and crushed marble in a style which reference both the internal modular structures of skyscrapers and the traditional geometric patterns of the UAE. Retaining a relationship to architecture both in material and form, the Construction Series will celebrate modernism and traditional Arabic ornamentations.
Aiming at a collection of five unique furniture pieces created in front of its end users, through suggested innovative uses for construction waste, which makes up over 60% of the total waste produced in the UAE, the designers aim to inspire people to look at their surroundings and the concept of recycling and up-cycling in new light.
The Pearling culture of Dubai plays muse to a live performance envisaged by known Emirati designer Khalid Shafar. The ILLUSION Peal armchair will be a unique piece, weaving the important cultural and historic activity into a sleek visual design.
Observing the dynamic lines created by a rope being woven over timber frames, Khalid was captivated by the geometric shapes and radiant shadows the process created; to him, it was akin to the emotions evoked when movement and speed are captured in a snapshot of a city highway by night.
Master craftsmen will affix more than 8500 cultured pearls, locally produced by the Emirati Company ‘RAK Pearls’ on a 90 meters chain that will be used to wrap the timber frame for an armchair. The performance including the opening of live oysters and showcasing the crafts, techniques of working with pearls shall serve as a sliver of the regions' cultural heritage and social history.
Humans since 1982 was invited by Design Days Dubai to create a special project for the design fair. For this special occasion, Humans Since 1982 created a 344 meter long kinetic clock installation; A million times. The installation is based on almost 300 interconnected analogue clocks. Each clock contains 2 motors to drive the minute and hour hand independently, creating a choreography. Together, all clocks create one giant display, showcasing customizable texts, patterns and graphics.
A complete list of programming can be found here.