Her furniture is simultaneously contemporary and classic. She champions the skilled craftsmen who lay mother-of-pearl into her wooden designs and, in pieces such as her hexagonal Origami Table, pay homage to the traditions of the Far East. Nada Debs is a prolific Lebanese designer who grew up in Japan. Her collections, among them East & East, fuse both influences and, through her eponymous boutique in Beirut, she has built up a name for herself in the industry. Nominated for this year’s prestigious Jameel Prize, awarded for contemporary art and design inspired by Islamic tradition, Debs is in Dubai this month as the patron of the second Design Days Dubai (DDD), which begins on Monday.
Speaking ahead of her trip, she said that she feels like a role model for the next generation. “As an Arab designer with a brand identity reflecting our culture, I feel responsible for representing design in the Middle East.”
During her time at DDD, she will also be taking part in an informal discussion on the subject of the prize, led by Salma Tuqan, the curator of contemporary Middle Eastern art at the V&A. She said it is “important to show our international guests that design is a field that is becoming quite relevant to our culture in the Arab world today” and that the second year of the fair was very important because it confirms the value of design on a par with art in the region.
• Design Days Dubai runs from Monday to March 21, in a temporary venue on Emaar Boulevard, Downtown Dubai. The V&A’s Jameel Prize 2013 talk takes place from 7pm to 8pm at Studio, Design Days Dubai on March 20
• For a preview of Design Days Dubai, see Friday’s Weekend section
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