Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 17 October 2019

Index furniture fair in Dubai shines light on local talent

Here are five fixtures we’d love to bring into our homes

Host by Alya Al Eghfeli
Host by Alya Al Eghfeli

Interior design event Index kicks off today at Dubai World Trade Centre. Decor-­shopping, design talks and live craft-making aside, the three-day fair includes a dedicated exhibition for local furniture and lighting designers in collaboration with Tashkeel. The Tanween Collection presents the works of nine artists from Dubai who drew their inspiration from the UAE’s culture and heritage. Here are four fixtures we’d love to bring into our homes.

Host by Alya Al Eghfeli

This table lamp captures the movement of the coffee-­serving ritual while alluding to the UAE’s culture of hospitality. The interactive fixture allows users to control the light intensity by moving a slider in the same direction as coffee is poured. The lamp is the brainchild of Emirati interior designer Al Eghfeli, who was selected to participate in the 16th International Architecture Exhibition of La Biennale Di Venezia last year.

Zea by Hamza Omari

Zea by Hamza Omari
Zea by Hamza Omari

This table lamp, described as a “desert aquarium”, is inspired by sand, once an omnipresent entity in domestic spaces. The light source is revealed or concealed based on the ebb and flow of the granules contained within, a trick achieved by using modern parametric CAD technology and rapid prototyping. Canada-born industrial designer Omari designed the first version of Dubai Design Week’s Abwab pavilion in 2015.

Insight Out by Myrtille Ronteix

Insight Out by Myrtille Ronteix
Insight Out by Myrtille Ronteix

The ceiling light is directly inspired by French artisan designer Ronteix’s personal experience in the region. “Insight Out symbolises the mix of my culture and that of the UAE – the warm welcome I’ve received and the enlightenment it has given me,” says the artist. “It is a representation of the fire around which the Bedouins gather to tell stories and share dinner. The lamp has a modern exterior that gently wraps the traditional inner handmade element. When the two outer cylinders are separated, the light switches on, revealing the inner Emirati craftsmanship … the woven palm creations by desert craftswomen, which demonstrate the strong heritage of this land.”

Fattoum by Studio Muju

Fattoum by Studio Muju
Fattoum by Studio Muju

The floor lamp pays homage to Bedouin Sadu weaving, an ancient artform included on Unesco’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, but that is still at risk of dying out. The shade acts as a loom with lengths of yarn stretched and stitched into traditional patterns, giving the visual effect of the weaving process being frozen in time. Studio Muju artists Mentalla Said and Jumana Taha particularly wanted to achieve a juxtaposition of delicate handwoven fabric and raw, rough concrete.

Coral Sun by Zuleika Penniman

Coral Sun by Zuleika Penniman
Coral Sun by Zuleika Penniman

The table lamp, originally created for Design Days Dubai 2016, evokes the use of coral rock in the construction of dwellings in the UAE. All the coral rocks have been repurposed from derelict buildings, and no two lamps have the same patterns within. Jeweller Penniman says that the complex web of polyps and colonies in the structure of the rock allowed it to be sliced to a thickness of only a few millimetres. As light passes through the thin slices of coral, the rock appears lace-like, almost translucent.

See these and other pieces of furniture at the Index Exhibition from Tuesday, September 17 to Thursday, September 19, at Dubai World Trade Centre

Updated: September 16, 2019 06:28 PM

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