Dezeen Magazine

UAE Designers Exhibition

UAE Designer Exhibition presents 16 rising talents in the emirates

Recycled materials, 3D printing and traditional crafts all featured in a Dubai Design Week showcase of established and emerging UAE-based designers.

Located in the Downtown Design tent, the UAE Designer Exhibition presented the work of 16 designers and studios working across a range of disciplines.

A regular fixture in the Dubai Design Week calendar, this year's edition was curated by Dubai-based design consultant Cyril Zammit with a focus on sustainability.

ANQA Studios presents furniture made from recyled plastic
ANQA Studios presents furniture made from recycled plastic

Among the standout works was a collection of furniture by Dubai-based ANQA Studios, made from recycled plastic.

ANQA presented chairs, a mirror and a table all made from a plastic material that combines different shades of pink to create a surface pattern reminiscent of flowers.

"In nature there is no such thing as waste, everything is reused," studio co-founder Doloris Schreiber told Dezeen. "That's what we are trying to do here. We have a lot of this material – let's use it."

Palm Veneer by Reem Jeghel
Palm Veener by Reem Jeghel is made using pressed palm fibres

Sharjah-based Reem Jeghel showcased objects made using a material she has developed, Palm Veener, which uses pressed palm fibres to create a finish similar to wood veneer.

Eco-friendly materials were also a focus of Talin Hazbar. The Syrian-born artist presented a series of seats made from ocean waste, which was sourced through collaboration with the Dubai Voluntary Diving team.

Talin Hazbar

Dubai-based studios MEAN (Middle East Architecture Network) and Twofellas Studio both presented experiments in 3D printing.

The former has worked with 3D printing manufacturer Nagami on a chair that combines a continuous, rippled form with a thickness of just six millimetres, while the latter presented a vase that mimics the texture of coral.

"It is a statement on the current state of plastic pollution in the oceans affecting the coral reefs' habitat," said Twofellas Studio.

Twofellas Studio at the UAE Designer Exhibition
Twofellas Studio has created a vase that mimics the texture of coral

Several contributors showed contemporary applications for traditional crafts.

These include Dana K Amro, whose Khose stool features a weave of three Emirati materials – palm fronds, straw and recycled Talli threads – and Zena Adhami, who has created a series of rugs that explore the meaning of love in the Arabic language.

"According to Dr Fatima Mernissi, a sociologist, writer and one of the most prominent Islamic feminists, there are over 50 words for love in Arabic," Adhami said.

Zena Adhami rugs
Zena Adhami has created rugs that explore the meaning of love in the Arabic language

The exhibition also saw origami artist Ali Bahmani move beyond the world of paper, creating a sculptural folded mirror, while Egyptian ceramicist Maryam Elattar unveiled plates that explore the concept of "flow".

Other exhibitors included Amna Alshamsi, elNoori, Nourhan Rahhal, Zainab Alblooki, Fatima Alawadhi, Hajar Aktenaiji and Hamza Al-Omari.

Ali Bahmani at the UAE Designer Exhibition
Ali Bahmani has created origami-like mirrors

Works were presented within a scenography designed by Dubai-based architecture duo Studio D.04, made up of materials that are typical in Emirati homes.

The UAE Designer Exhibition was part of Downtown Design at Dubai Design Week, which took place from 8 to 13 November 2022. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

More images

MEAN at the UAE Designer Exhibition
Plates by Maryam Elattar
Sum of Traces by Maryam Elattar
Dana K Amro at the UAE Designer Exhibition
Khose stool by Dana K Amro
Hamza Al-Omari at the UAE Designer Exhibition
Tafa by Hamza Al-Omari