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Identity - - EDITORIAL -

After the mam­moth month of Novem­ber, which over­flowed with stim­u­lat­ing de­sign ac­tiv­i­ties, the De­cem­ber cal­en­dar sug­gests a much-wel­come breather will be in store…

With­out a doubt, the Is­lamic art con­fer­ence in Abu Dhabi proved to be the most in­for­ma­tive and thought-pro­vok­ing creative event of last month.

Or­gan­ised by the Min­istry of Cul­ture and Knowl­edge De­vel­op­ment, the one-day con­fer­ence brought to­gether some highly in­flu­en­tial per­son­al­i­ties from the world of art and delved into a wealth of top­ics, from the new role of cryp­tocur­ren­cies in art to the open­ing of the Al­bukhary Foun­da­tion Gallery at the Bri­tish Mu­seum.

The mes­sage that Is­lamic art – be it cal­lig­ra­phy or ge­om­e­try – is en­joy­ing a re­vival has less to do with re­li­gion and more with a fo­cus on the cul­ture and tra­di­tions that are be­ing, and need to be, com­mu­ni­cated and pro­moted glob­ally us­ing new and in­no­va­tive tech­niques. The con­cepts, ideas and vi­sions of some of the key play­ers in this move­ment gen­er­ated stim­u­lat­ing di­a­logue.

The Dubai Mall cel­e­brated its 10th an­niver­sary with a lav­ish ban­quet-style gala in the new Fash­ion Av­enue that was de­signed by DP Ar­chi­tects, WSP and Kin­ner­s­ley Kent De­sign’s Dubai and Lon­don stu­dios.

The gala was held in the com­pany of lead­ing per­son­al­i­ties from the world of fash­ion, de­sign and cui­sine – from su­per­model Naomi Camp­bell to celebrity chef Todd English…

Pros­per and Mar­tine As­souline, founders of the world’s first lux­ury brand about cul­ture, were among the A-lis­ters in town. The dy­namic pub­lish­ing duo flew in for the of­fi­cial grand open­ing of their ex­quis­ite new show­room in The Dubai Mall.

Over at Alserkal Av­enue, lead­ing UAE-based ar­chi­tect Sven Mueller rolled out his trib­ute to the UAE and the Mem­phis de­sign move­ment with his unique take on the tra­di­tional ma­jlis sit­ting area. A joint ven­ture with Kvadrat Ma­haram – the lead­ing Dan­ish man­u­fac­turer of fab­rics and pro­moter of great de­sign world­wide – the in­stal­la­tion was a sig­nif­i­cant part of the ‘ four fair’ ac­tiv­i­ties. Sven’s col­lec­tion in­cluded some amaz­ing graphic paint­ings, cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with Ger­man paint man­u­fac­turer Ca­parol.

Mean­while, the top di­rec­tors from Her­mès flew in to present the brand’s ‘ Species of Spaces’ in­stal­la­tion that first de­buted at the Mi­lan De­sign Week and is now on a world tour. The dis­play of the in­stal­la­tion co­in­cides with Dubai De­sign Week and is the first ma­jor fo­cus on the mai­son’s home col­lec­tion in the re­gion.

The hub of the month’s ac­tiv­ity was ob­vi­ously cen­tred on DD in d3, where de­sign­ers from all cor­ners of the globe – from stu­dents to stars – soaked up the at­mos­phere.

Lead­ing lights from the worlds of de­sign in­cluded Car­lotta de Bevilac­qua, CEO of Artemide; and Aldo Parisotto of Stu­dio Parisotto + For­men­ton, whose prac­tice has added to its ac­co­lades by de­sign­ing dis­tinc­tive Ne­spresso show­rooms. The com­pany has also just de­signed a flag­ship store in Beirut for re­gional choco­latier Patchi. The new-look UAE store will fol­low.

Poul Mad­sen, co-founder of Dan­ish brand Nor­mann Copen­hagen, was in town to present his new col­lec­tion, cre­ated in col­lab­o­ra­tion with UAE re­tailer Apart­ment 51.

US fur­ni­ture man­u­fac­turer Her­man Miller used the oc­ca­sion to launch its fur­ni­ture de­sign com­pe­ti­tion that seeks to recog­nise the best of­fice in­te­ri­ors in the re­gion…

In the cap­i­tal – and in time for the Na­tional Day long week­end – the lux­u­ri­ous Ian Schrager-de­signed Edi­tion Ho­tel has opened in the much-cov­eted area next to the In­ter­Con­ti­nen­tal. Schrager’s de­signs never cease to amaze and the new prop­erty is cosy yet con­tem­po­rary, and oozes lux­ury… It’s def­i­nitely worth a visit… A sec­ond Edi­tion Ho­tel is al­ready ear­marked for Dubai.

Fol­low­ing the suc­cess of our De­sign Week de­sign event in col­lab­o­ra­tion with USM, we are look­ing for­ward to wel­com­ing you soon to a spe­cial evening in the com­pany of Gagge­nau and spe­cial guest de­signer Ser­gio Men­des of Por­tu­gal…

Happy fes­tive sea­son – and we wish in­spi­ra­tional trav­els to all as we em­bark on the hol­i­days…

P.S. Please don’t for­get to fol­low us on Face­book and In­sta­gram!

Group Edi­tor Cather­ine Bel­bin

Ian Schrager

Pros­per As­souline

Car­lotta de Bevilac­qua

Aldo Parisotto

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