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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…
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Group Editor Catherine Belbin
Carlotta de Bevilacqua