Muhammad Yusuf reports on designers who made a mark at Dubai Design Week
Dubai Design Week opened minds to the amazing possibilities of design. Products that were environmentally considerate, kind to lifestyles, scientifically inspirational and conidentally futuristic, jammed the d3 premises in Dubai (Nov. 12 – 17).
One of the companies that showcased its products was Preciosa Lighting. Established in 1724, headquartered in Crystal Valley, Czech Republic, and with offices in Dubai, London, New York, Dallas, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Montreal, Hong Kong, Singapore, New Delhi and Moscow, Preciosa designs and produces lighting installations for hospitality projects, commercial establishments, cultural spaces and private residences.
It launched its interactive lighting experience, Breath of Light, into the MENA region at this year’s Downtown Design exhibition in d3.
With Expo 2020 just two years away, the company is looking to support brands that are unique within the hospitality sector. It is its aim to use innovation and technology to bring people together, through light. For hotel brands and owners of shared spaces, Preciosa designs could be innovative, providing oneof-a-kind experience to guests and visitors.
“The ability to stand out in the Middle East’s luxury design arena requires a different mindset, one that looks to creativity, inventiveness and values the importance of good design in projects”, said Martin Fryzelka, Managing Director, Preciosa Gulf. He said that Preciosa uses heritage combined with the technology demanded by today’s customers.
He was appointed by Preciosa’s board of directors in 2016 as the Managing Director of Preciosa Gulf and is the former Managing Director of Preciosa South East Asia.
“We are so excited to be bringing Breath of Light to Downtown Design Dubai for its regional debut”, said Michael Vasku, Creative Director, Preciosa Lighting. “This is the irst time this playful, interactive installation will be shown in the region and we can’t wait to see the reaction of our guests!
Since Preciosa Lighting aims to connect people through light, we believe Breath of Light is an experience that will unite people with a surprise and a smile. Visitors will have the chance to discover glittering crystal radiance in a whole new experience.
“Using special sensors, guests can interact with the installation and each other, simply by sharing a breath. The effortless act creates a wondrous light and sound show that will blow people away!”
The Vienna-based architect duo Michael Vasku and Andreas Klug have been overseeing the creative direction of Preciosa Lighting since 2016. Vasku studied architecture and building science in Vienna. Klug studied economics and architecture, also in Vienna, and is specialised in aviation displays.
They launched Vasku & Klug in 2008. Under their direction, Preciosa focuses on continuing the company’s 300-year-old chandelier tradition, while creating futuristic statement lighting pieces.
Preciosa’s historic chandeliers and contemporary projects can be found in hotels, resorts, ine restaurants, palaces, cultural institutions and on board yachts and cruise ships in locations as varied as New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, Dubai, Moscow and London.
Preciosa Lighting was participating in Dubai’s event for the third time. In the Middle East, the brand offers luxurious lighting installations for both public spaces and private residences. Some of the company’s recent Dubai projects include the Rajmahal Theatre, Katana Robata & Sushi Bar, Dubai Opera and Al Mahara Restaurant at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah.
Thanks to the region’s natural wealth and especially due to local
craftsmanship and talent, Crystal Valley, Bohemia’s glassmaking traditions have remained unspoiled for centuries. Beginning in the 17th century, crystal clear glass, called Bohemian Crystal, started to be melted down and shaped. This glass became a local specialty and became so popular globally that the Czech lands were the most important glass exporter in the world by the mid18th century.
At this time the irst workshops specialising in the production of crystal lights started to appear in Crystal Valley. Today, it is still the most important region in the world for the production of crystal chandeliers.
Another innovative designer at Dubai Design Week was Humanscale, a leader in ergonomic tools that improve the health and comfort of work life. It introduced a redesign of its best-selling line of monitor arms, M2.1, M8.1 and M10, to accommodate changes in how we work with technology.
A tool for smart ofices, monitor arms promote healthier postures for computer users, helping to reduce neck and eye strain, while increasing usable desk surface and eliminating clutter.
As the workplace continues to become more agile, with hotdesking, shared desks and coworking spaces on the rise, M2.1, M8.1 and M10 are designed to optimise user experience with intuitive functionality, precise positioning and smooth movement – computer users can personalise their work areas and be more comfortable. In short, increase their health and productivity!
M2.1, M8.1 and M10 meet many coniguration needs, from traditional desks to sit/stand workstations, and offer the ability to customise the arm style to suit any application.
It is the company’s boast that Humanscale’s new monitor arms, with their design tuned into function and simplicity, immediately transform even the most outdated workspaces into customisable ergonomic spaces that promote performance and productivity.
“Were designed our monitor arm line to accommodate the changes in how we work today. We have more technology than ever before and workforces are more agile, working in temporary spaces more often”, said Steve Bender, Global Managing Director, Humanscale Technology and Monitor Arms.
“We need to instantly person ali se the workstation for every unique individual and their specific tasks, to improve the computing experience and overall workstation performance”.
Humanscale also introduced the Smart Ocean chair that incorporates almost 1kg of recycled ishing net material. Sourced from Bureo, an emerging venture developing innovative solutions to prevent ocean plastic pollution, Smart Ocean chair is a product of the new partnership.
“Ocean plastic has become one of the greatest threats to our oceans and discarded fishing nets are the worst kind of ocean plastic. These nets can ‘ghost fish’ for years and are often washed onto reefs damaging or destroying these delicate ecosystems”, said Humanscale Founder and CEO Robert King.
“Humanscale has partnered with Bureo who works with isherman to salvage and repurpose discarded ishing nets. We then use this plastic to manufacture parts for our new Smart Ocean chair. This is one way we realise our vision of making manufacturing truly self-sustaining; every chair we make in this way has a positive impact on the environment”.
The nets used in the production of the new task chair are from Bureo’s Net Positiva recycling programme, which facilitates the collection of discarded plastic ishing nets and provides incentives to participating coastal communities.
The nets are transformed into plastic pellets and used to manufacture quality products such as skateboards, sunglasses and, for the irst time ever, an ergonomic task chair.
Skilled metal workers use local knowledge shared through the centuries at Preciosa Lighting.
Humanscale Smart Ocean Environment.
Despite technology, some processes are still best done by hand, says Preciosa Lighting.
The Crown chandelier lends a royal look to the Preciosa Lighting factory.
Creative Directors Andreas Klug and Michael Vasku with the Breath of Light installation.