If you’ve recently visited Dubai Design District, you may have noticed the various art installations that seem to be blooming like spring flowers across the public spaces of the rapidly evolving community. This can largely be attributed to the new program by d3’s Art and Design Curation team that is focused on “functional design”. Its goal is to set up a platform for the curation of installations and sculptures around the community that people can tangibly experience.
Keep reading to discover five installations that are worth a second look during your next visit to d3, with works by established Emirati designer Khalid Shafar, award-winning architecture student Hinjal Kumar, and a whole host of up-and-coming regional talent.
'The Nomad' by Khalid Shafar
Before ‘The Nomad’ found its home in the Design Quarter of d3, it was displayed at the Rootstein Hopkins Parade Ground that is located on the premises of Chelsea College of Arts in London. The piece, which draws its inspiration from the palm frond, is a tribute to age-old Emirati architecture and has been designed with the aim of gathering people together in an inclusive, heritage-rich space.
'Bike d3' by Hinjal Kumar
‘Bike d3’ is the product of a piece designed by Hinjal Kumar, an architecture student at the American University of Sharjah who won this year’s Urban Commissions design competition. Impressively, Kumar was the only student amongst the competition’s top ten finalists.
'Dubai Syndrome' by Fadi Sarieddine
Fadi Sarieddine was directly commissioned by the Art and Design Curation team to produce the Dubai Syndrome series. The architect and furniture designer took concrete out of its traditional element as a building material, employing it instead as the main feature of an outdoor furniture line. The series serves as a form of commentary on Dubai’s ongoing construction plans and post-industrial times.
'Braided Sofa' by Latifa Saeed
‘Braided Sofa’ is a furniture piece from the Braided series by emerging Emirati designer Latifa Saeed of local studio and exhibition space Tashkeel. Her first collection, which was released last year, featured furniture inspired by the way Emirati children braid their hair. “A lot of my design is based on nostalgia and memory,” says Saeed. “Creating an Emirati aesthetic is important to me, and I want to work with artisans and craftspeople in the region.” For her second collection, the designer is working with khoos, the traditional Emirati craft of weaving palm leaves.
'Out of Four' by Various Artists
‘Out of Four’ is d3’s quarterly celebration of art and creativity, showcasing a range of work by aspiring and established artists and designers. A core mission for d3’s curation of art and design is to help play a leading role as a catalyst for innovation and creative talent, not just for d3 business partners, but for the wider MENA creative community. For the pilot round, the d3 team has curated a showcase exhibition, selecting artists via social media, Creatopia (the creative portal of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority), and word of mouth. The first showcase will feature artists Hattan Ahmad, Hessa Al Ajmani, Issa Al Noaimi, and Noorah Kareem.