DUBAI Design Days took place for the fourth time in the region. The event opens door to local talents as well as to world renowned galleries. It exposes equally an ambitious young genius and an iconic masterpiece. We have wandered around the event’s grounds, our heads up.
This year brought a fair number of objects emitting light and fixed to the ceiling. Some complained it was not high enough! Indeed, a twenty eight pendant transparent globes with — what seemed from the distance — as a low output light source. As one’s drawn closer full of curiosity: why those people are squatting under the installation, — it becomes apparent that each globe hosts something more than an LED. It is full of clouds, thunder and lightning!
Commonplace Studio from the Netherlands brought to Dubai its Lumiere Cloud Installation. Jon Stam and Simon de Bakker have equipped sandblasted glass globes with miniature digital projectors that in sync show nature inspired videos. We clearly see those globes installed in a cloud hosting firm’s charismatic waiting room.
Aljoud Lootah, an Emirati industrial designer showed her collection of the Oru Series. Just a few pieces of furniture, tastefully accompanied by a table lamp, are interpretation of Japanese origami art. The lamp is a warmest of all. It has a soul of its own (and of course its creator, Aljoud!).
A European lighting powerhouse, Zumtobel, brought true masterpieces (and they call their collection just that!). A rare chance to see Hani Rashid, Olafur Eliasson and Zaha Hadid unique luminaires under one roof.
Acquaintance with Fadi Sarieddine’s Mainframe plug in modular concept started with a floating cube pierced with T8 fluorescent tubes. A cube, a center point of the concept, is used in so many ways, a user can breathe in it. Fadi is a Lebanese architect and designer practicing in the UAE. The Master has given us a tour around his creations himself: Sit, store, draw, read, charge!
As usual, such fairs make one fall in love with an object. Then fall again, and yet again, and finally, exhausted visitor exhales ‘wow!’ and marches off to have a smoke or something to eat. Head spinning of a kaleidoscope of sensations, he or she classifieds memories and eventually sets aside something special. We enjoyed the luminaires shown at the stand of Carwan Gallery. Vincenzo de Cotiis’ rough forms exhibit raw power in a precious materials form. Suspended light fittings made by Hungarian atelier Position Collective radiate with a cosiness of practical realism reigning in Eastern Europe and Soviet Union of the sixties.
There was one piece that left us almost breathless. A fixture designed and made by a Japanese architect and designer Keiji Ashizawa for Broached Commissions. Lou Weis of this Melbourne based gallery shared with us some insights of Ashizawa’s East Eclipse.
Fixture is made of two parts: a balance rod crowned by an LED board and an aluminium sheet that bends under its own weight. A thin wire holds the whole structure in the air with only one fixing point. Craftsmanship indeed! Eclipse tells a story of a trade between Australia and Japan: the former exporting its raw materials (mainly aluminium and metals), and the latter — bringing in sophisticated goods.
Dubai Design Days give another perspective to lighting. The fair’s eye for aesthetics sets a luminaire on a pedestal of art. Commodity it is no longer, vive la forme! We agree. Respect!
DDD is an annual arts and design fair held in Dubai each year since 2012. www.designdaysdubai.ae