Once Upon DESIGN


14-17 November | 10am – 10pm
18 November | 10am – 7pm

Atrium, Building 6, Dubai Design District (d3)

Curated by Noor Aldabbagh 

1971 Design Space presents  'Once Upon Design: New Routes for Arabian Heritage' curated by Noor Aldabbagh. This exhibit features six design installations resulting from Gulf-based designers collaborating across various design disciplines. It is the result of Banafsajeel's research on 'reinventing heritage' in 2016.

Curator Noor Aldabbagh has selected a group of architects, product designers and graphic designers to experiment with elements of heritage from the Arabian Peninsula, focusing on customs and oral traditions inherited through generations that are implicitly linked to spaces. Ancient to modern heritage is celebrated, from the pure ceramic form brought to the region 3000 years ago, to the pre-renovation Abu Dhabi Corniche of the 1990s. An incense burner is reimagined for the region today and a Majlis is deconstructed around a symbolic bonfire. Palmscapes recalls a pilgrim’s transfer of date seeds from the Prophet’s home in Medina to her home country to use them as prayer beads, inadvertently producing the most delicious ‘dates of light’ in North Africa today. A traditional Samry song that describes the journey to an unattainable love in the south of Arabia is remixed by a director who brings millions of people together on his Youtube channel today.

About Noor Aldabbagh

Noor’s background spans curating, documentary filmmaking, not-for-profit management and art collecting. The common thread of her work is to use art to improve understanding between cultures. She is the founder of Banafsajeel, an award-winning curatorial platform focused on artists and designers in the Gulf.

Presented by 1971

1971 is a multi-functional design space dedicated to the exhibition, display and discussion of all forms of contemporary design ranging from graphics, furniture and interiors to interactive design and new technologies. Through a mixture of curated exhibitions and public programmes, 1971 aims to become a regional and international design hub in the UAE working in close proximity with local designers, architects, schools and universities.  1971 will also serve as an informal meeting point during Dubai Design Week and includes a fully serviced cafe for the enjoyment of the public.