The annually remodelled key feature of the Dubai Design Week programme, Abwab which translates to ‘doors’ in Arabic, is dedicated to commissioning work from across the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia with the objective to promote the region’s talent and stimulate cultural exchange.

Acting as a united platform for creative talent from the UAE and the wider MENASA region, it invites visitors every year into the creative landscapes of neighbouring communities. In 2020, Abwab called on the region’s designers and architects to submit proposals for a design pavilion responding to a theme centred around design installations and their role in shaping public space – the winning proposal by Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana for ‘Fata Morgana’ was a conceptual modern-day city built in an open-plan arrangement of seating components around a central origin point, reflecting today’s requirement for physical distancing and with pillars symbolic for each of the seven Emirates.

For its 2021 edition to be featured as the centrepiece of Dubai Design Week in its main hub at Dubai Design District (d3), Abwab invites designers, creative studios and architects in the MENASA region to submit their proposal to present the latest innovations in design and architecture through commissioning a large-scale, contemporary architectural pavilion under the theme of regenerative architecture and restorative design, turning their focus around the human impact on the planet and the role of design as a restorative tool while embedding nature as a core element.

Designers and architects are to embed reparative and restorative design approaches like; biophilic design, circular economy systems and biomimicry, in their proposals and investigations, by incorporating nature as a central component in design practices that consider and host all living systems and organisms that are interconnected, interdependent and mutually beneficial to each other. Designers are invited to explore the notion of co-living and interconnectedness while ensuring diverse representation of Middle Eastern design through locally and regionally sourced ideas and inspirations.

To find out more about the Abwab 2021 open call, click here.