Some of the world’s most dynamic designers and progressive collections came together to make Downtown Design 2019 the largest celebration of its kind in the Middle East. They were joined by over 19,000 visitors, a 20 percent increase over last year, at this focal point of high-quality, original design and commercial opportunity.
Klove Studio featured its enthralling Totems Over Time collection, an ode to the meanings that world cultures imbue in objects. The almost amulet-like sculptures in glass, precious stones and metal draw from the idea of sacred objects, or totems, worn for protection and as symbols of heritage. These six vivid statement pieces are likewise designed as “necklaces” for walls, according to Klove.
A tribute to the leaves of the ash trees surrounding the oldest glass maker in France, Saint-Louis’ FOLIA collection echoes the Moselle forest where designer Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance found his inspiration. Each of the collection’s pieces, mouth blown and hand cut, offer a contemporary vision of nature rendered in exquisite crystal.
Atelier Swarovski returned to the fair with a presentation spotlighting the brand's commitment to innovation in crystal. featuring works developed in collaboration with international designers. Works by Patrick Urquiola, Tomas Alonso, and Peter Pilotto, amongst others, showcased decorative objects, tableware, lighting and home accessories for high-end residential and hotel projects.
Known for his use of natural materials like sand to explore cultural metaphors, Brooklyn-based designer Fernando Mastrangelo combines art and design to create pieces informed by the very materials from which they’re made. Mastrangelo launched THE CAPITAL COLLECTION, a trio of mirrors inspired by the Dubai Peninsula, at Downtown Design. The special edition mirrors use hand-dyed sand to evoke the landscape that Dubai emerged from to become an architectural oasis.
Dubai-based Binchy and Binchy launched its collection of 10 bespoke decorative plinths. The studies in technique and materials distill the studio’s architecture and interior design projects and are inspired by manufacturing technologies like 3D printing, laser etching, water jet cutting and CNC milling. Whether using an element of Emirati culture or creating a contemporary interpretation of Art Nouveau, the pieces connect past and present. Take the tables whose bases are made of magazines compressed and cut to form a decorative shape doubling as a historic archive preserved in a concrete-like state.
Two furniture makers known worldwide for high-quality designs launched new lines or products at Downtown Design. Italian furniture and accessories retailer Aati partnered with Menati to launch the luxury furniture designer’s new line. And Pedrali, known for its contemporary furniture for offices and homes, launched Héra, a wooden armchair embodying Pedrali’s concept of lightness fused with support, and Elinor, a new table by designer Claudio Bellini.
Learn more about the designers and collections featured at Downtown Design.
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