The Emirati designers as part of American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC)’s ‘Please Sit Here’ initiative have been announced to be renowned creatives; Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah and Hamad Khoory.

Each bench will signify the signature style of the designers, they will be working with AHEC to create convertible public seating solutions responding to not just the existing restrictions to curb the spread of COVID-19 but also the post-pandemic norms.

Aljoud Lootah a designer and founder of her namesake studio has gained international acclaim for her work. Since its foundation, the studio has preserved its unique approach by focusing on the idea of contrasts in form and function while distinctly interpreting the Emirati culture and artisanal techniques through contemporary design.

Research and thesis studies focused on the relationship between, social, theological, cultural, environmental factors of a society and its corresponding built environment, informs Hamad Khoory’s design practice. An architect and partner at LOCI architecture+design, he strongly believes that space & form are a product of a society’s cultural and anthropological tradition, which should be preserved through meaningful and rational design in order to develop a sustainable locus.

With his signature ability to blend UAE culture and craftsmanship with contemporary design, Dubai-born Khalid Shafar has forged a global reputation with top design brands and industry professionals. His approach to design encompasses his personal expression of form, movement, emotion, and in particular, ‘the tale’ of objects.

To be unveiled during Dubai Design Week (9-14 November) at Dubai Design District (d3), AHEC has asked each designer to select from three species of wood after having them thermally modified to suit for outdoor use - including American red oak, maple and tulipwood. Together, these species account for over 45% of the eastern hardwood forests of the USA, one of the largest and most sustainable hardwood resources in the world.