Titled “Designest” and placed outdoors in d3, the work serves as an urban icon for the district acting as a place of gathering and connection
Dubai-based Ahmad Kattan, the winner of this year’s Urban Commissions, has created large-scale cylindrical forms inspired by the cultural significance of traditional pigeon towers that can be found throughout the Arabian Peninsula. Positioned outside in d3, the work serves as both a private and public place for gathering. Visitors can venture inside by way of three arched portals, while circulating on top of the shape is a line of large and smaller-sized holes like those found in pigeon towers.
The pieces, which are minimal in shape yet grand in vision and presence, is made, explains Kattan, through technologically advanced construction methodology.
Creatives often need, as he states “nooks” or gathering spaces where they can exchange ideas and Designest aims to provide exactly this: a sense of place and purpose while providing shade, a rest area via seating areas and shelter inside for both humans and non-humans.
Jury Member Ahmed Bukhash, founder of architectural design firm, ARCHIDENTITY, explains "Ahmad Alkattan’s winning proposal “designest” clearly embodies the main theme of the Urban Commissions to develop outdoor furniture that is both sustainable and socially responsible within the public realm. Deemed by the Designer as a shelter for both humans and non-humans alike; the proposal sends out a clear message that we should utilize technological advancements in construction to provide shelters in harmony with our natural surroundings rather than being in direct opposition to it. Functional yet simple “designest” provides an ideal gathering space that is both mobile and modular; while sheltering all living creatures from the harsh climate to allow them to socially interact with one another. Traditionally, Pigeon towers held significant importance in the Arabian Peninsula for highlighting status and wealth while providing reliable communication systems. Accordingly, “designest” has successfully reinterpreted the same to draw up a brighter future for all."
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