The inaugural session of the Dubai Design Week—moderated by Mishaal Al Gergawi, features some of the most established UAE Designers [..]

The Atrium, Building 4, Dubai Design District (d3)

In this inaugural session of the Dubai Design Week, some of the most talented and established UAE Designers and Architects from different disciplines, present their works, initiatives, challenges, opportunities, aspirations and ambitions, which marked their successes and positioned them as leaders and makers of the Design scene of the UAE, before taking it to and sharing it with the World.

Salem Al Qassimi; Nada Taryam; Ammar Kalo; and Talin Hazbar; Chaired and moderated by Mishaal Al Gergawi Mishaal Al Gergawi is the managing director of the Delma Institute, an inter-disciplinary
research house. Through Delma, Mishaal is trying to think how meaningful policy can be made in an time of accelerated production of information and hyper emergence of actors. Holding a BA and an MSc. in finance, he began his career in investment banking, shortly afterwards he set up a building materials family business. After maintaining a weekly column in the UAE, he joined the Dubai government to establish its contemporary cultural projects strategy. Mishaal continues to write a column with a specific focus on the Gulf. He analyses the challenges and opportunities of the region, its member states and cities from political, economic and socio-cultural considerations.

Salem Al-Qassimi is the founder of Fikra—a multidisciplinary design studio providing bilingual graphic design solutions in Arabic and English, a service completely unique to this region. Fikra works in print and new media in the intersections of Islamic heritage, cultural traditions, and contemporary life.
Salem founded Fikra in 2006. Fikra works in print and new media, including: identity creation, book design, environmental graphics, data visualizations, interaction design, and web design.The studio works in the intersections of Islamic heritage, cultural traditions, and modern lifestyle.Technology is utilized differently in Salem's work depending on its needs. Whether it is to build a website, or to create an interactive piece, his work tackles cultural topics.His latest work, Bilingual Scripting is an interactive installation that uses hand gestures to study three-dimensional hybrid (Arabic and English) letterforms. Salem received a Bachelor of Science degree in Multimedia Design from the American University of Sharjah (AUS), and a Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). Salem is an Assistant Professor teaching design at the American University of Sharjah in the College of Architecture, Art and Design.

Nada Taryam is an architect with extensive project management experience including Bee’ah's headquarters designed by Zaha Hadid Architects. She received her Master’s degree in Architecture and Urbanism with Thesis distinction from the Architectural Association School of Architecture's Design Research Lab (AADRL) in London and her B.Arch from the American University of Sharjah.

Ammar Kalo is currently the Director of CAAD Labs at the American University of Sharjah where he also teaches classes focused on digital fabrication. He received a Master of Science in Architecture with concentrations Material Systems and Digital Technologies from the University of Michigan, and a BArch from the American University of Sharjah. His area of research includes developing new robotic fabrication processes and material design investigations. In 2014 he won the KUKA Robotics Young Potential Award for Best Scientific Paper, and recently his design ‘Stratum’ received an international Silver A ’Design Award in Milan.

Talin Hazbar is a Syrian born – UAE based architect/designer with a BA in Architecture from the American University of Sharjah. Talin’s journey began with her undergrad research that revolved around sand solidification processes and continued further after graduation to develop new techniques and push the potential of sand as a medium of constructing structures. Her Sand solidification research was presented in conferences such as The Gulf Research Meeting,Gulf Cities as Interfaces (Cambridge, UK) and Robotic in Architecture (Vienna, Austria). Along side practicing architecture at RMJM, Hazbar took part in prestigious arts and design programs in the UAE such as the Tashkeel Design Programme 2015 and the Salama artist Fellowship programme in collaboration with RISD.
Her works draw inspiration from the landscapes that surround her, those associated with power, infinity, urban expansion, vastness and the sense of belonging. Hazbar describes her work as “structures of impermanence”. Structures that mutely crescendo in their decaying accumulation state, which contributes to the composed rhythmic landscape where these structures came from originally. Hazbar’s project Lithic produced under Tashkeel Design Program, exhibited at Design Days 2015, marked the beginning of her collaboration with local manufacturers and artisans. Since then, she has become keen on collaboration and integrating local artisans into her process.