A survey of Emirati encounters future-proofing one’s culture through investigations of childhood and a neighborhood’s material exploration and adaptation, a conversation led by champion of Emirati design Khalid Shafar.

This year DRAK turns its attention to the essence of Ras Al Khor community. The project involves assigning three designers the task of designing three utilitarian objects, fusing function with contemporary aesthetics, for three commercial outlets. This community is a home away from home for its inhabitants, whose daily lives are connected through these every day outlets.

Visit the exhibition: www.dubaidesignweek.ae/programme/2018/rak-drak/

Ayah Al Bitar
Khalid Mezaina
Faissal El-Malak

About Ayah Al Bitar
Ayah Al Bitar is a Saudi Arabian Product and Furniture Designer who studied at Parsons the New School for Design in New York City. Through her work, she merges tradition and modernity creating products that are a combination of the East and the West. Having been brought up in Saudi, Ayah was inspired by Saudi topics of women’s rights; she wanted to create a model for how design can trigger social change. Her designs focus on breaking cultural boundaries with their thought-provoking concepts.

About Faissal El Malak
Faissal El-Malak is a Palestinian fashion designer. He trained in Paris’s Atelier Chardon Savard. El-Malak has developed his contemporary Middle Eastern design identity by bridging traditional artisan work with modern design. The first collection incorporated Yemeni handwoven textiles, his latest seasons focus of traditional handwoven fabrics from the Medina of Tunis and the cotton jacquards of Upper Egypt where he has worked closely with the artisans to develop modern interpretations of their textile and silver jewelry. El-Malak has recently been announced winner of the Vogue Arabia DDFC Fashion Prize 2017 in the women’s ready to wear category with his Spring-Summer 2018 collection.

About Khalid Mezaina
In 2010, Mezaina launched Krossbreed – an independent studio focusing on his multidisciplinary practise in print based design. His commissioned and self-initiated projects range from art prints, installations and murals, to designs for apparel, stationary and publications. Khalid’s work is drawn from the fabric of ‘Emirati’ culture, isolating subjects and narratives from his daily experiences. These personal, acutely observed elements, accumulate into works that offer knowing cultural remarks. His work is also important documentation amid the unremitting progress of the UAE.

About Khalid Shafar
Shafar is often considered the poster boy for Emirati design. As a pioneer, he embarked on his design journey back in 2010, after having worked in the corporate world for eight years. Despite his achievements, he remains unassuming towards the fact that he’s widely regarded as the first Emirati product designer to have pursued a career in the industry, as well as having collaborated with international brands such as Campana Brothers and Lasvit.