This year’s Abwab commission was awarded to Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana for his proposal ‘Fata Morgana’, in response to Dubai Design Week’s theme of redefining and reimagining the way we live in an urban environment.

‘Fata Morgana’ presented a conceptual framework for a modern-day city through an open-plan arrangement of seating components around a central origin point and with pillars symbolic for each of the seven Emirates, adapting to today’s requirement for physical distancing, while offering strong research on regionally contextual materials and production processes.

The functionality of the concept aimed to amplify the necessity to cross each other’s paths by presenting a pivotal intersection, demanding for interaction between people and reactivating the connection with each other on a social level.

As a nod to historical construction methods used across the Middle East, a rammed earth technique was used in the build the different elements of the pavilion, (re)connecting culture, history and people in a public space.

'Fata Morgana' was placed at the heart of Dubai Design District (d3) during Dubai Design Week, 9-14 November 2020.

About Hozan Zangana
Hozan Zangana was born in 1983 in Kirkuk. In 1998, at age fifteen Hozan Zangana fled Kurdistan and applied for asylum in The Netherlands. There he studied at the esteemed art and design universities Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam and Design Academy Eindhoven. After his graduation Hozan Zangana was awarded a grant for Talent Development Creative Industries (Stimuleringsfonds).This allowed him to realise his first collection of abstract objects inspired by the original 7th century Kufic script titled ‘Shaping from Intuition’, which he went on to show in Dubai, Milan and New York. Other highlights on Hozan Zangana’s resume include: the acquisition of his Haft Sin collection in Dark Earth by Museum Boijmans van Beuningen (Rotterdam, The Netherlands) in 2015; the Iraq Pavilion installation called ‘Excavations’ at Abwab during Dubai Design Week 2016, which Hozan Zangana co-curated and designed in collaboration with Rand Abdul Jabbar; and his nomination for the Wallpaper Next Generation Designer of the Year award 2017.

Together with our multidisciplinary teams in Amsterdam and Lisbon, we aim to build both on- and offline experiences. Our creatives and developers spend a significant amount of time on various projects, exploring the possibilities of design and motion.

The studio consists of both artists and designers with a background in design, motion, UX, web, e-commerce, 3D, video, programming and installation design. For that same reason, we have a wide range of interests; from interactive architecture to graphic design and motion.

In this fast-evolving creative industry, it is not only our mission to stay updated, but we also aim to combine and share our diverse knowledge, translating these into our own initiated projects. We believe by applying this method we promote a healthy working environment for both our employees as our clients.

We work for brands over the whole world. From developing apps for big corporates like Unilever to the website for design hotel brand Alila in Indonesia.

Joseph Crickett, WoodCast Designs
Joseph Crickett from WoodCast Designs is a South African based in the Netherlands who is passionate about making and creating things, beautiful things that celebrate both craft and design. Starting out in South Africa he taught himself woodworking and spent some years learning the craft from experienced artisans with a focus on bespoke furniture making. Over the years, his creativity and imagination drove him learn and master working with different mediums with which he could bring his ideas to life. Today these are concrete and rammed earth and yes of course wood. As part of his creative process, he often challenges himself to ‘break the rules’ in order to find new and unexpected ways of using mediums, while this is not always successful, he believes the lessons learnt far outweigh the failure. He has a strong belief in sharing knowledge and has spent time doing so by teaching the craft of concrete furniture making jointly with his peers at the Concrete Design School in Arkansas USA. His most rewarding project to date has been working on the build of a rammed earth house from foundation to completion, while it required hard work it was the most rewarding project he has worked on to date.