Episode 01: Designer Collaborations: How does pairing talent empower designers?

This talk was broadcasted on the Dubai Design Week website on 10 November, Tuesday 4pm and on Dubai Design Week’s YouTube Channel

The talks series opened with the first episode dedicated to Dubai Design Week’s six key participating designers who shared their experiences on the different types of collaborations that formed their interventions and the importance of identifying the best methods of collective work, and the impact on the quality of the work.

Hozan Zangana, Commissioner of this year’s Abwab Pavilion, along with his partners Generous Studios and Woodcast designs, highlighted the integral role of collaborating in realizing the project. Emirati designer Khalid Shafar discussed his multi-angled collaboration with AHEC and the other participating designers AlJood Lootah & Hamad Al khoury with first timers, Lujain Al Ataiq & Reema Al Mhairi described how they managed to transform their collaborations from university students to successful professional projects.

By listening to the experiences of the designers, we aimed to understand how collaboration can create further opportunities for involved stakeholders and empower their businesses to reach new markets and projects out of their normal comfort zones. The designers shared learning experiences and internal processes for successful collaborations.

Speaker Biographies

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.

Joseph Crickett
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.

Generous.studio (Lucas Disveld, Partner & Design Director)
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.

About Lujain Alataiq
Lujain Alatiq is a highly driven Saudi architect whose adept at curating innovative experience-oriented spatial designs. Alatiq often explores regionally inspired concepts exampling a contemporary take on her Middle Eastern roots whilst focusing on unconventional designs and construction methods. Lujain gained her degree from the University of Sharjah and has participated in international workshops and competitions. She is currently pursuing her profession as an Architect at a leading engineering design firm. Lujain aims to continue challenging design norms and contribute towards the growing design community in an exciting new direction.

Reema Almheiri
Reema Almheiri is an Emirati architect with an interest in exploring innovative design approaches to curate human-centric spaces. Reema gained a Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Sharjah and is currently pursuing a profession within the real estate industry. She also independently works on experience-design oriented projects that includes the NOT a SPACE series as well as leading the spatial design experience of the Sharjah Entrepreneurship Festival 2018 (SEF2018). Reema further aims to continue producing regionally inspired concepts and become an active member of the growing design community in the region.

Khalid Shafar
Born in 1980 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. As a business graduate of the American University in Dubai Khalid worked in marketing and communication for almost seven years. In 2005 Khalid completed a degree in Fine Arts in Interior Design and by the end of 2009 had decided to leave marketing and follow his passion for design. Khalid has studied and specialized in Furniture & Objects design, first at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, UK, then at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson, New Zealand.

In 2011 Khalid opened his own studio in Dubai followed by a showcase space in 2012; both in Ras Al Khor Industrial area. Khalid’s approach to design encompasses his personal expression of form, movement, emotion, and in particular, ‘the tale’ of objects.

Among his notable international collaborations, Khalid collaborated with LASVIT, Tai Ping, Campana Brothers, Moissonnier, Arte Veneziana, COS, Kartell, and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) on special projects and limited edition releases. He also collaborated with Le Mobilier National et les manufactures nationales des Gobelins, de Beauvais et de la Savonnerie on a site specific Art installation for Louver Abu Dhabi Museum.

Moderated by Razmig Bedirian