A fully modular, zero-waste, plug and play concept that promised to change the way we think about sustainability. Colab, the first purpose-built material library in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), showcased their RETHINK pop-up.

While each version provides a unique experience, the underlying goal remains consistent: to enlighten individuals about the creative possibilities inherent in sustainable materials. Furthermore, it served as a vital conduit, granting local, regional, and international material innovators a broader platform they might not otherwise have access to.

Colab’s Design Week pop-up shined a light on UAE-based materials including DATEFORM, the world's first date-seed based solid surface material; RAMEL, a locally sourced desert sand based revolutionary concrete alternative; Terraboard, a sustainable alternative to traditional wood solution made from unrecyclable waste materials; Leukeather, an innovative natural textile alternative to exotic leather made from discarded dried pods; Palmade, a new biodegradable material made from palm tree waste that serves as an effective alternative to single-use plastics; and Datecrete, the world's first date seed based cementitious material without any trace of resin or concrete.

In addition to locally produced materials, a host of innovative materials made their debut at the ninth edition of Dubai Design Week, including DELEREX®, a unique material made entirely from discarded lenses, without the use of glues or bonding agents; CeraFoam, a porous ceramic based material with the significant qualities of any ceramic material, such as hardness and thermal advantages, but also with a series of advanced properties such as acoustic absorption and compression strength; and SUSTAIGN, a recycled plastic with the look and properties of natural stone and marble.