Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), praised the work produced by creative talents participating in the seventh edition of Dubai Design Week 2021, the largest cultural event in the Middle East that celebrates design and creativity held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Member of the Dubai Council, at Dubai Design District from 8 – 13 November.
During her visit to the event, and accompanied by Dr Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the Arts and Literature Sector at Dubai Culture, Hala Badri toured the site and praised the artworks presented in a number of the most prominent activities. Dubai Design Week includes over 260 events and activities, with a range of exhibitions, pop-up shops, creative installations, and panel discussions that witnessed the participation of designers and architects from and outside the UAE.
Badri began her tour by visiting the MENA Grad Show that is showcasing the best 60 innovative projects presented by graduates from around the world with the objective to make the world a better place. She also checked the presentations and multimedia works included in the 2040 d3 Architecture Exhibition, the second edition of d3’s annual architecture exhibition, following the successful inaugural event last year.
Badri also visited the UAE Designer Exhibition 2.0 and was briefed on the works of emerging citizen and resident designers and talents. She also visited Abwab 2021 by artist and architect Ahmed Sharabassy, who was commissioned to work on a piece titled ‘Nature in Motion’ in response to the theme of regenerative design and restorative architecture.
Hala Badri continued her tour with Urban Commissions 2021, with ‘play’ being a main theme for its competition this year; she was briefed on the work of Yowalah who won the competition. Badri then visited the Athenaeum project, an architectural installation project carried out by Lever/Mirage, which illuminates the recent findings of the 3000-year-old city of Mleiha.
The Director General also stopped at the Light Shelters exhibition organised by the ‘Istituto Europeo di Design’ that focuses on three core themes: sustainability, lightness and fragility. Badri also toured The Most Beautiful Swiss Books exhibition designed by Hamzat Wasl Studio in cooperation with the Embassy of Switzerland to Bahrain and the UAE; It is an experimental exhibition that reveals what goes into making a book. The Embassy of Switzerland cooperated with Hamzat Wasl Studio and Zayed University to organise a journey that begins with printing and the art of designing books. The Most Beautiful Swiss Books comprises a collection of 19 books that were awarded this prize by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture (FOC) in 2020.
Next, Badri viewed the pop-up showcase by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation titled ‘One Grain at a Time,’ an immersive real-time transmission of the robotic arm of the university’s Fabrication Lab; it presents a seven-axis robotic arm named Matilda, as well as the featured work of DIDI students. Badri then visited Context Reflections that focuses on natural lighting and materiality. She also visited The Shape of Light, a large-scale glass antiprism designed by the conceptual art studio of Claudia Moseley and Edward Shuster, in collaboration with Dubai-based fine art consultancy ESPACE.
Hala Badri concluded her tour in the creative exhibition organised by Bentley Motors, and watched the creative model being showcased under the title Safeefa, which was created by Emirati designer Hessa Al Suwaidi, incorporating Bentley’s philosophy of unrivalled artistry. Thanks to her technical skills and high craftsmanship, Hessa Al Suwaidi created a special piece that expresses the integration between the modern expression of traditional Emirati craftsmanship and the vitality of these crafts through an innovative typographic movement. The concept incorporates the craftsmanship of the woven ’Safeefa’ structure with the beauty of the Flying Spur’s movement.