Fata Morgana Hozan Zangana
This year’s Abwab commission has been awarded to Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana for his proposal ‘Fata Morgana’. Image Credit: Supplied

Mindful of social distancing measures, this year’s edition of the Middle East’s largest creative festival will further hone in on the region’s home-grown creative scene.

With a series of installations, urban interventions, exhibitions and outdoor experiences and with themes related to locality, collective work, future imagining and sharing of public space under physical and mobility restrictions, Dubai Design Week 2020 — running from November 9-14 — will unpack the role of design in future-making.

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Responding to the impact of the recent pandemic on the region’s design ecosystem, this year’s Dubai Design Week will offer new opportunities to the Middle East’s creative community, giving centre stage to local and regional talent and reflecting on the role of designers in redefining the way we live in a COVID-impacted world.

Staged throughout the outdoor pedestrian setting of Dubai Design District (d3), outdoor installations and public interventions will respond to the fast-paced changes occurring in our urban environment and the new challenges arising from the requirement of physical distancing. Here we present two of the many highlights of Dubai Design Week’s 2020 programme.

Abwab 2020: Fata Morgana

Every year Abwab has brought together and highlighted some of the most promising regional talents and their works at Dubai Design Week. For its 2020 edition, the commission has been awarded to Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana for his proposal ‘Fata Morgana’, responding to Dubai Design Week’s theme of redefining and reimagining the way we live in an urban environment.

To be placed at the heart of Dubai Design District (d3) during Dubai Design, ‘Fata Morgana’ represents a complex form of superior mirage that is seen in a narrow band right above the horizon; the open-air pavilion will present a notional framework for a modern-day city through an arrangement of seating components around a central origin point which will aim to amplify the necessity to cross each other’s paths by presenting this pivotal intersection.

Hozan Zangana - Fata Morgana
Hozan Zangana - Fata Morgana Image Credit: Supplied

Demanding for interaction between people and reactivating the connection with each other on a social level, the project will feature pillars, symbolic for each of the seven Emirates, paying homage to the UAE; as a nod to historical construction methods used across the Middle East, a rammed earth technique will be used in the build the different elements of the pavilion. Together, ‘Fata Morgana’ will offer a strong research on regionally contextual materials and production processes, structurally adapting to today’s requirement for physical distancing in its entirety.

Urban Commissions 2020: Basta

Urban Commissions 2020 Basta-1601470436047

Responding to the theme for Urban Commissions 2020, the winning proposal — an innovative and modular retail — is designed by Emirati-designer Reema Almheiri and Saudi-designer Lujain Alatiq.

Selected for its unique design and functional aesthetics to be fully manufactured in the UAE, the concept for ‘Basta’ drew inspiration from traditional communal markets and created a modular unit that functions individually or as part of an ensemble housing stores and workshop spaces. The unit can be adapted to the needs of retailers while allowing for efficient display. The concept was shortlisted from 62 submissions and is now being developed with support and funding from A.R.M. Holding for display at the Dubai Design Week Marketplace that will take place at Dubai Design District on the weekend of Dubai Design Week, 13-14 November.

60+ invited vendors will present a curated selection of the best of Dubai’s artisans, creatives, entrepreneurs, small businesses and food scene, providing visitors with a unique retail experience. Offering original products predominantly sourced and made locally in various fields including fashion, jewellery, homeware, beauty, lifestyle and food, The Dubai Design Week Marketplace will also feature a wide range of fun experiences that will entertain and engage all the family.

The dates for this year’s Dubai Design Week are November 9-14. For more information visit www.dubaidesignweek.ae.