With design impacting the way we live and the industry within the region growing immensely every year, the significance of the ways in which product design sources solutions to issues while simultaneously enhancing a space is not lost on many creatives. Here are some of the many notable product designers from the MENA region who are causing a stir while championing social, technological, and environmental change through their craft.
Critically acclaimed, multi-disciplinary designer Aljoud Lootah is known for her reinterpretation of Emirati heritage in contemporary contexts. With a background in graphic design, it wasn’t long into her career when she realised her passion for product design, which inspired the launch of her eponymous brand.
Carving her own niche with Aljoud Lootah Design Studio, the designer observes the importance of materials that are the key to shaping and determining the design of a product. Among her collections are the Takya stool, the Khous sofa and most recently, the handcrafted Mandoos collection that was showcased at Downtown Design 2018, paying tribute to the timeless elements of her Emirati heritage.
A graduate of Architecture from the Woodbury University in San Diego, US, this award-winning Emirati designer is the founder of his design firm ‘MULA’, a creative practice that has set the guidelines of their work through regulators such as function, pattern and geometry, catering to creating designs that are constantly evolving.
Through his varied product collections, including the ‘Mese’ product range and ‘WOV’ collection of tables that have been exhibited both regionally and internationally, Almulla aims to produce unique, bespoke works that are the results of user attributes, prototyping and digital technology.
Layth Mahdi Al-Attar
Embracing the future of technology-aided design, Al-Attar majored in architecture with a concentration on robotic fabrication. The award-winning architect’s career in advanced robotic fabrication earned him a research fellowship with the University of Michigan in Stone Robotic Fabrication that gave birth to his collection, ‘Ripple’, a collection featuring robotically-milled stone products that combine the uncommon materiality of luxury marble varieties with robotic fabrication techniques.
Al-Attar believes that the wider, more inclusive nature of design has given the region a contemporary voice. Drawing from his inspirations such as the late Pritzker Prize-winning architect Zaha Hadid, Al-Attar defines himself as an architect at heart with a love for product design and it’s fulfilling, small-scale and fast-paced results.
Lebanese designer Nada Debs was determined to take her Japanese influenced message worldwide, influenced by her upbringing and a strong belief in the power of design to transcend barriers and create an emotional impact.
With over 20 collections under her Beirut-based eponymous brand, Debs’ work is not restricted to product and furniture design but spans scale and discipline through one-off commissions across craft, fashion, art and interiors as well. Her crafting of organic pieces infused with ornamental Arabic patterns and the utilisation of materials that boast luxury have produced minimalist creations that are perceived in their own unique ways globally, cementing her name in the world of product design. Recently Debs’ has been collaborating with other creatives, widening her portfolio to shoe design and an expanded collection of limited-edition home accessories.
With an impressive portfolio of residential and commercial projects in the MENA region under his belt, Beirut-based interior architect and designer Wael Farran soon realised the need for more objects that are sculpturally intrinsic yet functional within the market.
Through his various collections, such as the FORMITABLE collection consisting of one-of-a-kind designs made with an exemplary level of craftsmanship, and many other refined products that take a luxurious angle on everyday items, Farran observes the potential of design to both transform and convey the historical and humanistic message of Beirut and the region.