Since it was launched in 2014, the metadata tag #mydubai has become so much more than a social media movement. It is a statement of inclusion and as Shaikh Hamdan Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, intended, the hashtag is writing the story of the Dubai experience, through the perspective of its residents and visitors.
Inspired by that collective slogan, the My Dubai installation at the Dubai Design District (d3) is the latest chapter in the established traditions of large-scale city sign sculptures evidenced in iconic cities across the world. In the digital age, these sculptures announce the city on global stage, underscoring its community and their aspirations.
Framed by d3 buildings 5 & 6, and with the Burj Khalifa in the backdrop, the installation not only offers photo-ops to visitors, it will also serve as a landmark for buskers and street performances.
“Dubai Design District is a gateway to creativity and the human experience. The My Dubai City Sign is symbolic of the very personal connection that both residents and visitors have with the Emirate,” says Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO of d3. “Having it placed in the heart of d3 not only underscores our community’s culture, it is a nod to Dubai’s leadership and their vision to create new, sustainable economies.”
Amrish Patel, of Apical Reform, the studio behind this bright red city landmark, adds: “Dubai is an exciting blend of tradition and modernity, of the man-made and nature. We wanted to translate that into a visual that is rooted in the local context but has global appeal”
The design of the installation blends the pioneering attitude of Dubai with its natural landscape. Each alphabet is extruded into the third dimension using stringent Parametric Design formulae. Then, each layer is composed by hand to represent the ripples on the surface of a sand dune. In keeping with the spirit of the piece, it was constructed in a high-performance composite material at a local workshop.
As similar city icons have demonstrated in their locations, I Amsterdam and I Love Beirut for example, My Dubai hopes to invigorate its community and galvanise the city with one iconic work of public art, a canvas for self-expression to be shared with the world.