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    V-Zug unveils neutral-toned showroom during Milan design week

    Swiss homeware brand V-Zug has opened its inaugural Milan showroom, combining soft hues and natural materials with high-tech appliances, as captured in this video produced by Dezeen.

    Called V-Zug Studio Milan, the showroom was designed by Italian architect and interior designer Elisa Ossino to encapsulate a “poetic simplicity” through blending objects crafted from natural materials with appliances featuring reflective surfaces.
    [embedded content]V-Zug Studio Milan has opened its doors during Milan design week
    The studio showcases V-Zug’s homeware products and kitchen appliances, such as ovens, cooktops and steamers, which are contrasted by furniture pieces created by Ossino in collaboration with artist Henry Timi.
    According to V-Zug’s global interior art director Gabriel Castelló Pinyon, the open-plan interiors are designed to evoke a “sense of hospitality” for its visitors.

    V-Zug’s minimal Milan showroom showcases its home appliancesThe space is characterised by a neutral colour palette of soft hues, which create a subtle contrast with the materials incorporated throughout the space, such as sculpted stone and mirrored surfaces.
    The showroom is flooded with ample natural light emanating from large glazings, while an off-white monolithic staircase with large circular openings cuts through the space.
    The showroom features sculptural objects and artworks by Ossino and TimiOverlooking the Piazza San Marco, the studio marks the company’s flagship showroom located in Italy, following the recent openings of its studios across Germany, Austria and Australia.
    V-Zug Studio Milan is open to visitors from Monday to Friday during this year’s Milan design week.
    The showroom’s open-plan interiors are defined by a soft colour paletteIn addition to hosting a series of talks throughout the week, V-Zug has also created a sculptural installation titled Time and Matter at Pinacoteca di Brera, which further explores the relationship between human experiences, design and technology.
    See our Milan design week 2024 guide on Dezeen Events Guide for information about the many other exhibitions, installations and talks taking place throughout the week.
    Partnership content
    This video was produced by Dezeen for V-Zug as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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    Uchronia founder designs own home as “love letter to French craft”

    Glossy walls, ruched curtains and oversized flower-shaped cushions characterise this eclectic 1970s-style Paris apartment, designed and owned by Uchronia founder Julien Sebban.

    Called Univers Uchronia, the apartment is in the city’s 18th arrondissement, close to the Uchronia office – a Parisian architecture and interiors studio known for its bold application of shape, colour and reflective surfaces.
    Julien Sebban designed Univers Uchronia as his homeSebban designed the dwelling as his home, which he shares with his husband and Maison Royère artistic director Jonathan Wray.
    The Uchronia founder created the apartment as an extension of his studio – “it’s truly a manifesto of our universe,” he told Dezeen.
    Colourful interiors anchor the apartmentSebban worked with local studio Atelier Roma to create all the walls and ceilings, which are either lacquered and glossy or made of matte pigmented concrete, respectively reflecting or absorbing light throughout the day.

    Finished in hues ranging from cloud-like pale blue to lemony yellow, the walls and ceilings complement the poured-in-place resin floor that spans the apartment and features a bold motif that “waves and moves in relation to the architecture”.
    A metallic island features in the open-plan kitchenThe home is anchored by a predominantly pink living space, which includes Uchronia-designed pieces such as low-slung interlocking coffee tables made from walnut burl and orange resin.
    Translucent and gathered pink curtains were paired with a geometric vintage bookshelf and a blocky but soft sofa finished in purple and orange.
    A bespoke onyx dining table was created for the home”The apartment is very colourful with ’60s and ’70s inspirations and a mix of our contemporary pieces and vintage objects,” said Sebban.
    In the open-plan kitchen and dining room, a veiny Van Gogh onyx table was positioned next to a metallic kitchen island, illuminated by a blobby seaweed-shaped table lamp.
    Ornamental jellyfish decorate the home officeA portion of the otherwise orange wall was clad with tiny, mirrored tiles. Reflected in the gleaming ceiling, the tiles have the same effect as a shimmering disco ball.
    Opposite the dining area is Sebban and Wray’s home office, characterised by a bright orange, built-in day bed topped with silk flower-like cushions and a wave-shaped backrest.
    The dwelling’s bathrooms follow a similar designAbove the bed, ornamental jellyfish were suspended like planets against a constellation of gold stars, which decorate the ombre orange and yellow wall that nods to the colour-drenched interior of the city’s Cafe Nuances – also designed by Uchronia.
    The dwelling’s bathrooms follow a similar design. Accents include dusty pink alcoves and ceramic tiles depicting underwater scenes, as well as a lily pad-shaped rug and a mirror resembling a cluster of clouds.

    Ten self-designed homes that reflect the unique styles of their owners

    “The apartment defines the codes we have tried to develop at Uchronia over the last four years,” concluded Sebban.
    “It’s a play on colours, textures and materials, and a love letter to French craft.”
    Univers Uchronia is “a love letter to French craft”Uchronia was named emerging interior designer of the year at the Dezeen Awards 2023. The studio previously renovated a Haussmann-era apartment for a pair of jewellery designers with multifaceted furniture pieces created to mirror the appearance of precious stones.
    Various architects have designed their own homes, such as John Pawson, who created this minimalist second home in the Cotswolds in the UK.
    The photography is by Félix Dol Maillot. 

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    Gallery Collectional exhibition spotlights contemporary Asian craftsmanship

    Gallery Collectional, a collectible design gallery in Dubai, has presented its inaugural exhibition featuring furniture and lighting crafted by seven Asian designers.

    For Urban Fabric Series 001, Gallery Collectional invited seven designers to create designs informed by the urban settings from which they hail, including Tokyo, Seoul and Hangzhou.
    The Urban Fabric exhibition included recycled plastic seats by Kuo Duo. Photo by Mario Tsai StudioCurated by Yoko Choy, the collectible design exhibition features 28 pieces that showcase the diverse range of crafts honed by the designers.
    It includes 3D-printed chairs, woven sculptures, metal light sculptures and furniture made from reclaimed architectural elements.
    Teo Yang repurposed remnants of traditional Korean houses. Photo by Mario Tsai Studio”Since the inception of Gallery Collectional, its desire has always been to create a multicultural, cross-functional platform that fosters disruptive and worldly conversations across design and art,” the gallery said.

    “The 28 artworks commissioned and created for this inaugural series epitomise the juxtaposition between industrial precision and artisanal finesse, the nuanced interplay between vulnerability and resilience, and the seamless fusion of rationality and emotion,” Gallery Collectional continued.
    “They delve into the dynamic interplay of light and shadow, the relentless passage of time, and the subtle balance between ruggedness and sophistication, encapsulating the essence of contemporary urban life and inspiring our collective vision for the future.”
    Cutting Lines is a collection of 3D-printed chairsKorean designer Teo Yang used remnants of traditional Korean houses known as hanoks – including glass, rubble, marble and veneer – to create a series of furniture pieces.
    The collection, named Remaining Things, includes a room divider made from hanok panels and a table made from a repurposed column with a metal base and glass tabletop.

    StudioTwentySeven opens “monumental” flagship gallery in Tribeca

    Koren design studio Kuo Duo, founded by Hwachan Lee and Yoomin Maeng, is showcasing a pair of chairs with a matching ottoman made from recycled plastic.
    The Kerf Plastic seats were designed to showcase the “untapped potential” of the material to form three-dimensional objects, according to the duo.
    The Sparks pendant light moves from side to sideThe exhibition also featured the 3D-printed Cutting Lines chair by Korean designer Kwangho Lee, with textured surfaces inspired by the act of tying knots.
    Sparks is a pendant light created by Chinese designer Mario Tsai, comprising brass chimes that sway and collide.
    A woven sculpture by Tiffany Loy hangs from the ceiling”Within this kinetic light installation, the transformative power of collision becomes palpable,” said Gallery Collectional. “It is as if the energy from each collision is harnessed and channelled, manifesting as both visible light and audible sound.”
    Also in the Urban Fabric series were tables made from white, green and pink onyx by Japanese designer Kensaku Oshiro, neon light artworks by Tokyo-based Studio Swine and a pair of woven silk and cotton sculptures by Singaporean artist Tiffany Loy.
    Gallery Collectional is located in Dubai. Photo by Mario Tsai StudioOther furniture showcases that have recently been featured on Dezeen include a furniture exhibition in a converted Bogotá townhouse and StudioTwentySeven’s newly opened flagship gallery in Tribeca.
    The photography is courtesy of Gallery Collectional.
    Urban Fabric is on show at Gallery Collectional in Dubai from 2 to 31 March 2024. For more events, talks and exhibitions in architecture and design visit Dezeen Events Guide.

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    Children in social housing “sleeping on a blanket on a concrete floor”

    Increasing numbers of people in social housing are living in inhospitable conditions because they are unable to afford even basic furniture and flooring, Dezeen reports as part of our Social Housing Revival series.

    In the UK, social-rented homes are usually handed over to new residents in a sparse state – lacking basic elements of decoration and furnishings, as well as essential appliances.
    As the cost of living continues to rise and the availability of crisis-support services diminishes, a growing number of people are unable to afford to furnish these homes, meaning they are sometimes forced to live in a harsh environment for months at a time.
    Top: before – many UK social-housing residents live with furniture poverty. Above: after – London charity Furnishing Futures makes new interiors for women who have fled domestic abuse”For the families who we work with, the point that is most distressing is the void condition – the homes are given and [social landlords] don’t bother painting the walls, and there’s absolutely no flooring down,” said Emily Wheeler, founder and CEO of Furnishing Futures.
    “Most people over time can manage to get some furniture together that’s gifted to them from the local church or friends or family or whatever, but it costs thousands and thousands of pounds to put flooring down, even in a one-bedroom flat.”

    London charity Furnishing Futures was recently established to address the issue among women fleeing domestic abuse, creating interiors to a high standard using furniture donated from brands.
    Emily Wheeler founded Furnishing Futures after realising that the poor condition of social housing was driving women back to abusive partners. Photo by Penny WincerDomestic-abuse survivors and people leaving care or who were previously homeless are particularly at risk of furniture poverty since they are less likely to have items to bring with them.
    Wheeler said Furnishing Futures is seeing increasing demand for its services as more people come under financial pressure.
    “Initially we were only working with women who were in receipt of benefits or experiencing severe poverty or destitution,” explained Wheeler.
    “But now we’re working with families who are using the food bank but the woman is a midwife, or she’s a teaching assistant, or she is a teacher, and that is new.”
    The charity increasingly encounters families living in destitute conditionsSometimes the conditions the charity witnesses are shocking, Wheeler told Dezeen.
    “People are experiencing real hardship,” she said. “We’ve frequently come across people who have no food, no clothes, no shoes for their children.”
    “The kids are sleeping on a blanket on a concrete floor – there’s nothing in the flat whatsoever,” she continued. “And those people might even be working as care assistants, or teaching assistants. So it’s really, really difficult at the moment for people.”
    Furnishing Futures seeks to deliver interiors that “look like show homes”. Photo by Michael BranthwaiteAccording to the campaigning charity End Furniture Poverty, more than six million people in the UK lack access to essential furniture, furnishings and appliances – including 26 per cent of those living in social housing.
    Only two per cent of social-rented homes in the UK are let as furnished or partly furnished, the charity’s research has found.
    Wheeler is a trained interior designer who formerly worked in child safeguarding.
    The charity decorated and furnished 36 homes in 2023. Photo by Michael BranthwaiteShe was prompted to set up Furnishing Futures after discovering that many women in social housing who had left dangerous homes were driven back to their abuser by poor living conditions.
    “When women were placed in new housing after having escaped really high-risk situations, they sometimes felt that they had no choice but to return because they couldn’t look after their children in those conditions – there’d be no fridge, no cooker, no washing machine, no bed, no curtains on the windows,” she explained.
    “People are expected to go to those places at a time of great trauma and distress, and recover, but those places are often not conducive to that because of the design and the environment.”
    Wheeler said the interiors industry could be doing more to have a bigger social impact. Penny WincerThe charity overhauled 36 homes in 2023, helping 99 women and children. It takes a design-led approach with an emphasis on finishing interiors to a high standard.
    “We professionally design them and they look like beautiful homes – they look like show homes when they’re finished,” Wheeler said.
    “And the reason we do that is because it’s really important that the women feel that they have a beautiful home and they feel safe there, that they feel for the first time that someone really cares about them,” she added.
    “It also supports the healing and the recovery journey for those women.”

    Social housing means “I can breathe again” say residents

    To help ensure quality, the charity only works with new or as-new furniture. It works with brands to source items that would otherwise be sent to landfill – usually press samples or items used at trade shows, in showrooms or on shoots.
    Donating partners include Soho Home, BoConcept, Romo Fabrics and House of Hackney.
    Wheeler is keen for Furnishing Futures to expand beyond London but the charity is currently held back by limited warehouse capacity and funding.
    “If we had more money and more space we could help more people, it’s as simple as that, really,” she said.
    The charity relies on donations from furniture brandsThe charity continues to seek donations from brands, particularly for bedroom furniture and pieces for children.
    As well as calling for social-housing providers to let their properties in a better state, Wheeler believes the design industry could be doing more to help people facing furniture poverty.
    “I do think that where the industry could catch up a little bit is working with organisations like ours,” she said.
    For example, charities are unable to take furniture lacking a fire tag – which tend to be removed – so imprinting this information onto the items themselves would make more usable.
    The charity is often in need of items for children’s bedrooms. Photo by Michael BranthwaiteIn addition, donating excess items as an alternative to sample sales could be a way to reduce waste with much greater social impact, she suggests.
    “There’s probably millions of people across the country living without basic items and yet there’s massive overproduction, but the waste isn’t necessarily coming to people who actually need it,” Wheeler said.
    “There are things that the industry could be doing that will create a huge social impact very easily.”
    The photography is courtesy of Furnishing Futures unless otherwise stated.
    Illustration by Jack BedfordSocial Housing Revival
    This article is part of Dezeen’s Social Housing Revival series exploring the new wave of quality social housing being built around the world, and asking whether a return to social house-building at scale can help solve affordability issues and homelessness in our major cities.

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    Lissoni Architecture creates expansion for Design Holding with “melting pot attitude”

    Local studio Lissoni Architecture has expanded the Design Holding flagship in New York City, creating an entirely new floor outfitted with light displays and curving metallic installations.

    Lissoni Architecture, the US branch of Italian studio Lissoni & Partners, created an entirely new second floor and redesigned a portion of the first floor for the Design Holding showroom, which displays furniture and lighting brands including B&B Italia, Flos, Louis Poulsen, Maxalto, Arclinea and Azucena.
    Lissoni Architecture has created an expansion for the Design Holding showroom in New YorkLighting and design elements from the brands were distributed across the second-floor space, spread out amongst vertical stone-clad panels, transparent, metal showcases, and curving chrome benches and walls.
    Each area of the floor was dedicated to a specific brand and the interior architecture was tailored to each brand’s identity, according to the studio.
    The project encompasses a new second floor and an expansion and redesign of the first”We wanted to share the melting pot attitude of New York City where everyone and everything can blend together holistically so we went to the essence of the iconic brands,” said Lissoni Architecture founder Piero Lissoni.

    “[We highlighted] their DNA and proposed a common ground that could host and enhance the design codes of each identity.”
    The studio created dedicated areas for brands including Flos and B&B ItaliaFor lighting brand Flos, the studio created a series of display cases backed by a transparent mesh. A magnetized, geometric Bilboquet light by designer Philippe Malouin is on display, as well as the Almendra chandelier affixed with almond-shaped flakes by Patricia Urquiola.
    A testing room for clients was also created for the brand, which consists of a curved, metal wall that meets a series of angled panels that act as an entrance for the room.
    The various displays were informed by the “melting pot” attitude of New York CityAnother corner of the floor was dedicated to the display of the Skynest chandelier by Marcel Wanders, which resembles an inverted basket interlaced with cords of light.
    Displays for Flos and Louis Poulsen consist of inserted panels and curving planting beds that are populated with a number of lighting fixtures from both brands.
    Metallic panels, warm wood, and dark cladding were used throughout the second-floor spaceDark, metal cladding used in the Flos displays contrasts the off-white and beiges used throughout the Louis Poulsen space, but both flank a B&B Italia lounge that sits at the centre of the floor, which features a bright-red chair from the Up series by Gaetano Pesce.
    A B&B Italia wardrobe was also created for the showroom, which sits next to an Arclinea kitchen display.

    US becoming more open-minded says Piero Lissoni as he announces New York architecture office

    A black ash finish was used to clad a large cabinet unit, which sits behind a Thea island topped with a quartz waterfall countertop.
    Lighting by Louis Poulsen, including the Patera Oval pendant by designer Øivind Slaatt, was tucked into the furthest corner of the space, with pieces distributed amongst wooden tables and a low-lying display unit.
    A separate entrance leads to a Maxalto space on the first floorOn the first floor, a new space dedicated to Maxalto is accessible through a separate entrance, with pieces such as the brand’s Arbiter sofa system positioned against walls clad in black.
    Design Holding, a global retailer founded in 2018, recently added furniture brands Menu, By Lassen and Brdr Petersen to its portfolio after an agreement with Denmark-based company Designers Company.
    Piero Lissoni announced the founding of the US branch of his studio last year, saying that the US has become more “open-minded” in terms of architecture.
    The photography is courtesy Design Holding.

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    Colombian designers transform Bogotá townhouse for furniture exhibition

    Gallery NC Diseño has renovated a townhouse in Bogotá, commissioning 10 Colombian designers to redesign its bedrooms, kitchen and other spaces in different styles for an inaugural exhibition.

    NC Diseño features five floors, two of which contain previously uninhabited apartments renovated over three months for the opening Design House Colombia exhibit. It is located down the street from sister institution NC Arte studio in Bogotá.
    NC Diseño has opened an inaugural exhibit of collectible design in BogotáFor the exhibition, curator Mónica Barreneche commissioned 10 local designers and studios to select a room within the apartments to furnish with collectible design pieces, prompting each studio to design a space informed by personal experience.
    “For the first edition of Design House Colombia, the ten participating design studios were invited to delve into the typological significance that represents the space in which each one intervened,” said Barreneche.
    Martín Mendoza created a wood and steel studio clad informed by his father’s own officeThe brief was for the designers to connect personal experiences with the different spaces in the home.

    “As a result, each of them left an emotional imprint of what it means to connect with space,” said Barreneche.
    NC Diseño director Estefania Neme also added locally created art pieces to each space.
    Julián Molina of Refugio Arquitectura created a minimal kitchen with a custom illusionary tiled floorArchitect Martín Mendoza outfitted an office in chocolate-coloured wooden cladding by Woodbox Colombia and steel bookshelves by Guarida, illuminating the space with lighting by Alta Estudio and La Nuit as an homage to his father’s studio.
    “When I observe a studio, my mind immediately goes to the memory of my father’s studio. That space, for me, embodies the authentic meaning of intimacy and privacy. It’s a completely personal refuge,” said the designer.
    Mendoza filled the space with furniture of leather, steel and wood. A metallic-legged daybed topped with a woven leather cushion by his studio MM & Co was centred, while a steel desk by designer Daniela Duarte sat in a corner.
    Artwork by Julian Burgoss and charred-wood figures in the shape of books as well as stools by designer Camilo Andres Rodriguez Márquez complete the space.
    Estefania Neme centred a teddy bear wrapped in the Ikea Stockholm rug for a nurseryArchitect Julián Molina of Refugio Arquitectura outfitted a kitchen for the project, which will be the one permanent space in NC Diseño.
    The designer centred a large wood-and-steel island and placed an illuminated yellow shelving unit by design studio Octubre just above it.
    Jotaele Arquitectura created an “infinite” dining room with original wood panelingThe floor was clad in a custom black-and-white tile pattern by artist Ramon Laserna, which creates an optical illusion.
    Medellín-based designer David Del Valle created a minimal living room informed by his warm, plant-filled city, taking advantage of the views from the three arched windows in the room.
    Camila Buitrago Estudio and Granada Gárces Aquitectos created a bedroom cast in greyTwo scooped metal armchairs, placed at the centre of the room face the terrace and an amoeba-shaped bronze table was placed in between them.
    The El Secreto table was designed exclusively for the exhibit to pay homage to a Colombian national park.
    Moblar created a therapist’s office with a daybed at its centre and steel bookshelves”This table represents Colombia’s best-kept anthropological and territorial treasure; Chibiriquete National Natural Park. From its natural form to all the meaning it holds, this table narrates the mystique of this natural gem,” said Del Valle.
    Upstairs, a room curated by Neme brought together a number of designers for a nursery.
    Cruz de la Pava played created a “man cave” with a light that dims when visitors sit in a central armchairA rug created by Cosí and NC Diseño and informed by tatami mats consists of off-white patches sewn together with a colourful crocheted web.
    A crib by artists Colectivo Mangle was made of wooden slats that fan out from connection points on either end with geometric, yellow chairs by Jimena Londoño y José David del Portillo placed beside it.
    Basalto Studio filled a room with interchangeable totems and concentric chandeliersA giant teddy bear wrapped and emerging from Ikea’s popular Stockholm rug by artist Ivan Castiblanco was placed on the wall.
    “When children are surrounded by a friendly, creative, imaginative and happy environment, their behaviour is undoubtedly different, and they learn to take care of their environment and value themselves,” said Neme.

    Design House in Mexico City showcases local designers in mid-century home

    Jotaele Arquitectura created an “infinite” dining room, which included original wood panelling and chairs by Jaime Gutiérrez Lega upholstered in wool, and Cruz de la Pava played on the idea of a “man cave” where lights dim when visitors sit in a central armchair.
    Finally, Moblar created a therapist’s office, including a daybed and steel bookcases with curved profiles by the studio.
    Pedro Bermudez created a courtyard with a green metal screen and clay pots informed by the layers of Colombian soilOther spaces throughout the exhibition include a bedroom cast in an all-grey hue, including the floors, by Camila Buitrago Estudio and Granada Gárces Aquitectos; a room filled with interchangeable totems and concentric chandeliers by Basalto Studio; and terraces by designers Pedro Bermudez, Terreno Paisajismo and Menguante.
    Similarly, designers in Mexico City outfitted a whole house with custom interiors and furniture for Design Week Mexico.
    Elsewhere in Bogotá, Lorenzo Botero and Martín Mendoza created a brick-lined restaurant and Alsar Atelier and Oscar Zamora created a translucent fog catcher.
    The photography is by Monica Barreneche
    Design House Colombia is on show from November to 14 March in Bogotá. For more events, exhibitions and talks in architecture and design visit the Dezeen Events Guide. 

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    Ten highlights from Design Doha exhibition Arab Design Now

    A disaster-proof chandelier from Lebanon and a towering sand dune-style stone installation feature in Arab Design Now, the main exhibition at the inaugural Design Doha biennial.

    Arab Design Now was curated by Rana Beiruti to capture the spirit of contemporary design across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), the curator told Dezeen ahead of the opening of the first Design Doha.
    Set within the Qatari capital’s M7 building, the design biennial draws together a range of collectible design and installations.
    Selected works from 74 participants paid homage to the MENA region’s “extremely harsh and unique geography” and investigated the “use of materials as a guiding principle,” explained Beiruti.
    Here are 10 of Dezeen’s highlights from Arab Design Now, which is on display in Doha until early August.

    Sites – New Sites by Studio Anne Holtrop
    Bahrain- and Amsterdam-based architect Anne Holtrop has designed a cluster of large-scale mobiles made from vast slabs of lumpy resin.
    Holtrop took casts of a series of manmade and natural sites that he found across Qatar to create the textured pieces, which hang from bearing mechanisms and can be manually rotated by visitors to produce continuously moving formations.

    Constellations 2.0: Object. Light. Consciousness by Abeer Seikaly
    Over 5,000 pieces of Murano glass were woven together by Jordanian-Palestinian designer Abeer Seikaly to create this chandelier, which combines Bedouin weaving practices from Jordan with traditional Venetian glassmaking techniques.
    Brass and stainless steel were also integrated into the lighting, made flexible by the glass mesh.
    Once illuminated, the sculptural piece creates dramatic light patterns that nod to a starry night sky seen from the Badia desert, according to Seikaly.

    House Between a Jujube Tree and a Palm Tree by Civil Architecture
    Kuwait and Bahrain-based office Civil Architecture has designed a looming fibreglass roof proposal for a majlis – the traditional term for an Arabic gathering space.
    “It’s a 1:1 model of a roof of an actual house that we designed in Bahrain,” studio co-founder Hamed Bukhamseen told Deezen.
    Supported by steel and suspended from tension cables, the majlis features openings designed to accommodate tall trees and was created to explore the “symbiotic but blurred” relationship between indoor and outdoor settings.
    Photo courtesy of Design DohaNubia, Hathor and Gros Guillaume Stool by Omar Chakil
    French-Egyptian-Lebanese designer Omar Chakil was informed by his father’s homeland of Egypt when he chose alabaster onyx to create this monolithic shelving, a bulbous coffee table and a stool that glides across the floor on wheels.
    Taking cues from ancient practices, Chakil carved the rounded furniture from raw blocks of the material, which was sanded down over time using water rather than covered in varnish – something that the designer said had became common in Egypt, especially when making “cheap” souvenirs.
    “The whole idea of the collection was to use Egyptian alabaster, which was a healing stone,” Chakil told Dezeen.
    “The pharaohs used [the material], then it transformed it over time. It lost its soul. So I tried to put it in the contemporary context by using the shapes that healing emotions would take – so they are round and soft, even though they are very heavy,” he added.
    “I see that people are afraid to, but I want them to touch the furniture.”

    Tiamat by AAU Anastas
    Palestinian architecture office AAU Anastas is presenting Tiamat, a dune-shaped installation that forms part of the studio’s ongoing project, Stone Matters, which explores the potential of combining historical stone building techniques with modern technologies to encourage the use of structural stone.
    Positioned for visitors to walk through, the installation is a towering structure made of stone sourced from Bethlehem and informed by the Gothic-style architecture found across Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
    According to AAU Anastas, the light, sound reverberations and climate control within Tiamat’s internal space is unique to stone construction.

    Clay in Context by Sama El Saket
    Jordan-born architect and ceramicist Sama El Saket took cues from her native landscape when creating this “taxonomy of Jordanian clays”.
    The result is a set of spindle bottle-style vessels, each made of a different natural clay found across Jordan. This gives the pieces their distinctive colours, textures and character.
    “These are all natural clays with no pigments added,” El Saket told Dezeen. “The colours are attributed to the different minerals that are found within the region. Some are sandier, some are rockier.”
    The designer noted that while Jordan features an abundance of clay deposits and a rich history of ceramic production, today most Jordanian clay is imported.
    Photo by Sabine SaadehLight Impact by Fabraca Studios
    Lebanese industrial design brand Fabraca Studios has created Light Impact, a solid aluminium lighting fixture that was designed as an alternative chandelier, resembling durable ropes.
    The piece was made to replace a glass chandelier that shattered in the aftermath of the 2020 Beiruit explosion, which destroyed a large part of Lebanon’s capital city.
    Light Impact is defined by “flexible characteristics designed to withstand another disaster,” studio founder Samer Saadeh told Dezeen. He added that the piece, which includes internal brass components, was designed as an ode to Beirut’s adaptability and resilience.

    Eleven by Sahel Alhiyari
    Eleven is a cluster of tall fluted terracotta columns by Jordanian architect Sahel Alhiyari that were made through moulding and forming rather than traditional cutting and carving.
    The architect handcrafted the segments, which are vertically stacked, using a similar technique to pottery-making,
    “As you twist and turn the material, it creates all of this stuff,” Alhiyari told Dezeen. The designer explained that the columns were deliberately created to celebrate imperfections, despite referencing classical architecture.

    Sediments by Talin Hazbar
    UAE-based Syrian designer Talin Hazbar is featuring her Sediments project, which previously gained recognition at Dubai Design Week.
    The work consists of blocky seating made from fishing ropes and fishing cage ropes extracted from the Persian Gulf with the assistance of the Dubai Voluntary Diving Team.
    Also made up of recycled rubber grains, the heavily textured seating was created to serve as a reminder of how we might attempt to clean up damaged coastlines, according to Hazbar.

    Whispers from the Deep by T Sakhi
    Lebanese-Polish sisters Tessa and Tara El Sakhi of the studio T Sakhi combined discarded metal salvaged from factories in Veneto, Italy, with Murano glass to create amorphous glassware that takes cues from underwater sea creatures.
    These pieces were arranged atop dramatic shelving inside the elevator connecting the first and second floors of the Arab Design Now exhibition.
    The result is a playful installation that draws together the Venetian lagoon and Lebanese glassblowing traditions.
    The photography is by Edmund Sumner unless stated otherwise.
    Arab Design Now takes place at Design Doha from 24 to 5 August 2024 in Doha, Qatar. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

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    Folkform installs The Museum of Masonite at Stockholm Furniture Fair

    Swedish design duo Folkform has presented a series of furniture pieces made using Masonite hardboard sourced from a factory that closed down over a decade ago.

    On show at Stockholm Furniture Fair, The Museum of Masonite centres around a patented type of engineered wood board that is made by steam-cooking and pressure-moulding wood fibres.
    Folkform founders Anna Holmquist and Chandra Ahlsell first started experimenting with this material 15 years ago, in collaboration with Sweden’s last remaining Masonite producer in Rundvik.
    The Museum of Masonite features furniture made from a patented type of wood boardWhen the factory closed in 2011, the pair took all the remaining stock.
    “I felt a responsibility to tell the story of what happened to this material,” explained Holmquist, who has since completed a PHD exploring the cultural significance of Masonite.

    “It created the Swedish welfare state in the 1930s, 40s and 50s,” she told Dezeen.
    “It was made from leftover wood from the Swedish sawmills so it became bigger here than anywhere else. Everyone was using it, for everything from boats and caravans to houses.”
    Works on show include the Masonite Chair, a collaboration with Åke AxelssonThe Museum of Masonite follows the release of the Production Novellas, a book published by Folkform detailing the results of Holmquist’s PHD research.
    Folkform is showcasing this book alongside some of their favourite Masonite designs created over the years.

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    Works on display include the Masonite Chair, a 2021 collaboration with Åke Axelsson based on an experimental design the Swedish interior architect produced in 1978.
    Older pieces include a chest of drawers and a bedside cabinet, both created in 2012, which feature different material samples arranged in geometric collages.
    “We combined materials with different ages, with this idea that the furniture becomes an archive,” said Holmquist.
    The exhibition follows the release of the book Production NovellasThe most recent designs in the show explore a more minimalist approach, suggesting how the material can create the suggestion of solid blocks.
    “I feel like the compositions will be never-ending because we still have more of this board,” added Holmquist.
    The works are presented alongside photographs, illustrations and artefacts that tell the story of the factory.
    The exhibition includes photos from the factory. Image by Amy FrearsonLater in the year, the exhibition will move to the Laurel Museum of Art in Mississippi, the city where Masonite was patented in 1924 by William H Mason.
    Masonite is distinct from other engineered wood fibre boards, such as MDF, because it is made without glue. Holmquist believes the material could have a future in manufacturing.
    Masonite is made from pressure-moulded wood fibres. Image by Amy Frearson”It’s a beautiful material and it’s very sustainable,” she concluded.
    “We are already seeing a shift in food, where people increasingly care where the things they eat come from, so maybe it will also happen for furniture and objects.”
    At Stockholm Furniture Fair this year, visitors could also enjoy the Wekino With exhibition by South Korean furniture designers and British designer Faye Toogood’s collaboration with Finnish company Vaarnii.
    The photography is by Erik Lefvander unless otherwise stated.
    The Museum of Masonite is on show at Stockholm Furniture Fair, which is open to the public from 7 to 11 February 2024. See Dezeen Events Guide for more Stockholm Dezeen Week exhibitions in our dedicated event guide.

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