Dubai Design Week: Pakistan Pavilion creates traditional courtyard using local rosewood and henna dye


Abwab, which means doors in Arabic, was one of the most successful Dubai Design Week initiatives. A series of six architectural pavilions showcased the work of the most exciting designers, studios and curators from six different countries in the region including UAE, Kuwait, Pakistan, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and Tunisia.

READ MORE: In conversation with Hamad Al Khoory, Loci Architecture + Design on ‘Abwab’ pavilions

Curator Salman Jawed, co-founder of Coalesce Design Studio in Karachi, shares his design team’s poetic narrative behind Abwab’s Pakistan pavilion named ‘Daalaan’.

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A curator from each participating country worked individually or collectively to design content under one unifying theme – Games: The Element of Play in Culture

Jawed said: “When we started researching, we discovered that all of our games are really simple. They don’t depend on objects and things but on people. In our typical courtyard, games are played by the number of people that are present, so no one is left out. We wanted to show the simplicity of our culture. We tried to create a typical Daalaan where you can see all these games in action. The idea of our games is just to have fun. At the end of the day, the winners and the losers go home happy.”

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Jawed and Cyril Zammit, Art Dubai Group’s Director of Design

The Pakistan Pavilion acted as a portal and visitors were invited to enter the reinterpreted courtyard; a place where every Pakistani child and adult interacts with each other. Daalaan is a space where all doors open, capturing glimpses and moments of games in action. Through Daalaan, viewers had a chance to feel the energy that Pakistan’s simple games contain.

READ MORE: Jordanian Pavilion uses stone swings to evoke imagination and play

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Curator Salman Jawed in front of Pakistan Pavilion, designed by the UAE-based firm, Loci Architecture + Design

Jawed explained that they wanted to use simple crafting techniques and materials that are common in the country, such as local rosewood and natural henna dye.

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Designers have created the entire space using silk and silk screens, symbolic of the fluid and flowing nature of our games

“Incorporating a single dying craft into our installation, with every intention of turning it into a graphic and modern final piece, we relied on the process of printing with natural dyes to tell tales of the earthy nostalgia of our Daalaan.

“We have created the entire space using silk and silk screens, symbolic of the fluid and flowing nature of our games. To tie up the whole experience, we intend to use sound, in an unusual way, not as a composition or a song, but as alienated sounds combined in a sound map. From the loud whirring of our rickshaws to the chirp of the cuckoo, we want our viewers to subconsciously listen to the sounds of Pakistan.”

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