Salman Jawed on promoting Pakistani design

Marina Mrdjen-Petrovic talks to Salman Jawed, Co-Founder of Karachi-based Colasce Studio about the importance of collaboration and how to elevate his country’s creative industry to an international level.

Understanding that today’s design challenges often require a blend of expertise and experience, Coalesce brings five young professionals to the table, including designers, architects, artists and craftsmen. Building upon Pakistan’s rich culture and local craftsmanship, Coalesce Design Studio was established in 2008 in Karachi and showcases work across the country and internationally.


We caught up with the studio’s founder Salman Jawed at this year’s Design Days Dubai, where Coalesce showcased its collaborative work under the theme of ‘Hiraeth’, which he describes as a yearning for the past that never should be forgotten. The work of the designers were all a variation on lattoo, a traditional wooden spinning top, which is a familiar childhood object in Pakistan.

Jawed explains: “We worked on each piece together since each designer has different memories and associations with the lattoo. We explored different forms, textures, colours and materials and brought them together. Using metals and reflective surfaces as part of the concept, some of the objects reflect the other lattoos around them with the forms overlapping. Most important is the arrangement and how the users interact with each form.”


This is the second year that Jawed and his team have exhibited at the fair and Dubai audiences also saw their collaborative work during the city’s Design Week last October. At that time, Jawed was the curator of the Pakistani pavilion. Naming it Daalaan, Jawad created a reinterpreted courtyard, a place where children and adults interact, capturing glimpses and moments of games in action. Through Daalaan, viewers had a chance to feel the energy that Pakistan’s games contain.


Jawed’s portfolio is diverse, ranging from residential to commercial, including retail design, interior design and architectural projects.

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