The latest trends and product launches from Milan Design Week

Crafted by culture

Designers, including several from the Middle East, present a range of products inspired by craftsmanship and their cultural heritage.

Hawa Beirut by Richard Yasmine

Lebanese interior architect and furniture designer Richard Yasmine showcased two collections during Milan Design Week, both stemming from a message to spread love and bring awareness about heritage and the natural environment.

One of the the two collections is Hawa Beirut (right) — an Arabic word meaning “a light summer breeze” or a deep love or passion for something. Described by the designer as a “light or airy furniture [collection]”, its forms are inspired by Lebanese architecture, such as arches that are prevalent across the entire Middle East.

Funquetry by Nada Debs

Funquetry (below, right) explores a playful and contemporary interpretation of the traditional technique of marquetry. Strips of different coloured wood are inlaid to produce what’s known as a “mother”. In some pieces, these are then sliced and shifted to create a break in the geometric pattern. In others, they are applied to what Debs calls pleated wood: a triangulated cut into the solid wood.

The collection consists of a cabinet, a console and occasional tables with marble surfaces, a desk and swivel stool finished in green leather, a bench, a shelving system and bedside tables.

It also includes desk accessories and smaller items with the same playful application too. All are handmade in Beirut using either American Walnut or bleached American Walnut as a base.

Postcraft Collection by BD Barcelona

Spanish design brand BD Barcelona celebrated creativity in the Arab world through a selection of works entitled the PostCraft Collection (below, left), bringing together designers from five different countries across the GCC, including the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

Curated by Samer Yamani, a Syrian-Spanish designer based in Barcelona, PostCraft featured furniture pieces, design objects as well as installations.

“PostCraft is an attempt to draw the creative scene of the Gulf’s post-oil era, the major economic shift in the region that will definitely affect all cultural and creative aspects,” Yamani explained.

Featured designers include Sheikha Hind Bint Majid Al Qassimi from the UAE, Maysam Al Nasser from Bahrain, Loulwa Al-Radwan from Kuwait, Gazzaz Brothers from Saudi Arabia and Aisha Al Sowaidi.

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