How design can improve lives – Middle East Covering debate

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Ways in which design can influence people and make their lives and experiences better were examined at a panel discussion which formed part of the Middle East Covering event, held as part of Index at Dubai World Trade Centre.

Middle East Architect editor Nick Ames acted as moderator during a lively debate which featured Phil Pond, trend setter and analyst at Scarlet Opus. Milou Ket, principal designer and stylist at her own company and Anne Roselt, colour manager at Kansai Paint.

Roselt started the session by giving a presentation on the colouring trends for the year before the audience became involved in the event.


The panel all agreed that design can play a huge part in making people’s lives better.

“It’s a scary world out there,” said Roselt. “When you switch on your television most of what you see is really bad. People want to create their own spaces – places where they feel secure and colours can help do that.”

Ket said that shades of colour can make a cocoon for people – giving them a feeling of safety and security. Roselt then spoke about her own personal experience in designing for her daughter.

“She was 13 years old with all the issues that brings. She had low self-esteem and was not feeling good about anything,” she said. “But she wanted her room painted pink and so that is what we did. Pink is an affirmative colour and she had a change of character – all for the better.”

Large scale events can also be a way of introducing a nation’s designs to the world said Roselt who felt that South Africa had benefited from hosting the World Cup in 2010.

Pond said he could see how Brazilian designs were becoming more to the fore following its hosting of last year’s football global showpiece as well as the upcoming Olympics

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