The humble arch is quite the traveller. From the monuments of ancient Rome, to the blue and white alternating voussoirs migrating from ancient Iraq to medieval Spain, symmetrically curved openings can be found as early as 4,000 BC and remain a staple in our global architectural lexicon.
One of its earliest known appearances, as furniture design studio The Line Concept founders, Dana Al Matrook and Newsha Dastaviz point out, is in the MENA region, prompting the duo to use the arch and its rich history as a meaningful basis of the brand’s latest collection, to speak to both global culture and locality.
“It’s a true symbol of unity across global communities and civilisations,” say the founders, as they demystify the latest launch of the Arc Collection.
“In addition to its history, the structural complexities and the beauty of the curves in an arch has been a rich source of inspiration.”
Through being multiplied, merged and sectioned, the reimagined arch has now migrated to contemporary furniture and contained in a solid form, where the designers have balanced a play on geometry and illusion with the studio’s signature simplicity.
The Line Concept’s designers are all in-house, but perhaps even more significantly, each piece is handcrafted by an in-house team of artisans, too. “We are hugely proud that all our pieces are designed and fully produced in our own studio and workshop here in the UAE,” they say.
“One of the things people are most shocked about when they see our pieces presented in a space, is that you can have this level of craftsmanship here in our home, the UAE.”
Passionate about the development of the design community in the UAE, The Line Concept strives to deepen local understandings of the influential role that design plays in our daily life.
But the studio also strives to further global understandings of the UAE’s capabilities to produce high quality and thoughtful artisanal products, which answer to contemporary needs and diverse communities.
Having already garnered international interest, Newsha and Dana hope that “the UAE will be seen as not just an importer of design but also an innovator, producer and contributor to the global design scene,” and to contribute to a sustainable growth of the creative sectors which can rely on local production.
The studio’s design philosophy is progressive and detail-oriented, yet deliberately open-ended, in order to keep the individuality and personal expression of each customer in mind.
“As designers,” they say, “we are facilitators. None of these designs are conclusive.” Drawing from the emotional experience of space, The Line Concept emphasises pure materials, and consistently uses solid woods, genuine marble and antiqued metals.
“We also focus on using colours that have the ability to conform with different spaces,” Newsha and Dana add. In the Arc Collection, The Line Concept proves that one can be earthy and neutral, while still be vivid and impactful.
A colour palette of terracotta, moss, charcoal and deep blues encourages moods, emotions and conversations.
When asked about their favourite piece, the designer duo singles out the Refract Mirror. “Mirrors occupy the most coveted spaces in a room in full display on a wall.
Yet, the design of mirrors rarely gets challenged - the Refract Mirror is synonymous with our ethos on design and uses mixed materials, challenging traditional design norms, while keeping the furniture piece functional and beautiful.”
And the reason for the studio’s namesake? “A single line in a piece of furniture can define the mood and aura of an entire space - whether it is the detail of an edge or the thickness of a line of steel,” the duo answer, as the Arc Collection lets the curve and the line converge. thelineconcept.com
Photos by Natelee Cocks, courtesy of The Line Concept
From the Summer 2020 issue of Harper's BAZAAR Interiors