From immersive installations to inventive booths, the sixth edition of the fair was a lesson in innovative design and smart taste-making
Andreea Braescu: The Romanian designer dreamt up a verdant garden with bespoke lighting pieces that muse on nature and its irregularities. The installations are created in phosphatic porcelain, the highest-quality ceramic that’s at once delicate and durable, featuring strong yet fluid lines and organic forms. When alit, the petals and leaves of these handcrafted pieces emit a warm translucence, making them akin to works of art.
LJ Edition by Marc Ange: Step inside the whimsical world of Franco-Italian designer and artist Marc Ange, whose ‘Le Refuge’ installation was presented by Parisian creative house LJ Edition at the fair’s waterfront terrace. Blossoming with large metal-plated leaves and palms and a green marble base, the piece pulled crowds for its evocation of an imaginary jungle amidst the desert. Akin to an idyllic dream bed, the piece is one that would enliven the fantasist in you.
Italian Luxury Interiors: From luxe kitchen displays by Officine Gullo to sculptural handblown glass pieces by Zanetti Murano, this year’s Italian pavilion featured a mélange of 21 brands that summoned up meticulous Italian craftsmanship. Among the headlining acts was the stand by lava stone supplier Ranieri Pietra Lavica, featuring countertops and surfaces for home décor marrying traditional Italian design and natural stone. Viva l’Italia, we say!
Iwan Maktabi: Part of the inaugural section Downtown Editions that comprised bespoke and limited-edition collections, the Lebanese carpet retailer rolled out creations by Jan Kath and CC-Tapis at the fair. On view were exquisite pieces including the ‘Triple Slinkie’ by Patricia Urquiola for CC-Tapis and the intricate custom world map carpet by Jan Kath, as pictured here. A highlight was the collaboration with Lebanese designer and our Winter cover star, Nadine Kanso, to produce eight handmade limited-edition pieces in silk and wool, exquisitely handmade in Nepal by Jan Kath.
Tashkeel: The art and design initiative from Dubai housed striking limited-edition pieces from its Tanween collection at Downtown Editions. Crafted by UAE-based designers Alya Al Eghfeli, Hala Al Ani, Renad Hussein and Myrtille Ronteix, who were a part of the 2017-18 Tanween design programme, the limited-edition series of 10 furniture and lighting pieces recalled the Emirates’ cultural and aesthetic vocabulary. Among the highlights? Myrtille’s ‘Insight Out’ ceiling light (pictured here) was a modern interpretation of Dubai’s traditional Bedouin heritage and illustrated the Emirati craft of khoos (handweaving palm leaves).
Preciosa: The Czech light manufacturer’s ‘Breath of Light’ installation was a centrepiece at the fair. The playful and interactive piece features real-time sound effects and a series of opal crystal bubbles with special sensors that create an intriguing path of light as you breathe into them. A design and technology marvel, it evokes a multisensorial experience and draws inspiration from the age-old practice of blowing out candles in a candelabra, reversing the idea to create light by breathing into the piece. Truly breath-taking!