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Ahec unveils big Dubai Design Week plans

DUBAI, September 19, 2016

American hardwoods are set to feature widely at the second edition of ‘Dubai Design Week’, the Middle East’s biggest celebration of design, which will run from October 24 to 29 across the city.

Following success at the inaugural design event last year, the American Hardwood Export Council (Ahec) has announced its plans to participate at both Downtown Design 2016 and Design Ras Al Khor (Drak) - two key events taking place during Dubai Design Week (DDW).

This year’s event will cement Dubai’s status as the design capital of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) and South Asia region with more than 100 events taking place in Dubai Design District (d3) and all across the city over six days, said the organisers.

Aiming to highlight the beauty, versatility and environmental credentials of American hardwoods, Ahec is collaborating with T.ZED Architects on an installation at the event by repurposing thermally-modified American ash that was previously used to clad its stand at exhibitions in Turkey.

Tarik Al Zaharna, the founder and director of T.ZED Architects, said the main challenge was to utilise a specific quantity of thermally-modified timber in order to produce a long-lasting installation at Downtown Design 2016 and beyond.

The installation will not only serve the purpose of being shown at the fair but also aspires to have a prolonged presence in the public realm around Dubai and the UAE, long after the event has ended, he stated.

Launched in 2015, the Drak initiative aims to draw attention to the potential of the Ras Al Khor Industrial Area - one of the oldest in the city - to become a creative district and hub in Dubai.

As part of this year's Drak, Ahec will be bringing the acclaimed New Zealand designer David Trubridge to Dubai, along with 'Aleni' - a recliner bench he made from thermally-modified American ash for Ahec's Seed to Seat project earlier this year.

Trubridge will also be heavily involved in the talks programme of both Drak and Dubai Design Week, giving him a chance to talk about his work in American hardwoods and his experience of working with product life-cycle environmental profiling.

"Drak is a collective design initiative established by myself and three creative designers and friends," remarked Khalid Shafar, the co-founder of Drak.  

"This progressive design movement aims to draw attention to the potential of Ras Al Khor Industrial Area and encourages design research, innovation and material exploration," he stated.

"We are very grateful to have Ahec on board with us as one of Drak16’s official partners. Along with their support and partnership, the week-long exhibition at Dubai Design Week will explore the topic, ‘Celebrating Wood’ and present four main design projects by upcoming international and locally-based designers," he added.

Rod Wiles, the director of Ahec for Middle East and Africa, South Asia and Oceania, said: "Our presence at DDW marks our strong commitment towards the promotion and marketing of American hardwoods as a truly beautiful and sustainable material in the region."

"The collaboration with T.ZED Architects, Downtown Design and Drak will help throw the spotlight on thermally-modified American hardwoods, which are relatively unknown amongst the specifier community in the region," he added.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: American Hardwoods | Dubai Design Week |

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