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Focus on sustainability at fifth Saudi Design Week in Riyadh

The fifth Saudi Design Week was launched at the King Abdul Aziz Center for National Dialogue on Oct. 3 and runs until Oct. 7.

The theme of sustainability in design is taken up through a series of lectures, workshops and exhibitions. Designers have been invited to research how to produce their work in an environmentally friendly way.

Local and international intellectuals were invited to join the conversation about sustainable design models. More than 40 participants are exhibiting and holding discussions about sustainability in design in a forum that promises to foster dialogue and a creative exchange of views and experiences.

Designers who are exhibiting their work include Innovate, Funoon Alturath, Aj Jewelry, Khashaba and Mode.

Desert Designs: When old becomes new

Raneen Bukhari, the manager of Desert Designs, told Arab News about the family business: “It’s focused on giving value to heritage from the region so that we make sure nothing gets thrown away.”

Desert Designs collects items that people no longer use and works with the client to reinvent the piece in a way that is meaningful so that they will want to keep the piece as art in their homes.

Bukhari added: “Our whole collection this year is basically about how we can work with old pieces that you own in your house and create them into beautiful new pieces of art. An artwork that you can see and admire every day.”

Her parents founded Desert Designs Art Gallery in Alkhobar. At the gallery there is a display of work by regional designers, an art gallery, an interior design department and a coffee shop.

Geometry+Urban Affairs: Jewelry from industrial wastelands

Geometry + Urban Affairs took up this year’s theme of sustainability, making jewelry out of objects collected from industrial waste lands.

Thahab Osaimi, who owns the brand with Musab Abu Alhaija, said: “Our jewelry, especially our rings, are designed on geometric principles, through drawing geometrical shapes. We then create the shapes that we want to use in our work.

“I like jewelry and wear a lot of rings. I thought I could create something that is based on principles that I really know much about. People usually say science and art are not the same, however, I believe that they are quite similar, where one completes the other,” she said.

Sibyl Design Studio: Multiple personalities blend in design studio

Rahaf Al-Muzaini and her partner Meaad Hanafi are the founders of Sibyl Design Studio. Their booth showcases furniture fashioned from recycled material.

When asked about the name of the studio, Rahaf said: “We named our company after a movie character who was strong, has multiple personalities and knows how to do everything in totally deferent ways. (The 2007 film “Sybil,” starring US actress Jessica Lange, tells the story of a woman diagnosed with multiple personality disorder.) So that character represents us as designers since each one of us has her own unique style and is good at something; therefore, we complement each other.”

The King Abdul Aziz Center for World Culture (Ithra) is the strategic partner of Saudi Design Week 2018.

The event also collaborated with the British Council, the Embassy of France and the Hungarian Embassy to produce a program to highlight the importance of good design.

Amir Ramzan, British Council country director, Saudi Arabia, said: “We’re delighted to partner with Saudi Design Week 2018 and to enable young Saudi designers to gain access to the UK’s design and creativity through a series of workshops and talks facilitated by a group of inspiring designers from the UK’s Encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA). For us, the arts represent a cornerstone of our mission to build greater trust and understanding between people in the UK and countries around the world.

“As such, we’re always looking for opportunities to find new ways of connecting with and understanding each other through the arts.”

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