Nadine Kanso joins forces with Fadi Sarieddine on a limited edition collaborative design project to mark the third edition of Dubai Design Week.
Jewellery design and architecture come together in a furniture collection titled ‘Khawatir’ which sees Kanso apply her calligraphy skills to minimal modern creations by Sarieddine. The range consists of a stand-alone mirror, titled, ‘Ana’, a multi-purpose stool titled, ‘Hobb’ (Love) and a hand-held mirror titled Ana 02. The materials used for this project include wood, brass, mirror and neon paint.
A&E chats to the creative duo about the project and what the design scene in the region.
How did this collaboration come about?
Nadine Kanso: A few months back, Fadi and his lovely wife Lilas approached me as they’ve always know my love for calligraphy and it was something they’ve always wanted to tap in through their designs. We ended up having several brainstorming sessions and came up with three products. I have always wanted to work with mirrors, as I believe the term ‘reflections’ has been coined from this very product – which is what KHAWATIR is all about.
Fadi Sarieddine: The idea was triggered at Nadine’s 10-year anniversary exhibit when we saw her oversized folded calligraphy and thought that there’s a great potential in merging both aspects of our design approaches.
Is there anything about this collaboration that surprised you?
NS: I always found it super important to push one self in trying new pieces of work that is not always in your area of expertise as I’ve never done product design before. Right from the very stage of production to having our ideologies and thoughts combined and seeing the final result was extremely amazing.
FS: The plan was to collaborate without preventing the clash or necessarily achieving harmony. The surprise is that you can see both clash and harmony in the pieces
What was the key message you wanted to get across?
NS: Look inside yourself, in solitude and in company. The mirror is the obvious reference, but it is in the contemplation of one’s identity, thought and action, and reflection on a collective conversation or ideology that we can bring about positive change in this world. Khawatir is truly exclusive collection that resonates closely with my signature design ethos. It was a wonderful journey of discovery for me personally as an artist.
FS: Consistent with our design approach, we love to tell a story through our pieces; the collection is about reflections on oneself, looking at a mirror is an egoistic act and we are not shying away from by including ‘Ana’ (me) as an integral part of the mirrors. When it comes to the tables, one starts dealing with the other, interacting with the other around them; the tables are carved with Nadine’s abstract calligraphy that says ‘Hob’ (love).
What do you admire most about each other’s work?
NS: What I admire is not only the beauty of the design pieces Fadi has created in the past but also how practical and functional they are. Usually when one collaborates, it is always essential to find someone that not only compliments your thoughts and ideologies but also shares the same brand values and beliefs. It was an easy process with Fadi and I knew our product towards the end would be super beautiful.
FS: I love Nadine’s work; she managed to give calligraphy a special three-dimensional aspect while adapting perfectly to the human body.
Are there other designers you look forward to seeing at Dubai Design Week?
NS: I am happy to see everyone collaborating and working on several pieces. AR Gallery is one of the best examples where several designers such as Anna Szonyi, Apical Reform, Cecilia Setterdahl, Hamza Omari, Hybridart came together for a special cause and curated a wonderful collection exploring the diversity of our planet and environment and starting a dialogue of change. This creatively pushes us into a new field, a new vision and new thought.
FS: Looking forward to see Global Grad Show, this is where real experimentation is found.
See their work at Dubai Design Week after which it will move to The Lighthouse Concept Store and Restaurant.