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Form + Function

Designer Khalid Shafar collaborated with Arte Veneziana on his latest interior collection, FORMA, which was launched during Dubai Design Week.

Joanne Molina

His name is synonymous with design in the UAE: Khalid Shafar. He’s recognised around the world for his award-winning product designs, his work as a co-founder of the community-led DRAK, as well as his expertly organised and curated exhibitions of young Emirati talent at top international design fairs such as Salone del Mobile and the London Design Fair – which all reveal how his level of design consciousness is as expansive as his work.

His latest collection follows this compelling trajectory; FORMA is a collaboration with the internationally renowned Italian artisans at Arte Veneziana and showcases 14 pieces, including monumental mirrors, screens, chandeliers, floor lamps, table lamps and wall lamps. And the pieces have been custom engraved by the leading Italian engraver and mirror works atelier of over 40 years.

“The idea sparked back in 2011 when I was asked during a design conference to design a piece/project that highlighted the concept of ‘Link’ and how I as a designer would interpret this within my work,” he says. “Emirati culture and traditions have always played a big role in shaping my design aesthetic, and the Agaal – the woven rope bands used to secure head covers worn by Emirati men – represented the perfect representation of a ‘link’, because in essence, the Agaal is a circular shape that is created by two ends of a straight line being linked together. I used the Agaal as a pure building material and linked many Agaals together to create my first product: a space divider that I presented as my project for the conference.”

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January 2019

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