INDEX’s new survey reveals the region’s favourite iconic furniture, buildings and interior designers

Published October 21st, 2009 - 10:12 GMT

The LC4 Lounge Chair by Le Corbusier has been voted as the favourite all-time piece of designer furniture, the Burj Al Arab as the most iconic hotel and landmark, and Zaha Hadid as the most influential interior designer/architect in the Middle East.  These were the findings of a survey conducted by INDEX, the leading trade interior design show in the Middle East, which is due to take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 14-17 November

The survey, which was distributed to over 3,000 people in the interiors business across the GCC region, placed the avant-garde LC4 Lounge Chair top in a list of most iconic designer furniture, with almost 30% of the vote, followed by Salvador Dali’s Mae West Sofa Lips (18%) and Aamio Eero’s Ball Chair coming a close third (17%).  In fourth place was George Nelson’s Marshmallow sofa, which is widely recognised as a brilliant idea ahead of its time both aesthetically and technically, and Le Corbusier’s LC2 sofa in fifth place.

Despite being the tallest building in the world, the Burj Dubai ranked second in the list of most iconic buildings, with 29% of the vote, coming behind the Burj Al Arab, which scooped 34% of the vote.   The Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi ranked third (22%), the Bahrain World Trade Centre fourth (6%), Qatar’s Museum of Islamic Art fifth (4%), The Kingdom Centre in Saudi Arabia sixth (3%) and Kuwait Towers last (just under 3%).

The Burj Al Arab also topped the list of leading hotels in terms of interior design in the region, with one in two people voting for the hotel’s lavish Arabic interior.  Dubai’s The Address hotel also proved a popular choice taking 28% of the vote, followed by the W Hotel in Qatar (8%).   The Banyan Tree in Bahrain was fourth (4%), Emirates Palace fifth (1%) and finally Saudi’s first skyscraper, the Al Faisaliah Complex (just less than1%). 

Respondents also voted on the most influential interior designer or architect in the region.  Iraqi born Zaha Hadid outstripped her peers by far, gaining over a third of the votes (35%), acknowledging her massive contribution to the industry.  Jean Nouvel, designer of The Louvre Abu Dhabi ranked joint second along with Frank Gehry, designer of The Abu Dhabi Guggenheim Museum (17% each).  Karim Rashid came fourth (15%), with Tadao Ando fifth (15%), followed by I. M. Pei (5.2%) and Nigel Coates (4.8%).

The survey forms part of INDEX’s goal to focus on design and raise awareness of the importance of the industry within the Middle East region, and has been carried out in advance of this year’s show.

Lu Buchanan, INDEX Event Director said, “Our main aim in conducting the survey was to highlight the inspirational design we have here the Middle East and to celebrate local talent.  At INDEX our focus is firmly on design, with a longer term goal of expanding INDEX so that it becomes part of a brand new Dubai Festival of Interior Design, which will promote design as a vital part of Dubai’s economy.”


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