The heart of any Arabic home, the majlis is traditionally the place where families meet and socialise with friends. The younger generation, however, is looking for an environment that celebrates Arabic culture, but puts it hand in hand with cutting edge design. INDEX, sponsored by Al Nakheel, is the leading trade interior design show in the Middle East and is holding a competition to design a contemporary majlis.
Interior design companies based in the UAE including Hirsch Bedner Associates, etcetera living, Zain Mustafa and House of Zunn have been set the challenge of designing their vision of a contemporary majlis, using mainly furnishing and accessories available from exhibitors at INDEX. The final designs will be featured and judged at INDEX, which is due to take place at the Dubai World Trade Centre from 14-17 November 2009.
Speaking about the competition, INDEX Show Director Lu Buchanan said, “Interior design in Dubai is unique, in that it combines traditional Arabic designs with the avant-guard. The younger Arabic population are extremely trend-conscious, and we thought it would be interesting to take a look at what a contemporary majlis might look like. There is already quite a buzz surrounding the competition and I can’t wait to see the results at the show!”
Fernando V. Arteaga, Associate Director, Hirsch Bedner Associates said, “The Majlis is a place where one goes to gather thoughts and refresh the mind. We will be radically re-examining this traditional environment with the use of new materials and organic and geometric shapes to bring it into the future.”
Marie-Inez Botha from etcetera living said, “The younger generation still want a majlis to entertain and impress their friends, but they are looking for more contemporary décor. We aim to produce a majlis that does not follow the accepted rules. We will move away from the traditional royal blue, burgundy and golden colour schemes, and focus on white with touches of charcoal and black. We will also be using new materials such as leather, buffalo horn and perspex.”
Zain Mustafa said, “We want our contemporary majlis to be forward thinking in terms of look and feel, but also heavily entrenched in tradition, history and culture with a clear understanding of Nomadic and Islamic lifestyle motifs. We are looking at a “living majlis’ as a holistic design experience – ranging from the architecture and interiors through to branding and even food specially designed for this contemporary majlis project.’’
Seema Sherazee designer and partner house of zunn llc added, “We are well known for our eclectic designs and our contemporary majlis, whilst keeping the traditional and formal aspects of the majlis, will add a less formal twist to the room. We will be using hardwood and exposed polished surfaces on the upholstery, in addition to antique pillars and painting ledges, copper, leather and glass.”
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