Festive Christmas wishes from Zaman!
To You & Yours,
Team Zaman Branding
To You & Yours,
Team Zaman Branding
Today we’re feeling quite inspired by these recycled furniture pieces designed by Katie Thompson – a South African interior designer on a mission to transform the ordinary to extraordinary. Her ability to find beauty and purpose from discarded, impractical and broken pieces to create a unique collection of recycled furniture pieces, each with its own character, is simply genius.
Her collection ranges from furniture and lighting to interior accessories. You can find out more about the creative process behind her collection, her eclectic use of style, materials and finishes and how she blends these with elements of South African craftsmanship on her blog here.
We can’t help thinking that perhaps Dubai could do with a little inspiration from this. Where the merits of all things new and shiny are everything what’s stopping us from celebrating the old & pre-loved? What’s stopping us from reflecting some of our emirate’s history and culture through creative furniture pieces? Perhaps it’s a simple case of minimal demand for recycled furniture means minimal supply. If this is the case we predict that this sentiment will change soon. As the weather has become much more pleasant, many flea markets have re-opened again for the season and for those of our blog readers who like us are firm fans of this recycled furniture concept an open mind and a quick trip to some of the souks and markets around Dubai could see one pick up some interesting interior accessories or furniture pieces that symbolize Dubai’s past years.
But for a city where even garbage recycling is not yet an everyday habit, asking to recycle old items into new recreated pieces might be a challenge. Fingers crossed though that this is a trend that will gain momentum as we do hope to see more galleries and specialist boutiques crop up to cater to fans in the near future. In the interim we’ll keep drawing inspiration from more of Katie Thompson’s pieces (see images below & here) as we also look out for DIY ideas on recycling old furniture pieces on sites like Etsy.com and Apartment Therapy.com and Chair Blog (to name a few!)
Katie Thompson – Suitcase chair
The cooler autumn months that we all eagerly look forward to every year are well and truly here and as usual have brought along a packed calendar of all kinds of social activities for UAE residents. From open air cinemas, music festivals and outdoor flea markets to photography contests and themed culture walks around Dubai’s very own Al Quoz industrial area (see this interesting initiative by the MENAlabs team)…all we can say is its a great time to be a creative creature – endless sources of inspiration!
The Dubai 48hr Film Project is one such gem. This coming weekend (Nov 10th-12th) sees the arrival of the world’s oldest (started in 2001) and largest (participation of over 100+ countries) timed filmmaking competition to the shores of Dubai for the first time.
Open to all residents of Dubai, both amateur and professional levels, filmmakers will be challenged to collaborate and create a short film in 48hrs. Successfully registered participants then have exactly 48 hours to script, film and edit their 4- to 7-minute film.
To participate there are a few standard rules & regulations in place such as members of teams must be volunteers, entries must be the original work & not infringe third-party’s rights… etc, but most interestingly is the mandatory inclusion of i) a character, ii) a prop and iii) line of dialogue and a randomly selected genre assigned to each team by the project organizers. The latter is sure to result in an interesting final mix of short films.
All submitted entries will be publicly screened at Shelter Dubai on Nov 17th. The films will then be reviewed by a panel of judges and the Best Films will screen again on Nov 24th and be UAE hopefuls for top honours at ‘Filmapalooza’, the 48 Hour Film Project’s annual awards Festival. The top 10 international 48HFP films will then be screened at the Cannes Short Film Corner in 2012.
More details on the prizes & award ceremony are available on the official website here.
All the best to participants!
If you’ve been following our blog for a while now you’ll know that once in a while we like to throw in an offbeat topic that we hope you’ll enjoy as much as we do. We’d like to put this down to the fact that the Zaman team is an international melting pot of design fiends, so as you can imagine our lunch time discussions are quite lively.
Our nominated offbeat topic this week has been inspired by a global call-out to re-invent the toilet. If you know of Microsoft’s founder Bill Gates’ philanthropy work then you’re probably also familiar with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and its mission to globally enhance healthcare and reduce extreme poverty as well as expanding educational opportunities and access to information technology through a series of various projects and campaigns. One of their current projects is a humanitarian design project aimed at distributing over 42 million in potty grants for the re-invention of the toilet as we know it. By adopting a grassroots approach to addressing the health issues associated with lack of adequate sewage across many developing regions, the foundation hopes to source a design that can be easily distributed and used in places without a sewer system.
Traditionally the discipline of design has been thought of in the abstract. Finding company in conversations related to lifestyle rather than livelihood. However this mindset is fast changing. Today we are seeing more examples of collaborations between the design fraternity and disciplines such as science, technology, governance etc. In the case of the re-invention of the toilet project above, the combination of functionality with design is a great example of out-of-the-box thinking as a problem solving approach.
Below are a few more illustrations of design-led thinking as a problem solving approach.
The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is offering 42 million in potty grants for the reinvention of the toilet.
Vendor Power! An Education-drive campaign to educate New York street vendors on their rights, rules & regulations to avoid fines and sustain the means to earn a living.
Shape-shifting mobile phones of the future – creating phones that are intuitive and empathic to our lifestyles.
Friends of the High-line – transforming abandoned public spaces.
Can you think of any other interesting examples in your local community that showcases a design approach to problem solving?