Milan Design Week is the world’s most important design event, with its centrepiece being The Salone del Mobile furniture fair.
Shua’a Ali and Maryam Al Suwaidi showcased Qatar’s cultural identity through their ‘Shurouq’ furniture collection, which has made its way to Milan Design Week.
Speaking to Doha News, the two talents said the collection is a culmination of a co-designing process and contains seven goods.
The contemporary furniture, which emphasises uniqueness and multi-functionality, was inspired by Qatar’s natural and cultural history and was produced by the Qatari designers in collaboration with FROMM.
The pieces are visually appealing in terms of aesthetics, and bring an international angle to Qatari heritage. They can be utilised in a variety of settings, ranging from residential personal use, to professional hospitality settings like corporates and airports.
Behind the pieces
The designers note there was plenty of inspiration behind the different pieces on display.
Shua’a Ali created the coffee table “Maiz,” the side table “Tawla,” the console “Derj,” the wall unit “Maktaba,” and the floor lamp “Laite,” with the exception of the floor lamp, which was co-designed with Ellaquadro. The strong presence of an arch, inspired by the design of traditional Qatari architectural buildings, distinguishes these pieces.
The unique perforated design on this collection’s items is inspired by pigeon towers found throughout Qatar and the Gulf region. The old and the new are dialogue metaphors that speak the language of tradition and culture as inspirations for preserving cultural identity in the face of the fast-paced globalisation.
Maryam Al Suwaidi was inspired by the natural components of sand dunes and their dynamic structure in conceptualising and developing the Sofa “Baida,” armchair and pouffe “Haima’,” and tables “Majra.”
“Through the curves, waves, movements and the infinite characteristics of the sand that mimic the sand, the Shurouq Collection recalls the sand dunes and
the breathtaking desert scenery, its source of inspiration for my pieces of the collection,” Al Suwaidi told Doha News.
“FROMM played a key role is helping us realise our designs and expanding our artistic visions to create pieces that are in line with global standards,” said Al Suwaidi.
This collaboration is an example of how the private business sector in Qatar has been supporting the local designer culture in Doha.
FROMM is a design platform conceived by a Qatari-Italian team, which aims to create the ideal fusion of culture, design, craftsmanship and production, with the ultimate goal of bringing local designers to the global front and capital of the design community, Milano.
Milan Design Week
The Salone del Mobile furniture fair is the centrepiece of Milan Design Week, which includes shows and events in hundreds of venues around the city’s design districts.
The world’s largest furniture show, The Salone del Mobile, was held in the Fiera Milano exhibition centre from 1-12 June as the primary event of Milan Design Week.
This year marks the fair’s 60th anniversary , and featured over 2,000 exhibitors, a return to its pre-pandemic grandeur after it was cancelled in 2020 and organisers were forced to conduct a scaled-down version in 2021.