Sheikh Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairman of Sharjah Urban Planning Council, in presence of Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi, Chairperson of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority “Shurooq” Inaugurated Zero Exhibition at 1971 Gallery Space, multi-functional design space dedicated to exhibition, display and discussion on all forms of contemporary design ranging from graphic, furniture to interior as well as interactive design and new technologies.
The opening night of ‘ZERO’ was attended by HE Dr. Eng. Rashid Al Leem, Chairman of Sharjah Electricity and Water Authority, HE Ahmed bin Rakkad Al Amiri, Chairman of Sharjah Book Authority. HE Hisham Al Madhloum, Chairman of Sharjah Collections of the Art, HE Marwan Al Sarkal, CEO of Sharjah Investment and Development Authority (Shurooq), Khaled Al Huraimel, Group CEO of Bee’ah, Sharjah Environment Company, HE Eng. Khalid AlButti, Chairman of the Directorate of Town Planning and Survey in Sharjah, The exhibition was well received by specials guests, art critics and designers.
The exhibition presents newly commissioned projects by local designers working with eco-friendly materials,sponsored by Bee’ah, The Sharjah Environment Co, the region’s leading environmental management company, Maraya Art Centre launched an open call in January for UAE-based designers and architects to submit proposals for design projects that use recycled or sustainable materials which have only a limited impact on the environment. The call out was open to designers working in any field, from interiors and installations to research.
The title ‘ZERO’ is taken from the ambition of Bee‘ah waste management centre in Sharjah to achieve a state of ‘zero waste’, where nothing we use goes into landfill, it rather becomes energy or new material.
There was a wide range of high calibreapplications from designers with a range of experience, from students to practicing professionals, and the judges faced difficult decisions. Thirteen winners, both individuals and collectives, were selected from around forty applications and will receive a fee, production budget and support.The selected project proposals are well conceived and inventive in the materials they use, the forms they take and the inspirations they spring from. The chosen projects will complement each other and give younger designers a valuable chance to experiment and to exhibit alongside more established names. Their imaginative responses to the broad brief will make for an exciting exhibition offering a vision of what a beautifully designed and renewable future in the UAE could look like.
Giuseppe Moscatello, Maraya Art Centre Manager said: “We are very proud to launch this exhibition in partnership with Bee’ah. ZERO offered designers a very specific and indeed worthy challenge – to create and produce functional design pieces while adhering to ethos of ‘zero-waste’ on all levels. We wanted designers toengage in more than just an ‘exercise’ in sustainability. We want to raise awareness on the issue of using sustainable and upcycled products, and supporting Bee’ah in their continuing mission of aiming to achieve ‘Zero waste’.The purpose was to facilitate a paradigm shift in the way that the entire design and production process is approached and we are very please with the results.”
These designers exhibiting in ZERO have adopted and repurposed a wide variety of materials in their projects:cardboard tubes from print shops, clay, old tyres,bio-resin, fabric leftovers from tailor shops, metal tubes, plastic bottles, rubber,recycled concrete, reclaimed wood, crushed glass,sand, found discarded objects and live plants. The designers revel in the materiality of these substances and demonstrate how the detritus of daily life in the UAE can be transformed and given a new existence in ways that make our environment more comfortable and attractive.
The designers have taken inspiration from a range of sources, both organic and cultural, from the life cycle of trees and desert plants, to circular irrigation fields inoases and traditional architecture techniques such as arish woven palm leaves,toten point geometry in traditional Islamic patterns.Through melding industrial materials with organic forms andhoning innovative new techniques, from moulding to digital simulation, the designers will create outcomes ranging from furniture and wall tiles to public outdoor seating, sheltersand installations.
Talking about the exhibition, MeeraTaryam, Director of Environmental Services and Education at Bee’ah, The Sharjah Environment Co., said, “From an environmental perspective, we could not be more pleased with the results. Creating awareness around the crucial importance of waste management is an ongoing process. We are continually looking for new and exciting platforms that can be leveraged to involve the community in an interactive dialogue, and in this respect ZERO has been a resounding success. Not only has it attracted the attention of the creative community, but it has created an opportunity for people to look at recycling in a very different light, thereby elevating its importance and creating a myriad of new possibilities.”
Participating artist Ali Al Sammarraie remarked, “Zero is an ideal platform for designers because it challenges us to be creativewhile still keeping our focus firmly on the real life impact of our creations. I believe strongly that the quest to achieve a zero waste equation in our interaction with the world is vital to our continued existence and I am very proud to have been part of this innovative exhibition.”
A collective of three artists Faysal Tabbarah, Nada Taryam and Khawla Al Hashimi who presented ‘Shelter 0’, commented, “We are thrilled to have been offered this opportunity to experiment with recycled materials from the Bee’ah facilities. It has been an informative and exciting experience dealing with both the Maraya Art Centre and the Bee’ah team in this collaborative exhibition.Repurposing used materials to create new design solutions is an extremely exciting challenge, and one that we believe will continue to become ever more important as resources continue to dwindle. With ‘Shelter 0’ we wanted to explore ways in which we can draw parallels and create connections between very traditional forms of shelter and new uses for one of the most commonplace waste materials of the modern age – rubber.”
‘ZERO’ will run from the 11thMarch until 23rdMay, 2015. Designers participating in the exhibition include: AbdallaAlmulla, Ali Al Sammarrie,AmmarKalo, AnnaritaCornaro& Valerio de Divitiis (Codesign),Christine Yogiaman& Ken Tracy (YO_CY), Faysal Tabbarah & Khawla Alhashimi & Nada Taryam, Iman Abdel Shahid Ibrahim, Ivan Parati (Caravan), Patrick Rhodes Students – Monsters – Design Foundations Class, Raya Al Ani (RAW NYC), ReemHantoush, Talin Hazbar, Abir Mnasria &Zaina Khayyat (Attic Studio).