Traffic launches the Middle East’s first regional annual design competition in its continued efforts to encourage, promote and nurture the emerging design scene. Launching with a heavyweight international panel of judges and an advisory panel with deep roots in the region’s creative communities, the competition aims to uncover the layers of latent design talent in the region and amongst the global diasporas. It aims to provide a platform for exceptional talent to reach out to influential international and regional audiences within and outside the world of design. The inaugural year’s competition features a world-class jury comprising such illustrious figures as Karim Rashid, Konstanin Grcic and Khalid Al Najjar which lends the awards instant credibility.
The design competition officially launched on December 1 2007, and first round entries will be accepted until March 09 2008
There will be three categories for the awards, applicants will be asked to design one (or more) of the following:
‣ A Decorative Object (limited to a maximum volume of 0.25m3);
‣ A Lounge Chair (limited to a maximum volume of 2.5m3;
‣ A Design Retail Space (1,000 sq ft) to be built at a prestigious address in Business Bay Dubai.
The awards, which will be announced at a special event that will take place at traffic in June 2008, aim to shine an international spotlight on exceptional design talent from the region, with the winning designs going into production and sold exclusively at the traffic design gallery. The winner of the third category will have their design built at a high-profile location in Business Bay Dubai (planned to open in Q4 2008).
There will also be cash prizes for the winning designs of each category:
‣ A Decorative Object US$2,000;
‣ A Lounge Chair US$3,000;
‣ A Design Retail Space US$4,000.
Designers will have the opportunity to be identified by some of the leading creative minds in the fields of architecture and product design while seeing their designs go into production, both of which should prove highly attractive for designers.
The awards in all categories will be judged on the following criteria:
‣ Innovation; ‣ Commerciality;
‣ Aesthetic / design quality; ‣ Durability;
‣ Functionality; ‣ Symbolic and emotional content;
‣ Ergonomics; ‣ Manufacturabilty;
‣ Ecological compatibility; ‣ Cultural relevance.
Karim Rashid is a leading figure in the fields of product, interior, fashion, furniture, lighting design and art. Born in Cairo, half Egyptian, half English, and raised in Canada, Karim now practices in New York. He is best known for bringing his democratic design sensibility to the masses. Designing for an impressive array of clients from Alessi to Dirt Devil, Umbra to Prada, Miyake to Method, Karim is radically changing the aesthetics of product design and the very nature of the consumer culture.
Konstantin Grcic was born in Munich, Germany in 1965. After training as a cabinet maker at Parnham College in England he studied design at the Royal College of Art in London from 1988-1990. Since setting up his own design practice KONSTANTIN GRCIC INDUSTRIAL DESIGN (KGID) in Munich in 1991 he has developed furniture, products and lighting for some of Europe's leading design companies such as Flos, Magis, Moorman and Muji. Konstantin Grcic creates industrial products widely described as pared down, simple, minimalist. What sets him apart from the minimalism in fashionable currency today is that he defines function in human terms, combining maximum formal strictness with considerable mental acuity and humor.
Khalid Al Najjar studied at Columbia University, New York, and the Southern California Institute of Architecture, before moving back to his hometown, Dubai, and setting up dxb.LAB in 2000. The firm has since been recognized as one of the most innovative in the region, recently winning the Best Design award in the Mohamed Bin Rashid Awards for Young Business Leaders. dxb.LAB were recently selected to design one of the Biennale Park Pavilions at Abu Dhabi’s Cultural Saadiyat Island. Shumon Basar is a writer, curator and educator. He co-founded the independent publishing/event collective sexymachinery, is the architecture editor of Tank magazine, co-directs the curatorial/design group Newbetter, and writes for several art and architecture periodicals including Modern Painters, Blueprint and AA Files. He teaches at the Architectural Association and the Royal College of Art and is a PhD candidate at Goldsmiths Centre for Research Architecture, London. Shumon Basar MA(Cantab) AA Dipl studied architecture at Cambridge University and the Architectural Association, London. He worked for Zaha Hadid Architects, most notably as a lead designer on the acclaimed Contemporary Arts Center, Cincinnati.
The design competition officially launches December 1 2007, and first round entries will be accepted until March 09 2008.
Applicants will need to submit the following:
‣ Completed and signed Application Form scanned in pdf format;
‣ Up to 3 pdfs including at least one glamor shot;
‣ Up to 3 pages of explanations on design / concept.
‣ 1 Head-shot of applicant.
First round submissions should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The jury will then select 10 of the entries to be further developed by the applicants including the creation of
prototypes. The prototypes and detailed technical drawings including material samples will then need to be
submitted before April 31. Nominees will need to submit the following:
‣ 1 prototype (no smaller than 0.5mx0.5m and no bigger than 2mxm);
‣ Technical drawings;
‣ Material samples.
Final round submissions will be accepted at the following locations:
‣ traffic, Al Barsha, Dubai, near Mall of the Emirates - map online at www.viatraffic.org;
‣ 9714 offices, next to The Third Line gallery in Al Quoz, Dubai;
‣ 9714, PO Box 73617, Dubai, UAE, t +971.4.340.20.90.
The jury will then meet to deliberate and choose the final winners between May 01 and June 09. Winners
will then be notified and an awards event will be held at traffic in June 2008.
All designers (professional or otherwise) residing in the Middle East (defined as: Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, UAE, Lebanon, Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, Iraq, Iran and Libya) or of Middle Eastern origin are entitled to enter. Entrants must be at least 18 years old.
For more information about the competition and downloads (of application form, terms and condition, press release and jury details), please visit the Via Traffic website's competition section