BSBG staff were in attendance at three of the Middle East’s top exhibitions related to interior design over the course of the last week. Head of Design Armin Buchbinder was joined by Senior Interior Designers Eric Mallari and Alia Soufan at INDEX, The Hotel Show Dubai and Lighting ME. Over the three events, more than 1,500 exhibitors and speakers took part, and in this blog Alia guides us through the best of the products, manufacturers and experts she saw, as well as providing insight into why it’s so important that architects and designers attend events such as these – especially in a city like Dubai where so many top events are right on the doorstep.
INDEX is an event dedicated to connecting the best architects, interior designers and developers in the Middle East with new and exciting interior solutions and products from across the world. During the event, a number of new products were launched to market, and a number of start-up companies came to the Middle East for the first time.Alia: “INDEX brought together a variety of interior exhibitors from across the world. Some of the ranges on display were very interesting – lots of contemporary examples of interior finishes with potential applications in the residential, commercial and hospitality sectors. Currently we have some new interior projects in the concept stages and there was plenty of inspiration and new ideas on display at the event, many of which I can foresee playing a part in some of our projects.
“Exhibitor highlights included Hafele, a high quality hardware and furniture fittings manufacturer whose products we incorporate a lot in our designs at BSBG. Art UAE, a company that provides decorative artwork and sculptures for interiors, sourced from top artists across the world – they really caught my eye. I came across a company called Lost Cowboys from the Netherlands, and their collections of niche, bespoke art furniture was captivating. Other exhibitors of note were FnB, a specialist furniture supplier; Art+, who were displaying some great art prints on canvas, and also Samovar, a carpet and furniture company who showcased some of their contemporary carpet collections.”
The Hotel Show Dubai is the largest and longest running hospitality trade event in the Middle East. More than 600 exhibitors flock from across the world to the event, showcasing their products which range from interior decor and components, lighting, and new technological solutions, offering a holistic picture of the latest trends and products available in the world of hotel design. The event also gives attendees the chance to hear from some of the pioneers in hotel design, as a number of workshops and presentations take place during the course of the three days.Alia: “The Hotel Show Dubai is always a standout exhibition for the interior design industry in the Middle East. At BSBG, we’re currently working on the design of a number of hotel projects, so it’s important for us to attend events such as this to keep up with the latest trends and solutions – all of which are applicable to the work we’re doing right now. Tarkett is a specialist flooring and wall covering company – I was very taken with their innovative Cementi Click solution which could really have an impact on the industry, particularly on large-scale flooring projects. The printed walls on display by Printpac were very unique and artistic, perfect for F&B outlets looking to present something different, and there was also some great outdoor and indoor furniture exhibited throughout the exhibition.”
“The highlight was a presentation given by Joannes Torpe. It was entitled “Hospitality Design Trends” and we learned about his unique approach to design. His portfolio includes an amazing hotel concept in Iceland which centres on five emotional states: contemplation, exposure, confrontation, clarity and enlightenment. It was very creative and authentic. He explained that he wears an Astronaut outfit when he begins a project to help him remember that he is creating a universe, and that every detail within the universe must be considered and worked through. It’s all about the details, he explained. I found him a very engaging and inspirational character, and he has worked on a diverse range of design; from the best-selling range of Bang and Olufsen speakers, to brand installations for Nike and a pure white nightclub in Copenhagen. His work is definitely worth checking out.”
Light Middle East is one of the region’s top platforms that covers decorative, architectural, outdoor, and indoor lighting solutions. As well the exhibition, Light Middle East hosts the Light ME Awards, a design competition called ‘Ready, Steady, Light’, and the ThinkLight forum; all of which are held over the course of the same three days.Alia: “Without light, there is no design. You can’t have one without the other. Light Middle East is always an enjoyable event to attend as there is such an array of creative approaches to decorative and task lighting on display. Some of the exhibits that really caught the eye were the porcelain light installations from Andreea Braescu, the decorative feature lighting from Alabaster New Concept, and the water feature lighting, which we definitely enjoy here in the UAE!”
“As a designer, you have to be on top of the latest trends, technologies and new design solutions which could impact your work. The Interior Design industry moves very quickly, especially with regard to the products on the market. It gives you a great opportunity to connect with manufacturers and begin to develop a relationship with those that have the products you’re interested in. When you have that passion for design, coming to an event like this is an immersive experience. All three events were really stimulating and you find you’re able to come away with plenty of fresh ideas and inspiration, ready to be applied to your next design projects.”