Tasmeem interior design fair explores the art of the everyday

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Visitors experiencing Aseel Sahab, Maha Bajnaid and Reema Salama’s time capsule room “ma’ alkhail ya shagra” at the Tasmeem Fair on Nov. 18 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Architect Payman Moshfeghi sits on his hammock under his Treehouse creation designed to bring out your inner child at the Tasmeem Fair on Nov. 18 in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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The Tasmeem Fair runs until Nov. 28. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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Feeling the Hijazi nostalgic vibes with Amar Alamdar’s qanun player at his “Pavilion” display. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
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An ode to the 80’s at the Tasmeem Fair. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)
Updated 23 November 2017

Tasmeem interior design fair explores the art of the everyday

JEDDAH: To design is simply to reflect. It is a notion that was bandied about at the opening of the Saudi Art Council’s first-ever interior design initiative, Tasmeem, and it encompasses all that is on show at the seminal event.
The fair, which runs from Nov. 18-28 at the council’s Gold Moor headquarters in the Shatea district of Jeddah, is showcasing work by 16 designers and architects, 11 of whom are women.
The event is the brainchild of Nawaf Al-Nassar and is being held under the patronage of Princess Jawaher bint Majid bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud.
Since the launch of the project last August, more than 300 participants from all around the Kingdom sent in their design portfolios. Then, the organizers — Kholoud Attar, Lama Mansour, Johara Beydoun and Nassar himself — whittled it down to 16 lucky participants.
Each designer was given the space to develop their display, resulting in innovative and unexpected creations.

Design concept 01 Karkashan / كركشان By Hanadi karkashan هنادي كرشان @karkashandesign The word KARKASHAN is originated from the Turkish culture. It means a beautiful engraving, and in another saying means the craftsmen. Karkashan is a surname for a Saudi family, they’re considered one of the foundation families of old Jeddah, back then family surnames were given based on their crafts, and my family used to specialize in carpentry especially in the Islamic ROSHAN design . The design idea is inspired by karkashan. This was my starting point and my first inspiration to reach my passion. Karkashan was the foundation that built my goals and ambitions. This design reflects my family roots as a shell for my designs and the gateway to continue my career. forking stripes of different materials that reflect the interior designer use of different materials such as wood, metal, lighting, fabric etc.. Ending with a carpeted floor to be the basis for my designs. كركشان استلهاماَ من كلمة ولقب العائلة كركشان استوحيت فكرة التصميم , كركشان كلمة تركية الاصل تعني النقش الجميل و في مقولة أخرى صاحب الحرفة , حيث ان اجداد العائلة كانو من اشهر مزخرفي الرواشين واصحاب المناقب الحجرية وحصلو على اللقب . كانت هذه نقطة بدايتي و الهامي الاول للوصول لشغفي . فكان كركشان هو عامود الاساس الذي بنيت عليه اهدافي وطموحاتي. التصميم يعكس اصول العائلة و في نفس الوقت هو المظلة التي تحتوي تصاميمي وكأنه الغلاف ( القوقعه ) الاساسي لها ، والباب اللذي ساكمل منه مسيرتي التصميمة . تتفرع منه خطوط بخامات مختلفة تعكس استخدام المصمم الداخلي للخامات من خشب و معدن وإضاءة و قماش وغيره , وتنتهي بأرضية من السجاد لتكون القاعدة لتصاميم @saudiartcouncil #saudiartcouncil ‎#تصميم #مساحات #السعودية #مصممين #مبادرة #تصميم_داخلي #معماري ‏#design #designer #saudidesigner #saudi #interiordesign #interiordesigner #saudi_interior #tasmeem ‏#tasmeemfair

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Designers Sondos Ashi and Dania Al-Saib created a project called “Fold It,” in which they redesigned and reshaped standard office fixtures to challenge traditional preconceptions about what workspaces should look like.
Hanadi Karkashan’s “Karkashan” is inspired by her family’s roots as carpenters familiar with a well-known Islamic woodwork style called roshan from the Hijaz region of Saudi Arabia.
“All the designers were chosen for their innovative ideas that were limitless. They didn’t only think outside the box, they were able to create a space further away from the norm that we’re used to. If you asked me today what am I most proud of, I’d tell you Tasmeem, and it’s not due to the role I played here. I am proud of them, the designers, it’s all them,” Nassar told Arab News.
“A true designer reflects clients’ true style into the designs he or she creates for them. We don’t copy, we create,” he added.
The participants were given a vast amount of space to produce something different and distinct, but relevant to consumers today. Organizers did, however, ask participants to work around the concept of “reflection” and, in their own distinct ways, they delivered.
Ghazi Soosi’s “Concept Store” is the physical manifestation of his belief that furniture need not be loud in order to make a statement.
“I wanted to create something that doesn’t take too much visual space, in fact I wanted it to be silent, light and borderless… Give the furniture a chance to speak,” Soosi told Arab News.
This concept is best understood when the designer’s work is viewed in person. The semi see-through white-walled space is a simple one, highlighting the simple, steel-frame chairs with their camel-color bases. According to the designer, the products are 85 percent see-through, which gives the space an airy feeling.
Payman Moshfeghi’s “Elevated Space” consists of a marvelous treehouse. The elevated treehouse’s base is made of discarded electric wood posts as well as other materials, ranging from new to reused material. “I experiment a lot with materials left behind at work sites. As an architect, I have access to these materials. I wanted to create a space that is not only relevant, but also brings people joy and is a safe place for them to be. The treehouse is a key figure in many of our childhood dreams and visitors can go climb the stairs and fulfill that (dream),” Moshfeghi told Arab News.
Visitors flow from hall to hall admiring each installation in this wonderfully-curated exhibition. Although each showcase is unique, they all fit together harmoniously.

Design concept 03 FOLD IT // اطويها Dania alsaib/ subdous ashi دانية الصائب وسندس آشي @dania.alsaib @sundos.ashi The rigid system of an office space needs rethinking. Challenging the dependency on conventional desk layouts. by folding the exterior boundaries to create a multi-use interior figure. the concept of Folding creates a language between the exterior and interior. Creating a unique experience that allows the space to have its own identity. leading to a flexible and creative working environment. تصميم مساحة مكتبية ابداعية من خ ل دمج الهيكل المعماري الخارجي بالداخلي عن طريق عملية الطي. وبذلك يتم تكوين مجسم متعدد ا ستخدام ليعطي المساحة هويتها الخاصة وتجربة فريدة من نوعها.

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Amar Alamdar’s beautiful “Pavilion” is an emotional showcase due to the flowing printed fabrics and soft strings of a qanun being played in the background. For her part, Dana Al-Amri’s “Movement” is a structure straight out of a dream. Flowing strings sway above the ground, strung up by metal and steel rods that allow the viewer to sense lightness that reflects one’s own movement.
Mohammed Al-Ghamdi’s “Ehtiwa,” or “containment,” is a one of a kind. His use of cardboard, eco-friendly material, is an ode to sustainability and he cuts his raw material in a way that reflects the flow of the human body and the nature of movement itself.
The event will also see several keynote speakers give a number of talks on topics ranging from interior design psychology, by Rana Al-Kadi, to the educational paths for designers in Italy, by Leonardo Romei. As such, the fair is as much about learning as it is about admiring the creativity of the designers on show.
Princess Jawaher bint Majid bin Abdulaziz Al-Saud shared her thoughts on the event and expressed her desire for each year to be better than the previous.
“I am very pleased with the extraordinary level of professionalism from our Saudi interior designers. The volume of portfolios that we received are proof of their enthusiasm, elevated sense of style and their level of awareness and intellect. Tasmeem gives a chance for the audience to get to know more about interior design and the designer behind the scenes. I’m confident that each season will be better than the previous,” she said.
The council was created in response to the growing needs of the Kingdom’s art and culture scene. Its goal is to establish a well-cultivated platform for all artists and designers who are embracing new and innovative forms of art and, if the work on show at the Tasmeem Fair is anything to go by, there is a wealth of talent in the Kingdom worthy of such a platform.

Carpet Diem: Notes on a cultural icon

‘The World’s Ugliest Carpet.' (Shutterstock)
Updated 18 February 2019

Carpet Diem: Notes on a cultural icon

DUBAI: Five things we learned at Carpet Oasis, the annual festival in Dubai.

The biggest carpet on the planet

No surprise that the world’s largest carpet was created in Iran — Persian rugs are widely regarded as the global benchmark for excellence. No surprise either that it’s installed at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in the UAE — a country with a hunger for breaking ‘world’s biggest …’ records that is probably record in itself. The big rug’s dominant color is green (Sheikh Zayed’s favorite, apparently, and — handily — the color generally associated with Islam). It consists of 2.2 billion hand-tied knots and 38 tons of cotton and wool, and was constructed by a team of 3,000 workers.

The most expensive carpet ever sold

In 2013, an anonymous buyer — believed to be from the Middle East — paid $33.8 million for this sickle-leaf carpet, believed to have been created in the early 17th century in Persia. The price was completely unexpected. Sotheby’s, the auction house, had estimated a sale of around $7 million for the relatively small (2.67 by 1.96 meters) ‘vase-techinque’ carpet from the William A. Clark Collection. But the phone buyer refused to concede, sending the price spiralling to more than three times the previous record.

The oldest carpet known to man

This Russian pile carpet survived from, at least, the 4th century BCE until it was discovered well over 2000 years later in the tomb of a Siberian prince. Who clearly didn’t have cats. As was customary at the time, the prince was buried with his most treasured possessions, the majority of which were stolen by grave robbers at some point over two millennia. But the hole they left behind allowed snow to pile up inside, helping to preserve the carpet until the tomb was found again in 1948. The carpet is now in the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg.

The alpha-carpet

Described at Carpet Oasis as ‘The World’s Most Famous Carpet’ — which is tricky to verify given most people can’t name a carpet besides “my living room one” — the Ardabil Carpet is actually one of a pair of silk-and-wool Persian rugs currently belonging to London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. They were created in the mid-16th century and come with an inscription from the work of Persian poet Hafiz Shirazi and the central design is based on the interior of the dome of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan.

The eyesore

Billed as ‘The World’s Ugliest Carpet’ — a claim that would surely be hotly contested by anyone growing up in the West in the Seventies — this monstrosity from Portland Airport in Oregon, USA has become something of an ironic hipster icon, its hideous pattern (based on the airport’s runways) and color scheme replicated on socks, hats and bicycle helmets. The carpet has its own website and social media accounts (yes, it’s more popular than you…) When the airport announced it was going to be replaced, online outrage ensued, and it was recycled into wall hangings and door mats. Rest easy though, its replacement is almost equally aesthetically offensive.