Downtown Design launches new Mideast-focused section, Madar

Key brands returning to the festival include Arper, whose ranges are inspired by its design ethos. (Instagram)
Updated 11 November 2019

Downtown Design launches new Mideast-focused section, Madar

DUBAI: The UAE’s Downtown Design, which is part of the Dubai Design Week festival, is set to return, this time with a new addition to its creative displays, Madar, from Nov. 13-15. 

Dubai Design Week features a free-to-attend program that is made up of more than 200 events covering a range of disciplines including architecture, product design, interiors, multimedia and graphic design.

Madar is a curated exhibition of regional talent, with designs being showcased from around 50 contributors, according to guest curator Ghassan Salameh.

Salameh’s exhibition, which is presented within Downtown Design (a dedicated showcase of bespoke and limited-edition designs by established and emerging designers) will focus on regional design. The exhibition will shed light on the current movements in the design market.

The interactive exhibition will present insights into the state of design in the region, mapping out creative activity from Beirut, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“The idea this year was to highlight regional design because ... Dubai has enough resources to become the link between different design industries in the region. Dubai is always promoting itself as the creative hub of the region so this is to further concretize this with actual concrete steps,” Salameh told Arab News. 

As part of Madar, Salameh said the exhibition will feature works from different categories related to design. “There’s going to be design research, material innovation, digital fabrication, craft preservation. We’re going to also talk about the organizations that are supporting designers,” he said.

“We’re selecting projects that are pushing towards innovation, experimentation, sustainability, design for social impact, responsible design ... We’re focusing on design that’s thoughtful,” said Salameh.

In honor of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, bespoke rug studio Hands will unveil a piece inspired by children’s artworks. The proceeds will benefit the UAE-based Senses charity.

In anticipation of Expo 2020, Dubai Design Week will also house more country pavilions, including presentations from France and Spain.

One-hundred new brands will be displayed alongside returning exhibitors, with representatives from 30 countries in this year’s edition.

Key brands returning to the festival include Arper, whose ranges are inspired by its design ethos, and Atelier Swarovski, which will present a collaboration with the Spanish designer Tomas Alonso.


A hairy situation: Facial hair proves a hot topic as coronavirus worries grow

According to the CDC, beards can interfere with the correct usage of masks and respirators. (File/Shutterstock)
Updated 31 March 2020

A hairy situation: Facial hair proves a hot topic as coronavirus worries grow

  • We take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice on mustaches, mutton chops and suave soul patches

DUBAI: With conflicting news reports from media outlets around the world stating that men should — or don’t need to — shave off their prized facial hair in order to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus, we take a look at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s advice on mustaches, mutton chops and suave soul patches.

Earlier this month, the Welsh Ambulance service advised that medical personnel should “reach for the razor (as) facial hair can disrupt the effectiveness of personal protective equipment” in a tweet and the head of France's ER doctors association advised medical staff to shave off their beards for hygiene reasons. However, these measures are mainly aimed at medical staff who rely on masks and respirators, while advice for the general public has not yet touched upon facial hair as a potential danger in the spread of coronavirus.

What’s clear, however, is the fact that beards can interfere with the correct usage of masks and respirators.

Masks and respirators are being utilized all around the world in a bid to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. But according to a recently resurfaced 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) infographic, one’s facial hair can interfere with how effective these filtering items are.

The infographic shows 36 different facial hair styles and provides names for each of them — some of which could be unknown to even the savviest barbers. It also tells you which facial hair styles would and would not work well with a “filtering facepiece respirator” like the P2/N95 respirator, that may protect you against small airborne microbes if worn properly.

While handlebars, lampshades and soul patches are deemed good to go, other facial hair styles, such as mutton chops and a full beard are advised against.

According to the infographic, facial hair can pose a risk to the effectiveness of masks because it may interfere with respirators that rely on a tight facepiece seal to achieve maximum protection.

In short, making sure there’s a good seal between the mask and the wearer’s face is a vital part of respiratory protection, however facial hair can compromise that seal.

The CDC recommends that any facial hair that can fit entirely under a close-fitting respirator should be fine. Where it looks like you might have some problems is if your facial hair is long enough or covers enough of your face that it pushes against the seal of the respirator, thereby allowing airborne particles to leak through.

However, it’s important to note that the CDC only recommends facial masks and facepiece respirators for those who work in the healthcare industry and those who are coming into contact with people who could be potentially infected with the disease, as well as individuals with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19.