Skip to content
subscribe
Account
SEARCH

Categories

LASTEST

Design Space AlUla

Design Space AlUla Debuts in Milan

After premiering in February in Saudi Arabia, Design Space AlUla presented its first exhibition and installation in Milan during Salone del Mobile. The collection of projects on view debuted against a backdrop Studio Sabine Marcelis.

Sophie Aliece Hollis

23 April 2024

Following a successful launch at the AlUla Arts Festival in February, Design Space AlUla is venturing out of Saudi Arabia for the first time to present an exhibition at Milan Design Week.

Located in North-West Saudi Arabia, AlUla is a vast area covering over 87,000-square-miles that includes a lush oasis valley, towering sandstone mountains, and ancient cultural heritage sites dating back thousands of years. Since its founding in 2017, the Royal Commission for AlUla has been working through a series of comprehensive masterplans to simultaneously preserve and develop the area, spurring the formation of extensive civic and cultural programming.

Design Space AlUla

Installation view of Design Space AlUla in Milan, scenography by CLOUD & Studio Sabine Marcelis, at the Mediateca Santa Teresa_via della Moscova in Milan.

Studio Sabine Marcelis Imagines Design Space AlUla Setting in Milan

The Milan exhibition highlights work from two such initiatives: Madrasat Addeera Editions and the AlUla Design Residency. Set against the backdrop of the Mediateca Santa Teresa in the historic Brera district, Design Space AlUla is a collection of projects set against a backdrop designed by Rotterdam-based CLOUD in conjunction with Studio Sabine Marcelis.

The Milan presentation channels AlUla’s luminous landscape with a suspended central cylinder symbolizing the sun to illuminate the venue. The floor’s dotted motif reinterprets a traditional motif found in the streets of AlUla Old Town, while the expansive, central Haus Dari seating system invites visitors to metaphorically bask in this AlUla-reminiscent environment.

“AlUla is a magical place on many levels. From its long history, to its most recent transformations, the city has inspired many to create and dream,” remarked CLOUD & Studio Sabine Marcelis. “Design Space AlUla in Milan is the opportunity to unveil to the public the latest design initiatives developed in the city by designers who have been collaborating over the past months with local crafts.”

Design Space AlUla

Installation view of Design Space AlUla in Milan, scenography by CLOUD & Studio Sabine Marcelis, at the Mediateca Santa Teresa_via della Moscova in Milan.

Student Presentations Mix Craft and Modern Techniques

In 2018, the Royal Commission for AlUla renovated the Madrasat Addeera, AlUla’s first secondary school, into a hub for artisanal and traditional arts programs. Under the artistic guidance of Samer Yamani, the school tapped into its international group of students to present work born from a synthesis of traditional craft and modern techniques.

Dr. Zahrah Alghamdi‘s Al Gharameel: The Magical Pillars reimagines natural rock formations in leather adorned with chamomile flowers, celebrating AlUla’s biodiversity. Argentinian artist and designer Cristian Mohaded‘s AlWaha room divider pays homage to palm frond weaving, echoing the desert’s undulating dunes and oases.

Spanish design duo TAKK presents Duna: The Seating Dune, mirroring the desert’s contours through clay and naturally dyed fabrics in a series of AlUla’s sunrise hues. Spanish design studio TECHNOCraftsAlwadiya: The Living Pots is a self-sustaining system replicating the natural cycles of AlUla’s lush oasis. The pots are crafted using 3D-printed natural cellulose and PURE.TECH, an innovative decarbonization material technology that absorbs CO2.

Design Space AlUla

Installation view of Design Space AlUla in Milan, scenography by CLOUD & Studio Sabine Marcelis, at the Mediateca Santa Teresa_via della Moscova in Milan.

The AlUla Design Residency

The AlUla Design Residency also presented a smattering of work from a group of international creatives. Under the curation of Ali Ismail Karimi, the Residency is a five-month immersion into life at AlUla which yielded projects ranging from urban infrastructure development to furniture. Paris-based artist Leo Orta‘s Peculiar Erosions blurs the boundaries between sculpture and furniture, drawing inspiration from AlUla’s geological formations.

Raw Materials, a design studio from western India, presents the From Debris collection, which repurposes historical tools into contemporary artifacts. Saudi architectural designer Leen Ajlan‘s Takki modular platform serves as both a game board and a space for sharing, reimagining local pastimes and the tradition of gathering in recreational spaces. French collective Hall Haus presents the Haus Dari seating system which reinterprets traditional cushions, takayas, and diwans that are integral to AlUla’s social life. Bahraini-danish studio‘s Surface! partitions are a dynamic room-diving statement made of stainless steel that appears to be wind-swept.

“Its refreshing for me this year to focus more on giving others a platform rather than presenting new work myself,” added Marcelis, whose international design street cred has attracted considerable crowds to the exhibition amidst the madness that is Milan Design Week. Through a well-curated stable of internationally renowned artists and designers, Design Space AlUla has succeeded in its ambition to draw international attention to the rich heritage and cultural landscape of AlUla.

Design Space AlUla

Installation view of Design Space AlUla in Milan, scenography by CLOUD & Studio Sabine Marcelis, at the Mediateca Santa Teresa_via della Moscova in Milan.

SAME AS TODAY

FURTHER READING

6 Design Debuts to Look Forward to During Milan Design Week from Alessi, Loewe, and More

Ahead of the week of Milan Design Week, we’re introducing new collections and immersive exhibitions by internationally renowned design brands.

8 Young Designers to Watch for in Milan This Week

Milan Design Week is about to debut its latest chapter, and within it, a spotlight on the novel and the next—including the young designers.

Veuve Clicquot and Magnum Photos Debut “Emotions of the Sun” at Milan Design Week

On April 15 in Milan, Veuve Clicquot will unveil the exhibition of photography, “Emotions of the Sun,” in collaboration with Magnum.

SUBSCRIBE TO MAGAZINE

Minjung Kim

THE SPRING ARTIST ISSUE
2023

Subscribe

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds of Art, Fashion, Design and Lifestyle.

READ THIS NEXT

Ahead of the week of Milan Design Week, we’re introducing new collections and immersive exhibitions by internationally renowned design brands.
Milan Design Week is about to debut its latest chapter, and within it, a spotlight on the novel and the next—including the young designers.
On April 15 in Milan, Veuve Clicquot will unveil the exhibition of photography, “Emotions of the Sun,” in collaboration with Magnum.

SUBSCRIBE TO NEWSLETTER

Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.