Local Design finds, Culture, and Curated Living.
This year is predicted to be all about lifestyle changes. There’s a call for nostalgia with a blend of futurama, a newfound appreciation for the quirky, the curvy, unapologetic and cheeky. And now more than ever, a turn to nature is in order. Our eyes are set on the local design scene as we witness culture syncing with contemporary desires. It’s an appreciation for homegrown creations finding the balance between a good story and well-executed techniques.
The Bold Whims of REJO STUDIO
“It could be a random picture or a line of a poem, that would bring an inspiration for the next piece,” according to architect duo Reem Olyan and Jumana Qasem of Rejo Studio. Based in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, their furniture pieces intersect art, design, and identity to create striking pieces with bold shapes and vibrant colors inspired by middle eastern culture.
CULTIVATED AESTHETICS S/S 2022
Our pick of local brands and objects that marry culture and contemporary desires:
Crafted Design Culture
A multidisciplinary design and production company, TEEB has been perfecting the formula for culturally inspired designed objects with a modern twist. Their take on heritage and collaborations with artisans and the use of fine woodwork make them a studio to watch. Teeb was one of the first AlUla Design Award winners, represented by their designers, AlJoharah AlRasheed and Mohammad Baalbaki.
The Voice of AYA Collection
Saudi furniture and product designer Ayah AlBitar has once again proven her mastery of design narratives rooted in heritage, culture, and deep love of refined craftsmanship. Her latest collection is an ode to her identity— inspired by the Saudi Al Qatt women and their colorful and meaningful patterns, alongside inspiration drawn from Palestinian women who embroider intricate patterns and hues on their traditional dresses. The result is a powerful story told through their designs.
Abaq Coffee Cups
Abaq was awarded best design by the Ministry of Tourism’s Souvenir competition. The collection by Saudi designers Farah Aldossari and Aseel Alhusseini is inspired by iconic landmarks, such as the Masmak Fort in Riyadh and the stunning Hegra in AlUla.
On the Radar:
Riyadh-based with global sensibilities, recently launched Érth Studio has made us take pause mid-scroll and pique our curiosity with their tablescapes and promise of curated cutlery (to name a few). Their roster is quite impressive, with top artisanal tabletop and home accessory brands on the list.
Editor’s pick: Postcard from Home
We love it when our scent-sibilities are awakened. Postcard from Home (PCH) is more than a local artisan candle brand; it inadvertently asks people to reconnect with their sense of home.
The goal of PCH is to create a scent for each region in Saudi, and the journey of Nouf AlMuhaidib, its founder, is a travelogue on its own. She shares, “I start by researching what each region is famous for and create a list. Afterward, I would reach out to locals and ask them what smell reminds them of home.” The brand was born out of a mini-series with the same name, started by Nouf on her art Instagram account. It consisted of personal drawings of different places she’s visited around Saudi Arabia.
She eventually wanted to create a way that allows people to encapsulate their experiences and be able to take themselves back anytime they wished. And that’s when the eureka moment happened. As Nouf notes, “As humans, our sense of smell plays a huge role in our memories, so capturing specific places through their unique scents in the form of a candle would give people a way to remember them wherever they may be.”
Homegrown Market, Jeddah
AlMashtal Space, Riyadh
Have you seen this logo?
MADE IN SAUDI
The Saudi Export Development Authority is leading the Made in Saudi program, an initiative that supports Saudi businesses by encouraging consumers to buy local. Enterprises can apply to have the Made in Saudi logo and as a member of the online platform, gain access to different opportunities, practical support, and various government assistance and incentives.