On Your Mark, Get Set, Surge!

Pens down and creator’s hat on! Designers get cracking on their ideas as the submissions close for Surge’s Design, Dine and Make a Difference Competition. The 2019 edition of the event will explore stunning designs in line with the theme – Sacred Geometry.

Surge’s Design, Dine and Make a Difference Competition is all about combining creativity with sustainability to bring about a positive change. Each year, selected design firms compete to create a unique, one of a kind product made completely from sustainable materials. This year’s theme Sacred Geometry is all about drawing inspiration from historic monuments and nature’s geometry. The submissions are in and we are excited to announce the shortlisted candidates for the sustainable design event of the year! 

This Year’s Participants:

Designer Build Partner
Woods Bagot Interior 360
nulty + nulty Bespoke
Design Matter Blue Box
Al Tayer Stocks Trifecta
Bluehaus Group Summertown
HOK Inc – Dubai iDEA & Associates
Say Studio Seekers Dubai
Design by Mariska TBA
Swiss Bureau ID Swiss BureauID
Valentina Cereda, Energy & Space TBA
Perkins + Will TBA
Gensler Bond Interiors

In it’s 5th lap, Surge 2019 changes up the game a little. Shilpa Alva, Executive Director & Founder of Surge, spoke to us about how this year’s criteria has been modified to accommodate more options. “We’ve left the choice of form and function of the products completely to the designers, so we’re hoping that we’ll end up with an eclectic mix of chairs, tables, lighting, bookshelves and functional decorative items”.

The event will also see a number of new entrants competing alongside some of the stalwarts of the competition. With the initial designs done and submitted, participants are in preparation for the upcoming workshop to help in building their designs. “It’s been really exciting to see how energized all the participants are about the theme,” says Shilpa, when asked about the entrees this year. “The concepts that have been coming in are on point, and given how talented the designers are — every concept is quite an innovative take on the theme”.

Designers were challenged to draw inspiration from the sacred geometric patterns, seen in both nature and ancient architecture, and create a functional product. The design should optimise resources by using recycled, natural, or even living materials. 

Here’s a breakdown of all the previous winners of the event:

2018: reSURGence

Overall Competition Winner: DRoP by MMAC Design Associates
Most Impactful: Shabkah by Bluu
Most Sustainable: reFORM by Gensler
People’s Choice: Irreversible Impact by Migaloo
Master Craftsman: DRoP by MMAC Design Associates and Emkay Interiors
Highly Commended: 1 million bottles per minute by Design by Mariska

2017: Lighting

Overall: Tubo by Maja Kozel Design & Hernan Hoentsch
Highly Commended: Rahaal by DWP
People’s Choice: Rahaal by DWP
Master Craftsman: FEmale by Wilson Associates, Scenic Genius & Tarrab Trading
Most Sustainable: Every Drop Counts by Design by Mariska

2016: Bookshelves

Overall: Bluehaus
Highly Commended: Maja Kozel Design
People’s Choice: AAID
Master Craftsman: Seekers &  Perkins + Will
Most Sustainable: Maja Kozel Design

2015: Coffee Tables

Overall: Artillery (now AAID)
Highly Commended:  Jafar Dajani
People’s Choice: Peter & Arsany
Most Sustainable: Priscilla Piper – DFP

2014Seating Elements

People’s Choice: Tony Archibald
Overall: Tony Archibald


Shilpa looks forward to the process of creativity and along with the team at Surge is excited for the 2019 edition. “We’re looking forward to seeing this theme come to life at the workshop and eventually at the gala. We’re excited to receive all the concepts and see how the pieces evolve post workshop.

We will be following the participants’ progression through the competition. Until then, look for latest exclusives from the competition only on Love That Design.

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