The theme for this year is Heritage, and designers, experts, and Surge sponsors and friends gathered at Colab in Dubai Design District to bring forth their ideas for their competition pieces.
This year’s theme challenges designers to create pieces that pay tribute to an ancient art or architectural form. Designers were given the directive to look toward time honoured artisan techniques, cultural traditions and architectural features, reviving colour palettes and patterns from the archives. They were also encouraged to draw inspiration from their own traditions as a way of paying homage to their ancestral roots.
13 design houses participated, and had three months to finetune their concepts before meeting with the technical partners and sponsors for this year’s Surge competition.
“The Heritage theme is for us to celebrate where each and every one of us is from, especially here in the UAE, which is so diverse and multicultural,” says Marita Peters, Executive Director Middle East, Surge For Water. “The 13 participating design houses represent such a beautiful melting pot of cultures that we’re excited to see what creativity will unfold, and celebrate Surge’s work across the world through those designs.”
The Surge designer workshop was held at Colab, a material bank of sorts that hosts material brands from around the world that are working tirelessly towards creating sustainable products.
“This resonates with the values of Surge as designers have to ensure that their final submissions are completely sustainable, and in doing so, also learn that there is a global water crises on our hands and the material they choose have a direct impact on this, thereby furthering the cause for sustainable design,” says Marita. “People are seeking to align themselves with something good that is outside their worksphere, and so the work that Surge does speaks to them at a soul level. Through this exercise, we hope that the participants will take this motive further into daily lives and their designs at work, specifying materials that have a lower water footprint, using some of the wonderful materials that they have encountered here, and even going so far as to changing their habits when it comes to water usage.”