Drawn to space, light and natural materials, ‘Delamination’ by D04 stopped the team at Made Journal in our tracks. An experiential seating installation brings a new warmth and creativity to the public realm and urban landscapes, demonstrating that the humble park bench need never be so humble again.

Inspired by the time-honoured art of basket weaving, ‘Delamination’ comprises of elaborate patterns intertwined in layers to represent the meeting point of the distinctive Emirati heritage and contemporary urban identity, with the futuristic vision of the city of Dubai.

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Photograph (and above) by Sandra Tinari

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The sophisticated and thoughtful large-scale installation was designed by D04 after an alternative submission to Dubai’s Urban Commissions programme, ‘Suspended in Time’ caught the eye of Dubai Culture, which commissioned the studio to create ‘Delamination’ for its Design Days Dubai stand. ‘Delamination’ enthralled visitors, inviting them to sit, touch and contemplate. Made Journal tracked down D04 to talk to the studio about the extraordinary installation.

A play on form, light, and shadow

Please tell us about your installation for Dubai Culture at this year’s Design Days Dubai?

‘Delamination’ by D04 in Design Days Dubai for Dubai Culture was the product of an intensive period of design sessions.

We looked at different aspects from the culture and heritage of the UAE to bring existing concepts around us to current day. We drew inspiration from the traditional craft of basket weaving. The basket weave was then deconstructed from its original form. The three layers that compose the final form reflects Dubai Culture’s three pillars: Culture, heritage, and art.

The layers are delaminated into individual planes to create a play on form, light, and shadow. Each layer becomes one direction of the weave, one horizontal and two opposing diagonals. By placing them offset from each other, the viewer observes a moire pattern from different angles and only sees the actual pattern from a true elevation. Instead of experiencing it as a product, ‘Delmaination’ turns this craft into a spatial experience, takings its visitors through a path revealing the overlap of the old and the new through materiality and form, exposing Dubai’s rich culture, heritage, and art.

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Photograph (and all below) care of D04

How did the collaboration come about?

After submitting to Design Days Dubai competition ‘Urban Commissions, we came third place and one of the judges was interested in the story-telling conceptual nature of our work and commissioned us to do the booth as an installation to attract more people into the space.

What was your primary inspiration when working on concepts for the project?

Our work usually stems from our environment, heritage, and culture. How can we translate those existing items into today’s environment and urban life. Sending a message through a work, designing with meaning. In D04 we focus on the importance of layering details in a design and understanding materials and how they come together.

Where is the installation now?

In Dubai Culture’s ownership, hoping to find a new permanent home for it.

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Launched by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Dubai Design District (d3), Urban Commissions is an annual Design Days Dubai initiative helping to transform Dubai and nurture the city’s design talent.