Designs on Dubai

Finally I have got down to doing what I have been planning to do for a long time- blog. Although I have a full-time job as a journalist, there are so many dos and donts that you actually start doubting yourself and your writing abilities. There are no editors who constantly keep telling you that “I think you have missed the point, if I were you, I would write it like this.” (the only problem is they never really do write, do they?) Then the sub-editors, who rephrase, omit and delete so much that the story might as well have been written by them (But then technically, they never write either, do they?) God bless blogging that has given a new and unrestricted channel to pros, aspirants and wannab-ies.

To be honest, I still don’t understand the technical jargons such as RSS feeds etc. I did try to read up on it the other day on a fellow blogger’s website who tried to explain the meaning and functions of RSS feeds in the simplest terms for the benefit of technologically-challelenged lot like me, but I don’t think I understood all of it. But that’s not going to deter me from blogging and this is just the beginning of many more interesting (I hope they sound interesting) bits of information to come your way. There is something very powerful about being able to disemminate information. You feel so much under control. No friends this isn’t a eulogy to blogging…so let’s get down to business.

 Dubai- the wonderland that we all live in (sometimes it makes me feel like I’m ALICE), is in the grip of creative fever. First a little flashback- earlier this year, I got an opportunity to hob nob with the movers and shakers of design and architecture world at IDF. I interviewed Marcel Wanders and Rem Koolhaas, who made me chase him all over town before finally sitting down for a 40-minute interview with atleast 100 interruptions. Oh! and did I mention that I tried to catch hold of him for one full year before the actual interview. He is, no doubt, one of the busiest architects in the business and me an eager and hyper journalist gung-ho about asking all the intelligent questions. Knowing that he is himself an accomplished journalist, I was a bit nervous about being able to ask the correct and intellectual questions. I am proud to say that I did manage to do pretty well. I even got a bit cheeky when I saw him carrying a pair of red swimming trunks in his hands and asked him if he was planning to go for a swim? Apparently swimming is his favourite hobby, when he is not building cities or writing books. 

OK fast-forward to Dec and there is so much happening that I feel like a little kid in a candy store, who wants to grab it all up before anyone else does. Unfortunately I’m recovering from pneumonia and missed meeting  the wonderful Moroccan artist Hassan Hajjaj, whose photography exhibition titled Noss Noss (meaning half-half in Arabic) is being shown at the ubercool The Third Line Gallery in Al Quoz. Hajjaj is a contemporary artist who beautifully fuses North African-Arabic culture and Western hip-hop influences. The influence of Warhol (who is one of Hajjaj’s favourite artists) style PoP art is also pretty evident in his work which blends in seamlesly with modern Islamic calligraphy and vibrant colours. He has also kitted out this gorgeous Riad called Yima in Marakkech in Morocco. This exhibition is not to be missed- Call The Third Line Gallery on +9714 341 1367 for more information.

While you are calling them, don’t forget to book your tickets for the Pecha Kucha night- the first in UAE. Pecha Kucha (chit-chat for Japanese) was started in 2003 by Klein Dytham architecture firm in Tokyo and has since become a popular event for the creative congnoscenti around the world. Basically a bunch of artists/architects/designers etc make a presentation with 20 images for about 6-7 mins, to amke sure that they don’t ramble on and the others get their 20 seconds of fame too. In true academy awards style, the buzzer goes off once you’ve finished your 6 mins or so and you’ve got to get off the stage. I have attended a few, most recently in London and they are good fun. You also get to network with important and would-be important people. Once again at the Third Line Gallery.

Phew…that should be it for the first post, but I am in an overdrive, so tune in for juicy news and views shortly.



1 Comment

Filed under architecture/urbanism, Design, Events

One response to “Designs on Dubai

  1. Sac

    Hi Shweta
    I guess I have to leave a message here cus I started from yr latest post but couldn’t stop reading till the very end.
    We just started a group on facebook for PechaKucha and would love for you to join in and help us by contributing with yr views. You could also blog about it and post a link on the group to your blog:
    I envy the fact that you got to spend time with Rem Koolhaas. Wow. Would love to read the interview. where was it featured?
    I’m not sure if u are aware about this:

    I know that a few interesting people have applied for it and the faculty is super. Thought it would interest you … : )

    Warm regards


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