The UAE-based award winning architect talks to Downtown Design about her experience presenting her debut collection, Ten Tables, at Downtown Editions 2019.

You are an established architect with many high-profile projects across the region. Why did you decide to participate in Downtown Editions?

Our architectural and interior work usually contains an element of experimentation. We love to explore new materials, or use existing materials in a modified or an unconventional way. We also like to create bespoke patterns and meaningful symbols within our work.

I came to a point where I was feeling tied down by pens and paper and computer screens; I wanted to explore through ‘doing’. Downtown Editions was a structured opportunity to do just that. It gave us a platform to analyze the validity of our ideas, and our brand, and talk about it to a global audience.

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What aspects of your practice and creative process did you want to highlight through Ten Tables, the collection you showcased at the fair?

On a personal level, I wanted to use the tables to illustrate the critical thinking process that many architects go through while designing, as well as explore the essence of design; the balance of art, science and functionality.

When talking about our professional journey, each person in our small and talented office took responsibility for various unique aspects within the Ten Tables project. I am consciously grateful for the gifted team that is Binchy and Binchy.

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What has been the response to Ten Tables?

It’s been absolutely incredible.

The collection has been published worldwide by some of the most revered design platforms including Dezeen, Designboom, Elle Decoration, Interior Design New York, Design Milk, Architectural Digest Middle East and Design Wanted. We had a great response during Downtown Editions, and met so many interesting people. It was an honour to discuss our work with Christian Louboutin and many other high-profile people visiting the show. We also made several connections towards new architectural work, and the dividends keeps coming.

After the show, Binchy and Binchy’s Architect Neda Salmanpour, who was integral to the design of the collection, was accepted into Tashkeel’s highly coveted Tanween Programme. We are really looking forward to see what she produces for Downtown Editions 2020.

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What next for the ‘Ten Tables’?

For us, Ten Tables was an experimental collection and is not our principle business. With the positive response we received at Downtown Editions, we had offers from collectable design galleries. We eventually decided not to produce further pieces as we wanted to keep the pieces unique and in the public realm. We are currently working with a brand who will allow the collection to do this, we will be sharing more detail very soon!

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Are you working on a new design collection?

We are working on a series of 3D-printed versions of Ten Tables where we can move into small-scale industrial production. These tables will retain the same symbology, but they will look quite different to the original collection. For the new collection, each table will come as a kit of parts where each piece can be used separately or assembled together to match the original design. We are taking our time with this, but we have printed several prototypes and we are now experimenting with finishes and exploring the business case for mass production.

Downtown Design 2020 will take place 10-13 November at the Waterfront, Dubai Design District. To exhibit at the fair, click here.