On the lookout for the “next big thing” in furniture design emerging from the Emirates, DesignFix caught up with Mishaal Marchant, whose Weave lounge chair recently won the Contemporary Furniture Design competition at the Index International Design Exhibition 2016.
“At the core, a design should be seen as a solution, and a solution is beautiful if it’s simple, elegant and functional,” says Mishaal, whose ergonomic and eco-friendly design caught the judges’ eye. Mishaal found inspiration for her notable seating design from the details she saw in the beautiful, unique textures and colours that come from handwoven fabrics and the natural world.
As the writer of internationally published papers on sustainable ecological cycles and principal architect at Studio Ecomorph, it only fits that Mishaal’s design concept can be sustainably built and offers weavers the opportunity to mass produce, helping them to gain economic independence. “I wanted to reinterpret upholstery and to see if I could break through the conventional semantic interpretation,” she says.
Originally conceived with a steel base, the chair fuses handcrafted and industrial materials, and classic and contemporary aesthetics, to create something new, ergonomically designed for comfort and functionality. Commenting on the award, she says: “It feels great to be honored against so many international participants. It inspires me to believe in myself and continue to work in a way that’s attuned to my philosophy and comes from my heart.” For designers looking towards next year’s Index exhibition, Mishaal suggests that the “best innovations come without resistance”. “Design is a reductive process, and over designing should be avoided,” she adds. “Take inspiration from nature; how everything fits into an ecosystem and supports each other’s existence. That is what I call an amazing design.”
Mishaal’s award-winning Weave lounge chair will be made and sold through contemporary home furniture store Home Outfitters, based in Al Barsha, Dubai.