identity’s highlights from Dubai Design Week 2020

We highlight designs from the UAE Designer Exhibition to Tashkeel's exhibition

Symbiotic Creatures by Tamara Barrage

The relationship between two entities, whether human or natural, is explored in the amorphic ‘Symbiotic Creatures’ collection by Lebanese designer Tamara Barrage, showcased as part of the UAE Designer Exhibition. The collection of stools, made with painted fibre-reinforced plaster, reflects on the topic of connectedness and interdependency by continuously morphing into counterpart objects such as a light or a vase – and sometimes other unidentifiable sculptural objects within the collection, including ‘a growth’ and ‘a creature’. The curious forms of these objects are intended to draw the viewer closer in an attempt at investigation and physical connection.

“The inspiration behind ‘Symbiotic Creatures’ is the phenomena of symbiosis where two unlikely bodies become interconnected biologically – be it mutualistic or parasitic. Each of the stools in ‘Symbiotic Creatures’ embodies a dual connection: between a stool and a light, a growth, a vase and another organic sculpture. I wish for that duality to transcend beyond the objects themselves and exist between the users’ bodies and the existing objects,” Barrage explains of the collection.

“Each piece portrays a particular type of exchange: sometimes it is two bodies melting into each other and becoming one, and other times it is a body growing and feeding off the other or giving birth to the other. These exchanges remind me of bodily and emotional links.

“With their forms, the pieces offer a more intimate relationship with the users, which is an exchange I am interested in exploring,” she shares. “I constantly observe how everyone almost immediately touches the pieces when they encounter them and how they position themselves on the objects. It’s always different and personal, and I like that my objects can evoke such curiosity and provide such experiences to their users.”