Welcome to the Summer Style Issue! With the easing of restrictions and the gradual reopening of global borders (finally!), we turn our gaze to the hospitality sector which – like many other industries – has taken a hard hit due to the pandemic.
The hotels featured in this issue have design at the forefront yet also maintain strong ties to the cultural and building heritage of their respective contexts, teaching us about the importance of carrying forward traditions and learning from the past.
Amanruya in Bodrum, for example; led by the vision of late Turkish architect Turgut Cansever (the only architect to receive the Aga Khan Award for Architecture three times in his career) and realised by his daughter and her husband, the holiday retreat embraces local know-how and historical references.
“If a designer seeks a solution that belongs to the place, then history is the logical place to start,” the designers said of Amanruya’s incorporation of Turkish design.
Not far from Bodrum, in the coast of Batroun, Lebanese designer and musician Carl Gerges is renovating two structures from the 17th century into an idyllic getaway that also focuses on connections to nature and history, employing traditional building techniques of the time.
In other parts of the magazine, we look at London-based fashion brand Qasimi, which has collaborated with Emirati craftswomen from the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council’s ‘Bidwa Social Development Programme’ for its Spring/Summer 2021 collection. The collection pays homage to the UAE’s indigenous crafts while imbuing it with a contemporary aesthetic.
Meanwhile in Sweden, Stockholm-based creative Haisam Mohammed is gaining traction for his brand UNIFORM – which he launched during the pandemic last year. UNIFORM is greatly influenced by the social circumstances that architecture presents and aims to redefine the idea of luxury within the perfume industry.
On our cover this month is the apartment of Lebanese product designer Thomas Trad; located in the outskirts of Beirut, and surrounded by a spectacular landscape of mountains, Trad’s home reflects his attitude towards design and features an eclectic selection of furniture and memorabilia which he has collected with his father over the years – as well as pieces of his furniture.
“In my opinion, while creating a space, we shouldn’t be limited to one style, pattern, trend or colour palette. There should always be room for evolution, without being bound to one set design,” Trad explains.
Finally, I would like to remind everyone that the nominations for the 2021 identity Design Awards will be open this month and we are super excited to see all your entries! We will also be announcing our roster of international judges, so stay tuned for that as well.
The team at identity wishes everyone a wonderful (and well deserved) summer break – and we hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together.