Judges at the London Design Biennale have named the Abu Dhabi pavilion amongst the three winners of the exhibition from a group of more than 40 international exhibitors showcasing design-led innovation under the theme “The Global Game: Remapping Collaborations.”
In addition to this win, the Abu Dhabi pavilion was also awarded the prestigious London Design Biennale Theme Medal for the most inspiring interpretation of this year’s theme. Both awards were accepted by Salama Al-Shamsi, director of cultural sites at Abu Dhabi’s Department of Culture and Tourism, and House of Artisans curator Azza Al-Sharif. The showcase was also attended by HE Sheikh Khalid Al Qasimi, Deputy Ambassador of the UAE in the UK.
The immersive installation from House of Artisans was titled “Formation of Soof” and not only highlighted the importance between Emirati crafts and architecture but also stressed the importance of preserving traditional crafts for the benefit of future generations. Using the traditional Bedouin weaving technique known as Sadu the art center hoped to do justice to this year’s theme and explained on social media that “highlighting this craft is a key part of creating awareness on its importance both as a craft but also on how to sustain and develop it for the future generations.”
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This tribute to the intricacy and heritage of Al-Sadu is described as a journey through soof, the Arabic word for wool, and the spinner/spindle, known in Arabic as the maghzal or ghazal. Raw wool was used to create intricate designs and distinctive patterns showcasing how Sadu often reflects issues regarding social identity and the surrounding environment. In 2011 Sadu was added to the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding.