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Nada Debs x Irthi Crafts Council to unveil Zenobia at Milan Design Week 2022
Nada Debs presents the Zenobia collection
Image: Courtesy of Nada Debs Studio

Nada Debs x Irthi Crafts Council to unveil Zenobia at Milan Design Week 2022

The artisanal multipurpose vessels draw inspiration from the vessels carried by the tribal Arab women of Bedouin.

by Nada Debs
Published on : Jun 02, 2022

By weaving the worlds of Talli- the textile handicraft and Marquetry, the artwork made by inlaying and interweaving coloured wood, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council and Nada Debs introduce the 'Zenobia collection' an intricately crafted interpretation of the vessels traditionally carried by Bedouin women. The collection of artisanal vessels will be displayed at the Milan Design Week 2022.

The Zenobia vessels initiate a dialogue between two crafts from different worlds and interlace them to generate an entirely new identity. The crafts, although similar in appearance, involve very different processes and materials. One practised predominately by men is produced using wooden cross-sections that are assembled and then shaved using machine tools, while the other is hand-woven by women using wool threads. Through their application, an exchange happens as the Talli becomes solid while lending its supple characteristics to the Marquetry. The forms, typically used for copper pots, are translated in solid oak and woven with narratives uniting the journeys and expertise of craftsmen and craftswomen from different parts of the Middle East. The result is a collection of totems and vessels offering a contemporary interpretation of the nomadic gathering and serving practices of the Middle Eastern region. These multifunctional bowls and elongated vases can be used as centrepieces in the home, as tables, stools, or even as storage containers. 

Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council engages with women artisans across the UAE, Middle East, North Africa, and South and Southeast Asian regions to empower them economically and socially through vocational training and upskilling programmes, ensuring the preservation of Indigenous craft heritage.

A hub of global crafts collaborations, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council ensures the modernisation of traditional crafts and creates new market opportunities for local craftswomen by partnering them with international designers and artists, merging Emirati crafts and artisanal techniques with cutting-edge design and innovation to produce Emirati-crafted products reflective of culture today. Irthi’s series makes everyday luxury a possibility through the creation of uniquely designed yet functional objects for the home. Released through a series of ‘drops’, the collection allows personal space to become a canvas for traditionally crafted products that add beauty and joy to your living space. 

Nada Debs is a Levantine designer living and working in Beirut. Her work spans scale and discipline: from product and furniture design to one-off commissions across craft, art, fashion and interiors. Nada grew up in Japan, studied design at Rhode Island School of Design in the United States and has spent time living and travelling the world to find connections between different cultures. What ties her work together is her ability to distil culture and craftsmanship to create pieces of emotional resonance. She believes that design can cross time and border and touch us on a primal level. She calls her approach: handmade and heart made. 

STIR takes you on a Milanese sojourn! Experience Salone del Mobile and all the design districts - 5vie, Brera, Fuorisalone, Isola, Zona Tortona, and Durini - with us. STIR’s coverage of Milan Design Week 2022, Meanwhile in Milan showcases the best exhibits, moods, studios, events, and folks to look out for. We are also excited to announce our very own STIR press booth at Salone del Mobile - Hall 5/7 S.14, Fiera Milano RHO.

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