Interactive art playground to open in Dubai

The large-scale sculpture will be unveiled in the autumn

The playscape is the latest development in the Dubai Public Art initiative. Photo: Art Jameel
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Dubai Culture and Art Jameel have commissioned an interactive playground to be built in the Jaddaf Waterfront Sculpture Park. The large-scale sculpture will open to the public in the autumn.

Theories of Imagination, a UAE design duo made up of Noor Alwan and Abdulla Buhijji, was selected out of a pool of about 100 applicants to design the playscape.

"Our concept strives to create a space that fosters inclusivity and creativity; a space that’s inviting, enticing and engaging for all ages of all walks of life," say the designers.

"We love the notion of parents using the same play elements with their kids rather than watching from afar, teenagers who can embrace the cool in play, children with different abilities who can explore play with other senses, adults who can join in on the fun in less active ways – there's something for everyone there."

The project is part of the Dubai Public Art initiative, which aims to enrich Dubai's artistic identity by installing public art pieces by artists living in the UAE.

Launched by Dubai Culture in January with a Dh2 million commission, the initiative also aims to strengthen Dubai's urban quality of life.

Theories of Imagination added: "We strongly believe in the impact that urban play can leave on cities and our need for these playful informal spaces."

In March, Dubai Public Art unveiled its inaugural shortlist of creatives during a session at Art Dubai.

The multi-year project aims to develop art commissions across the city, starting with Al Hudaiba – overlooking Etihad Museum and Union House.

Saeed Mubarak Kharbash Al Marri, chief executive of Arts and Literature at Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, said: "Dubai is taking major steps to build a vibrant creative and cultural landscape reflecting the city's identity as a representation of global creativity and innovation.

“Through Dubai Public Art, the emirate will empower talent, showcase local artists' works throughout key cultural destinations and strengthen partnerships with cultural institutions and the private sector to fully support its creative economy.”

Updated: July 20, 2023, 1:43 PM