Student's innovative book stand wins ninth Middle East Emergent Designer Prize

The sculptural creation blends two UAE-sourced raw materials, reinforcing the award's theme of 'Renewal'

Moufida Mohideen was named the winner of the Emergent Designer Prize for her ‘Ascension’ book stand. Photo: Tashkeel
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The winner of the ninth Middle East Emergent Designer Prize has been announced as a University of Sharjah student.

Moufida Mohideen, 20, who grew up in the UAE, was awarded the top prize for Ascension, which blends two locally-sourced contrasting raw materials — damas wood and mother of pearl. Her design challenges the conventional notion of a book stand. Inspired by the desert rose crystal formations that appear during springtime, the sculptural stand seeks to symbolise everlasting growth.

“It has been a very rewarding, roller-coaster ride,” Mohideen, who is studying for a bachelor's degree in interior architecture and design, said. “This journey has allowed me to learn. I am still at university so it has given me a taste of what’s to come in my career.”

The annual award is being held this year under the theme of Renewal. It aims to reinforce the importance of sustainable approaches to creation, highlighting the use of materials that are sourced locally and in an ethical manner. The judging panel consisted of representatives of French jewellery house Van Cleef & Arpels and UAE art and design organisation Tashkeel, as well as Saudi interior architect and design mentor Nawaf Nahar Al-Nassar.

Inspired by the desert rose crystal formations that appear during springtime, the sculptural book stand seeks to symbolise everlasting growth. Photo: Tashkeel

Moving forward, Mohideen said she will continue to include sustainable values in her design practice and plans to further explore the fields of material research and product design. As an up-and-coming interior architect and designer, she dreams of creating spaces that inspire creativity, human well-being and sustainability.

Mohideen will be sent on a seven-day trip to Paris to attend courses led by Mains d’Or, master craftsmen in high jewellery creation, at L’ecole Van Cleef & Arpels — an institute dedicated to accentuating the methods behind jewellery creation and watchmaking.

Established in 2013, the Middle East Emergent Designer Prize highlights young designers who live in the GCC. Every year, it invites proposals for functional products that embody a particular theme, which can be interpreted through materials, forms, functions and techniques.

“Now in its ninth edition, this extraordinary initiative has developed a formidable reputation for identifying rising talents destined to play a prominent role in the region’s dynamic design scene,” Lisa Ball-Lechgar, deputy director of Tashkeel, said.

“After a great deal of deliberation and discussion, the jury selected Moufida Mohideen for a bold design with a strong narrative. Ascension is an impassioned call to protect and preserve the rich environment of the Arabian Gulf and to respect all that nature provides.”

Scroll through images of this year's Made in Tashkeel exhibition below

Updated: October 25, 2022, 10:15 AM