Dubai – Zuleika Penniman’s Coral Sun presented at Dubai Design Week challenges the perception of by-products.
As one of the earliest permanent building materials in the region, the unexpected use of natural coral that has been washed up on the coast of the United Arab Emirates formed the basis of the Lebanese-American designer’s investigation into repurposing the now abandoned material.
When experimenting with the capabilities of the coral, Penniman discovered that the hardened webbed colonies could be sliced millimetres thin, forming a translucent and textured surface when back-lit. Using the material in such a way, she created a series of lighting pieces.
The first part of the project was Coral Story, a coral and gold-plated steel room divider that was showcased earlier in the year at Design Days Dubai. The latest iteration of the collection, organically shaped coral lighting pieces for Dubai Design Week 2016, was shown in the D3 design district as part of the exhibition by Tashkeel, an art and design institute in Dubai.
Our view on waste is changing as the perceived value of luxury materials is in flux. For more examples of designers using new unexpected material resources within a luxury design context, read our opinion piece on Long-term thinking at The London Design Festival.