Slanted in Dubai: Abjad Design
In Spring 2018 the Slanted editors took a close-up look at the contemporary design scene of Dubai. A city—when described by many people—that is all sickening shine and has no soul. But Dubai and the whole region, originally a piece of desert sparsely populated by Bedouins, is now transforming itself rapidly into a center, if not the world’s greatest center, of trade, finance, and tourism—and moreover, something important happened in the last few years: Culture! Today, a new Arab world is being plotted and planned. The entire Gulf is teeming with initiatives—from the most public to the most private—to change and reinvent seemingly immutable rules, regimes, edicts, and assumptions, culminating, perhaps, in the stated intention to work more closely together. The Gulf states have a past, and they will have a future. The contours of that future are legible in this Slanted issue!
Sheikha Bin Dhaher is an Emirati graphic designer. In 2010, she gained her MA degree in Communication Design from Central Saint Martins College of Art & Design in London, with a focus in typography and language. Not long after, she cofounded Abjad Design with Diana Hawatmeh. She derives her inspiration from literature, history, and nature. And Diana Hawatmeh is the art director and co-founder at Abjad Design. She is a graduate of the American University of Sharjah with a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communication. For several years she worked as a graphic designer in the fields of branding, publishing, and television in Dubai and the Netherlands. Her work is influenced by the Dada movement and recognized by experimental and exaggerated forms.
Take a look at the Slanted #32—Dubai to get an idea of Dubai’s creative environment. Additionally you can find several video interviews on our video platform to get a deeper insight in the designer’s thoughts.