reviews November 8, 2018

Slanted Magazine Issue 32 Review: Design in Dubai

Slanted is a German-based, bi-annual publication created in 2014 by Lars Harmsen and Julia Kahl.
I first discover Slanted trough the Japanese edition (the previous one). After that, I decided to buy the annual subscription, since it’s more affordable.
I like the previous issue of Slanted so much that I will write a post about design from Japan.

However, with issue 32 I had no idea what to expect. Initially, the cover didn’t appeal to me like the other and to be frank, and I wasn’t interested in reading it. But all of that changed.

Design in Dubai according to local designers

10×10 designers is one of the magazine’s section. Ten questions are asked to ten designers to see their perspectives on several topics.

I really enjoyed reading their replies, because I put myself in their shoes and understood them better.

According to them, the design has an Arab influence but doesn’t have a formed identity like the Swedish design, for example.

On one hand, they are very much in touch with their culture and past. That sometimes translates into clients being averse to changes and breaking everyday habits.

On the other hand, although people tend to be careful about what they publicly say, designers are allowed to work on sensible projects and have freedom of speech and control over their creative process.

Misconceptions about Dubai

Like mentioned before, people from Europe (myself included), tend to think that there’s complete control over freedom of speech and opinion. While there might be some truth behind that, it’s not as severe as we imagine and designers work freely as we do.

We also tend to think that Dubai is only a place for luxurious vacations in a country that is still underdeveloped in many aspects. But in reality, there’s a massive increase in technology and modern thinking happening pushing the city into the future.

Thirdly, there’s this notion that all women are extremely oppressed and kept sheltered from the rest of the world. Truthfully, young women have access to pretty much the same information that we do, and they have interests, opinions, and beliefs as strong as we have.

We need to stop believing in everything we think we know and look at the world with a new pair of glasses.

What the future holds for designers

The future is promising! There are new cultural places (like museums) coming to the city, allowing for a fresh of perspective and the creation of design awareness.

Also, more people are choosing to study and pursue careers related to design man and female alike.

Opportunity wise, the country is growing at a fast pace; therefore, there’s a lot of chances for someone who truly wants to work there as a designer.

As for local designers, they hope to collaborate more and create awareness for design. Hopefully, they will also get their hands on even bigger projects in the future.

I think that I don’t need to tell you again how much I’ve learned with this Issue and how silly I was by feeling that I won’t find anything interesting about it.

I have to say it: don’t judge a book by its cover, or in this case, a magazine. Who knows, you might even end up liking it!


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