AlUla Design Award
The Award received an overwhelming response from established and emerging designers, who showcased their talent by conceptualizing and developing exceptional design retail items across six categories inspired by the heritage, landscape and artistic legacies of AlUla.
After a rigorous selection process, 10 finalists were chosen by a jury comprising recognized leaders from the design sector, to exhibit at Paris Design Week. The five winners are:
- Tawa by Shaddah Studio (Saudi, based in Saudi Arabia)
- Naba Tea Tiffin by Ikkis, Gunjan Gupta (Indian, based in India)
- AlUla Terrains: Dates Serving Set by Teeb (Lebanese and Saudi, based in Saudi Arabia)
- Incense Heritage Collection by Sarra Hafaiedh (Tunisian, based in Tunisia)
- Oil Lantern by Imane Mellah (French, based in Paris)
The AlUla Design Award aims to support the winners by commissioning some of the designs, providing assistance throughout the production process, and facilitating their promotion within AlUla and its influential network of regional and international activities. The exhibition in Paris, conceived by acclaimed designer Hervé Sauvage, features prototypes of all 10 finalists, at 21, Rue De Turenne, 75 004 Paris from 8 to 16 September 2023, 10am – 7pm (til 9pm on 9 September).
The winners of the AlUla Design Award have brilliantly interpreted the landscape and heritage of AlUla through their designs. We are excited that the Award sits alongside several AlUla design initiatives including the trailblazing Madrasat Addeera Editions, also exhibiting in Paris; the first Design Residency which begins in October in AlUla; and the Design Space AlUla which opens in early 2024. These initiatives exemplify AlUla’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of design in dynamic and innovative ways whilst fostering creativity and cross-cultural connections. We look forward to nurturing these ambitious initiatives which are making AlUla a design hub in the region, engaging local and international design communities alike.Nora Aldabal, Executive Director of Arts and Creative Industries Royal Commission for AlUla
Madrasat Addeera Editions
Madrasat Addeera in AlUla is dedicated to developing artisanal skills and craft programs among the local population to support the growth of a sustainable, vibrant, and authentically creative artisan and design industry.
Madrasat Addeera Editions is a new initiative and is exhibiting its limited edition statement pieces for the first time. The four pieces have been designed and produced by renowned Saudi and international designers and artisans from more than eight countries. The designs reflect a fusion of local heritage and contemporary design, whilst demonstrating the vast potential of crafts. The pieces draw inspiration from the rich local culture and narratives of AlUla, blending traditional crafts with modern innovative techniques and sustainable materials.
The pieces are designed by renowned and award-winning designers including Dr Zahrah Alghamdi, Cristian Mohaded, TAKK (Mireia Luzarraga and Alejandro Muino), and GTECNOCrafts. The exhibition will be held from 8 – 16 Sept at Galerie Joseph, 66 Rue Charlot Paris 10am – 6pm.
Gunjan Gupta Ikkis, Naba Tea Tiffin, Arts AlUla, 2023
Building on the success of the AlUla Artist Residency launched in 2021 by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) and the French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), Arts AlUla is excited to announce the inaugural AlUla Design Residency.
The Design Residency seeks to embark on a comprehensive examination and experimentation of design methodologies, forging a symbiotic relationship with parallel design initiatives spearheaded by Arts AlUla. Encompassing a research-intensive residency across three months, this initiative will unfold within the vibrant environs of AlUla, and aims to pioneer a novel phase of creative exploration in the region.
These exciting design initiatives reflect AlUla’s commitment to developing ambitious strands of design, nurturing creativity within their communities, absorbing and preserving heritage, whilst pushing the boundaries of design, and making it a dynamic hub for artistic and design excellence in the region.
About Arts AlUla Design Award
The AlUla Design Award (ADA) is an Open Call that invites established and emerging designers to conceptualize and propose exceptional items for cultural retail. The award recognises design inspired by the heritage, landscape and artistic legacies of AlUla.
Jury Members of this year’s edition are:
- Cyril Zammit – Design Advisor & Consultant, Cyril Zammit Design Consultancy
- Robert Frith – Creative Director, King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture, Ithra
- Emily Marant – Design Consultant & Founder, Studio Marant
- Raghad Hazzazi – Arts and Cultural Programming Lead, Royal Commission for AlUla
The six winners of the first edition were Reem Bashawri, Nour Shourbagy, Tarek ElKassouf, Mohamad Baalbaki x AlJoharah AlRasheed, Rukun x Harry Dobbs, and Niko Kapa. For more information on their winning designs please visit www.aluladesignaward.com.
Sarra Hafaiedh Sarra Hafaiedh, Incense Heritage Collection, Arts AlUla, 2023
About Madrasat Addeera
In 2018, the Royal Commission for AlUla renovated Madrasat Addeera – the first secondary school in AlUla – to develop artisan and craft programmes for local students. The school is part of RCU’s commitment to upskill local communities and support the development of a sustainable, creative and original artisan and design industry that reflects the unique cultural and natural identity of AlUla.
A series of programmes across a range of traditional crafts have been developed both locally and in partnership with leading international organizations. Programmes cover five key pillars: Vocational development; design training; public art; community masterclasses; public programmes. Madrasat Addeera Editions is one of the many initiatives instigated by Madrasat Addeera.
Imane Mellah Imane Mellah, Oil Lantern, Arts AlUla, 2023
About The French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula)
The French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula) was founded in Paris in July 2018 following an intergovernmental agreement signed by France and Saudi Arabia in April of that year. Afalula aims to support its Saudi partner, the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU), in the co-construction of the economic, touristic, and cultural development of AlUla, a region located in the North-West of Saudi Arabia which benefits from outstanding natural and cultural heritage. The agency’s mission is to mobilise French knowledge and expertise and to gather the finest operators and companies in the fields of archaeology, museography, architecture, environment, tourism, hospitality, infrastructure, education, security, agriculture, botany, and the sustainable management of natural resources.
About the AlUla Artists Residency
The AlUla Artists Residency, launched in 2021 by the Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) and the French Agency for AlUla Development (Afalula), has evolved into a permanent, continuous program and a cornerstone of AlUla’s long-term cultural programming strategy and distinctive identity. Our vision is to establish AlUla as a global hub for creative minds, drawing inspiration from its natural wonders, rich history, and diverse people. The program encourages artists and creatives to explore the boundless possibilities of AlUla, focussing on research and experimentation rather than mere production. The Design Residency will begin in October with 6 designers whose work will be exhibited In February 2024 during the AlUla Arts Festival.
About Arts AlUla
The creation of Arts AlUla within The Royal Commission for AlUla (RCU) is a commitment to the next chapters in a millennia of artistic creation – celebrating cultural inheritance, AlUla has long been a consistent and ever-evolving hub of cultural transfer. It has been a place of passage, a crossroads for trade, and home to successive civilizations who carved, sculpted and inscribed their lives into the landscape. The work of Arts AlUla seeks to preserve this legacy: fuse the old with the new; the local with the international, keeping the arts central to the spirit of AlUla as a place of extraordinary natural and human heritage.
Arts AlUla will bring to fruition a series of new initiatives, projects and exhibitions. The artwork curation will speak to RCU’s vision for the continued development of AlUla’s contemporary art scenes: positioning the arts as a key contributor to AlUla’s character, the quality of life for its local community and the region’s economic future.
Arts AlUla focuses on transferring the talents of the Saudi nation and the local AlUla community into meaningful long-standing social and economic opportunities. This is a key part of the Journey through Time masterplan bringing together the 15 different landmark destinations for culture, heritage and creativity across AlUla.
AlUla tells the complex story of human settlement and civilisation through art and design. It ranges from prehistoric architecture upon the volcanic fields that continue to compel and confound archaeologists; the exquisite sculpture of ancient Arabian tribes who made AlUla their capital; the monumental Nabataean tombs carved out of sandstone mountains and decorated with intricate symbols inspired by Italian, Egyptian and Greek cultures; and the mud-brick labyrinth to AlUla Old Town decorated with the artwork of its inhabitants. For more information please visit: experiencealula.com, www.aluladesignaward.com, @artsalula, @experiencealula, @alulamoments.