Urban Commissions Announces Inaugural Winner

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Urban Commissions Announces Inaugural Winner

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Design Days Dubai

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 2015-03-09 –

Urban Commissions, the urban design initiative helping to transform Dubai and nurture the city’s design talent, is delighted to announce its inaugural winner, Anna Szonyi. Launched by the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and Dubai Design District (d3), the 2014/15 Design Days Dubai initiative invited the UAE’s resident creatives to propose and design a public urban seating installation for the city of Dubai.  

Urban Commissions was launched in recognition of Dubai’s growing design-conscious urban development; the annual competition aims to engage with the community and build a strong awareness of sustainability, while also promoting the diverse local creative and production industries.


Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General, of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, the governmental entity dedicated to promoting the cultural scene, said: “Urban Commissions is a creative platform aimed at attracting the best in design talent in the country to partner in our concerted efforts to establish Dubai as the design destination of the region. It not only provides our talent the opportunity to highlight their creativity but also contribute to the city’s design aesthetics by adding to our thriving public arts scene. Design is at the heart of every creative process, and through our focus on promoting design talent, we are setting a solid foundation for a vibrant design sector in Dubai.”


Anna’s winning design, entitled Boomerang Bench, marries form and function while reflecting the never-ending momentum and dynamism of our cities.


The designer said: “Cities never stand still. The conceptual idea of the Boomerang Bench was to create an adaptable, dynamic, customisable and functional seating and resting furniture within the continuously transforming urban space.


It is inspired by the time lapse stills of movement across the space; the single element occupied by each moment in a different area in the space, but in a slightly shifted position following a linear spine.”


Szonyi’s winning design will be fabricated in Dubai by Pinnacle Interiors and Rajasthan Furniture. The Boomerang Bench will be comprised of a total of 73 pieces of solid Burma teak wood, each following the lines of a boomerang. The boomerangs each rotate to create a continuous fanning effect and innumerable seating forms. The 3.6m long bench will be installed in the urban landscape of Dubai’s new creative hub, d3.


A UAE-based architect, Szonyi began her career studying fine art, architecture and furniture design at Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design in Budapest, the school of Erno Rubick. Upon graduating, she moved to the UAE in 2007, where she has spent more than seven year working as an architect and design manager.


Congratulating Anna Szonyi on her win, Design Days Fair Director, Cyril Zammit, also said: “The response to the call for designs for the inaugural Urban Commissions was extraordinarily overwhelming and clearly demonstrated the strength, breadth and vibrancy of the UAE’s fast-growing design and creative sector.


“In all the Urban Commission jury received 128 high-calibre submissions, encompassing 24 nationalities from collaborating groups and individuals at varied stages of their design careers. We were particularly pleased to receive so many innovative designs from the UAE’s student community; their creative submissions show that the future of urban design in the Emirates is very bright.”


The jury members for the Urban Commission 2015 initiative were: Noora Mohammed Al Jamea, Senior Assistant Manager, Dubai Culture; Mohammad Saeed AlShehhi, COO, Dubai Design District ; Ahmed Bukhash, Architect and Founder of Archidentity; Faysal Tabbarah, Assistant Professor of Architecture at American University of Sharjah; and , Cyril Zammit, Design Days Dubai Fair Director.


Mohammad Saeed AlShahi, added: “Urban Commissions is a dynamic initiative and provides an ideal platform for our creative community to showcase their talent. d 3 is pleased to partner such initiatives as it is in line with our ambition of creating a home for creativity designed by the community, for the community. A home where talent is supported, encouraged and nurtured.


“The proposals received were highly innovative and bears strong testimony to Dubai’s vibrant creative landscape. We congratulate all participants and are looking forward to welcoming Anna Szonyi, the winning designer with her Boomerang Bench to its new home at d3.”


Other highly commended shortlisted submissions included:

  • Al Hasira, a design for a low level seating structure constructed of folding square units by Adetayo Odulana; and Dana Salam

  • Suspended in Time by a design team of architects: Noora Al Awar, Khalda El Jack, Fatima Al Zaabi and Reyan Hanafi, who are all alumni of the American University of Sharjah. Of their design concept, the team said they revisited a time when neighbourhoods had a greater sense of interaction: “In a pocket in the middle of all the crowds of the side by side houses lies an open space where the swings, the slides, and the stories were found. Suspended in time is a frozen moment in that memory reinterpreted within the contemporary day urban fabric.”

In support of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to transform Dubai into an innovation-driven economy, the Urban Commissions initiative each year will focus on stimulating creativity in the UAE, inspiring the development of new technologies, creating smart and sustainable infrastructure, and driving entrepreneurship and small business growth with the arts and design sector. The 2015/2016 edition of Urban Commissions will open for submissions in Q4 2015.


For more information about Urban Commissions and Design Days Dubai, please visit the bi-lingual website, www.designdaysdubai.ae. Supporters can also keep up-to-date with the Design Days Dubai fair via social media channels: Facebook Instagram Twitter Pinterest


Visit www.boomerangbench.com to view the Urban Commissions winning design.

Note to Editors

About Design Days Dubai

Now in its fourth edition, Design Days Dubai is the first design fair of its kind in the Middle East, bringing the most exclusive selection of purchasable, limited-edition design to the region. A showcase of desirable, rare and unique design creations, Design Days Dubai will be held from March 16-20, 2015, to coincide with Art Week, the city’s premier art event. Design Days Dubai will again be located at its dedicated premises; The Venue, Mohammed bin Rashid Boulevard, Downtown Dubai.


To download images of the Urban Commissions 2015 winning designer, Anna Szonyi and the Boomerang Bench, visit: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vgvyjubvojwab48/AAClastTxgJL59jqhUG5O1zsa/Galleries%202015?dl=0


For more information, images and interview requests for Design Days Dubai, please contact:
The Portsmouth Group
Lydia Cook / Ibrahim Asran
[email protected]
Tel: +971 4 369 3575



Dubai Culture & Arts Authority

Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Vice President & Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), drives the growth of the city’s artistic and cultural landscape under the leadership of His Excellency Abdul Rahman Al Owais, Minister of Health and Chairman of the Board of Directors and Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board. Over the years, Dubai Culture has played a significant role in reinforcing the city’s position as a vibrant, Arabian metropolis that fosters culture and arts in the region. Through its holistic outlook, Dubai Culture provides support to all art forms including visual arts, performing arts, film and literature.

The various initiatives of Dubai Culture promote intercultural understanding and exchange while building on the Emirate’s rich Arabian cultural ethos and preserving its national heritage. These projects focus on building a strong creative environment, nurturing and developing talent and strengthening overall artistic community engagement. Our strategic partnership with Design Days Dubai highlights our commitment to promoting design, which is fundamental to all art forms, and how it can be further nurtured to add to the city’s multi-faceted identity. Dubai provides a dynamic environment for design talent to thrive. The initiative serves as a platform to express their creativity and lends momentum to reiterating the city’s credentials as a fast-growing global hub for the design sector.


About Van Cleef & Arpels

Founded in 1906 in Paris’ Place Vendôme, Van Cleef & Arpels came into being following Alfred Van Cleef’s marriage to Estelle Arpels in 1895. Always striving for excellence, the Maison has become a worldwide reference through its unique designs, its choice of exceptional stones and its virtuoso craftsmanship, offering jewels and timepieces that tell stories and bring enchantment to life.

Over the years, the Maison has remained faithful to this highly distinctive style characterized by creativity, refinement and poetry. Whether inspired by nature, couture or works of the imagination, its collections evoke a timeless world of beauty and harmony. www.vancleefarpels.com

About Emaar Properties PJSC

Emaar Properties PJSC, listed on the Dubai Financial Market, is a global property developer and provider of premium lifestyles, with a significant presence in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia. One of the world’s largest real estate companies, Emaar has total assets of nearly US$19 billion and a land bank of more than 226 million sq m in key international markets.

With a proven track record in delivery, Emaar has handed over 37,500 residential units in Dubai and other global markets since 2001. Emaar has over 690,000 sq m of recurring revenue generating assets, and 12 hotels and resorts, with over 1,900 rooms. Today, over 60 per cent of the company’s revenues come from its shopping malls & retail and hospitality & leisure subsidiaries and international operations.

Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and The Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping and entertainment destination, are among Emaar’s trophy developments. www.emaar.com

About Audi

The Audi Group delivered approximately 1,575,500 cars of the Audi brand to customers in 2013. As one of the most successful models, the Audi A3 has been awarded the title of “World Car of the Year 2014“ by an international jury of journalists (combined fuel consumption in l/100 km: 7.1 – 3.2; combined CO2 emissions in g/km: 165 – 85). In 2013, the company reported revenue of €49.9 billion and an operating profit of €5.03 billion. The company operates globally in more than 100 markets and has production facilities in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm (Germany), Győr (Hungary), Brussels (Belgium), Bratislava (Slovakia), Martorell (Spain), Kaluga (Russia), Aurangabad (India), Changchun (China) and Jakarta (Indonesia). Since the end of 2013, the brand with the Four Rings has also been producing cars in Foshan (China). In 2015, Audi will start production in São José dos Pinhais (Brazil), followed by San José Chiapa (Mexico) in 2016. Wholly owned subsidiaries of AUDI AG include quattro GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy), the sports motorcycle manufacturer. The company currently employs more than 73,500 people worldwide, of which more than 52,500 in Germany. Total investment of around €22 billion is planned from 2014 to 2018 – primarily in new products and sustainable technologies. Audi is committed to its corporate responsibility and has anchored the principle of sustainability for its products and processes in its strategy. The long-term goal is CO2-neutral mobility.

AUDI AG’s commitment to the region was confirmed through the foundation of its fully owned subsidiary in 2005. The current Middle East model range comprises the Audi A1, A3 and S3 Sedan, A4 and RS 4 Avant, the A5 Coupe, Sportback, Cabriolet and RS 5, the A6, S6 & RS 6 Avant, A7, S7 & RS 7, A8 L & S8, the Audi Q3, Q5 and Q7, the Audi TT Coupe/Roadster and TT RS Coupe, the Audi R8 Coupe and R8 Spyder as well as R8 V10 plus.


About Dubai Design District (D3)

Dubai Design District, better known as d3, is dedicated to fostering the growth of the Emirate’s design, fashion, art, and luxury industry. It offers businesses, entrepreneurs and individuals a creative community that will be at the very heart of the region’s design scene. 

d3 is the newest of TECOM Investments’ freezone business parks – with 11 buildings currently under construction. Once complete, d3 will be a purpose built environment catering to the full value chain of the design, fashion, art, and luxury industry – and all with the vision of creating a world class creative community that engages, nurtures and promotes local, regional and global design talent.

d3’s facilities will include everything from cutting-edge office space, to residential, hospitality, retail and unique food and beverage offerings. The District will be characterised by distinct public areas, unique street furniture and shaded walkways. The development will include a Creek-side esplanade with international and boutique hotels, unique retail spaces and a multi-use outdoor space.

Located close to Mohammed Bin Rashid City and adjacent to Dubai’s Business Bay, d3 is a short distance from the city’s arterial highways and two international airports. The District is in sight of the Creek, Dubai’s historic and mercurial trading epicentre, Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building, and Dubai Mall, the world’s largest shopping complex.

d3 will be the most connected design, fashion and luxury destination in the world – with Dubai being only eight hours flight time from 90 per cent of the countries in the world. Guided by the objectives set out in Dubai Fashion 2020 – a strategic plan to harness the full growth potential of the fashion industry – this creative community will support Dubai’s goals for a more diversified innovation-led economy.

About Art Week

Art Week brings together Dubai’s thriving creative industries into a week-long celebration of arts and culture. In addition to pillar events such as Art Dubai, SIKKA Art Fair and Design Days Dubai visitors to the city can enjoy an extensive programme of gallery nights, talks and special programming. As a focal point of the region’s cultural calendar, Art Week attracts many tourists and residents, thus helping to sustain and develop the region’s arts industry by actively building audiences and patrons. 

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Press kit | 1604-03 - Press release | Urban Commissions Announces Inaugural Winner - Design Days Dubai - Product - Photo credit: Anna Szonyi 

Photo credit:
Anna Szonyi 


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Press kit | 1604-03 - Press release | Urban Commissions Announces Inaugural Winner - Design Days Dubai - Product - Photo credit: Anna Szonyi 

Photo credit:
Anna Szonyi 


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Press kit | 1604-03 - Press release | Urban Commissions Announces Inaugural Winner - Design Days Dubai - Product - Photo credit: Anna Szonyi 

Photo credit:
Anna Szonyi 


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Press kit | 1604-03 - Press release | Urban Commissions Announces Inaugural Winner - Design Days Dubai - Product - Photo credit: Anna Szonyi 

Photo credit:
Anna Szonyi 


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