Emirati product designer, Khalid Shafar has collaborated with leading Italian engraving and mirror works atelier Arte Veneziana, to launch his latest interior collection, entitled ‘FORMA’ during Dubai Design Week. A tribute to Emirati culture, FORMA is anchored in the tradition of wearing Agaals, the woven rope bands used to secure head covers worn by Emirati men. By deconstructing the Agaals to where they are stripped of their original fashionable function and serve purely as a building material for the collection, Khalid Shafar explores the inter-play between ancient Emirati customs and Italian décor, while engaging in a cultural dialogue that pays tribute to local traditions, decorative art, and national identities.

Showcasing 14 pieces, FORMA offers a range of interior products spanning from monumental mirrors and screens to chandeliers, floor lamps, table lamps, and wall lamps. All pieces have been created using Agaals juxtaposed with glass, mirrored surfaces or natural stone and have been custom engraved by Arte Veneziana.

“The Agaal is a part of our heritage and a universal symbol of Emirati culture – for me it was very important to ensure that this collection transcended being merely decorative objects, and instead became a functional collection and objects of cultural dialogue. FORMA is grounded in the belief that contemporary design can be elevated through the use of ancient handmade techniques, and thus we chose to partner with premier Italian engraver Arte Veneziana, who still follow the traditional practices.”

“It is a pleasure to see FORMA Collection coming to reality. We truly believe that this collaboration with Khalid Shafar reflects on how Arte Veneziana, with its almost four decades of history and craftsmanship, is looking forward to the future of contemporary design through such international collaborations. We are honoured to see our artistic heritage and artisan skills fit so perfectly with Khalid Shafar’s vision, pushing the rules of interior trends and handmade luxury design,” said Nicola Zanin, CEO and master engraver of Arte Veneziana.