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Vantage Point: July Furniture + Architecture Pairing

Completed in 2019, the National Museum of Qatar in Doha reflects the long history of the country, from its very geology—referencing the area’s trademark mineral, the desert rose—through modernization.

The dramatic exterior is also practical and energy-efficient; the slim disks create long shadows protecting the interior from the heat of the sun.

The glass-fiber-reinforced concrete form surrounds a central courtyard, a nod to local architectural vernacular. A tour through the gallery culminates at the magnificent Royal Palace.

2008 Pritzker Laureate, Jean Nouvel's career spans over 50 years. Ateliers Jean Nouvel are located in London, Copenhagen, New York, Rome, Madrid, and Barcelona. Their remarkable portfolio includes museums, concert halls, conference centers, theaters, hotels, collective housing, office buildings, commercial centers, and private residences around the world.

“The best engineer a few decades ago was someone who could create the most beautiful beam or structure. Today, it’s to do a structure we cannot see or understand how it’s done. It disappears, and you can talk only about color, symbols, and light.”

JEAN NOUVEL

Our furniture pairing for the National Museum of Qatar echoes the approach to honoring traditions and updating them with a modern twist—the Dedon Dala, designed by Stephen Burks.

Stephen Burks carved his own path as a designer. After studying product design and architecture at Illinois Institute of Technology and Columbia University, he spent time in New York, Europe, and Tokyo.

His world travels instilled his belief that design should embrace a more culturally inclusive perspective. In 2005 Burks was invited to South Africa to work with Aid to Artisans and Artecnica, pairing his expertise in design and industry with rich local craft traditions.

“Hands have power, hands can organize, and hands can build economies and change culture. It has always been collaborative for me.”

STEPHEN BURKS

Through his continuing work around the world, he has played the roles of business manager and export manager as well a designer. He has united artisans with global design brands such as Cappellini, Boffi, Dedon, and Moroso. These collaborative partnerships have not only created economic transformation but have also challenged how we assign value to artisanal production based on the country of origin.

His work in developing countries has earned him numerous awards including the Smithsonian Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Product Design. His work has been shown at Neocon, Salone del Mobile, and Art Basel/Design Miami.

The Dala by Dedon is a casual collection of lightweight, portable outdoor pieces including lounge seating, lanterns, and tables. The surface of UV-resistant Fibre Touch material is woven around a frame of powder-coated aluminum mesh, using techniques native to the Cebu Islands of the Philippines. Available in five colorways; Rioja, Cuba, Bahamas, Ubud, and Ibiza, celebrating Dedon’s Tour du Monde.

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