Khalid Shafar unveils a new sculpture at Design Week

 Khalid Shafar & LASVIT. Silent Call (2017). A lighting and glass installation unveiled as part of Dubai Design Week. Courtesy: Lasvit.

Khalid Shafar & LASVIT. Silent Call (2017). A lighting and glass installation unveiled as part of Dubai Design Week. Courtesy: Lasvit.

Khalid Shafar, one of the UAE's leading product designers has been working in collaboration with LASVIT to produce a lighting sculpture and glass installation as part of Dubai Design Week. Silent Call is a large wall piece made of several crystal glass components in the shape of Islamic architectural domes taken from five mosques in five countries: UAE, Russia, Malaysia, Germany and Denmark. Each dome has been resized in several dimensions and placed across the sculpture and are also fitted with internal lights that are programmed with new software that responds to the time of day in any given location.

Firstly, the installation changes depending on the light of the sky at each hour on a 24 hour cycle, meaning that at sunrise and sunset the reds and purples of a dramatic sky are cast across the sculpture and also that the piece is never the same from one hour to the next. Also, the lighting is programmed to indicate prayer times but in a dynamic movement that mirrors movement to and from the mosque and can last up to 30 minutes at each of the five daily prayers. 

Shafar was inspired by the software-based digital alarm clocks that are available on the market and wanted to make something fresh and contemporary that also reflects the fast-paced world in which we live. "I wanted to take Islam and Islamic architecture as a source of inspiration and come up with something completely new," he said. "From a design perspective it was a challenge and this is also my first time working with glass, so I wanted to also present something interesting and challenging to LASVIT, who are the best in the field in the glass industry."

 Khalid Shafar & LASVIT. Detail of Silent Call (2017). A lighting and glass installation unveiled as part of Dubai Design Week. Courtesy: Lasvit.

Khalid Shafar & LASVIT. Detail of Silent Call (2017). A lighting and glass installation unveiled as part of Dubai Design Week. Courtesy: Lasvit.

Shafar has been working with the glass manufacturers for almost three years on this project and both the designer and LASVIT wanted to create a piece that blended Eastern and Western aesthetics. Maxim Velčovský, LASVIT Art Director, said “It was our pleasure to work with someone as creative and dedicated as Khalid Shafar, and see the philosophical depth of his concept. Although he’s notably versatile as a designer, his background is in furniture design and he primarily works with wood. This was his first major venture into glass design. We hope it will be the first of many and look forward to collaborating with him on new ideas that produce truly unique creations, which is what we have been able to achieve with many international designers. Harnessing the Czech Republic as a hub of the highest quality glassmaking, we enjoy challenges and collaborations that produce cutting-edge, innovative design."

  • Silent Call will be unveiled in Building 7, Dubai Design District (d3) at 5pm on November 14, 2017.