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In Conversation With: Mohamed Bin Zaal, Judge At Bazaar Interiors Awards 2017

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Harper's Bazaar Interiors: What are the current trends that you are currently witnessing in the global design industry?

Mohamed Bin Zaal: Colour is having a big moment. It’s most obvious with the highly topical “millennial pink” and emerald green but more and more designers are experimenting with sophisticated colour pairings over block colours and monochrome. I’m also seeing a lot of texture and the use of materials that have sensory qualities - such as antique, scratched and rough surfaces. The trend I’m most excited by is artisan design, and respect of traditional crafts that is being rediscovered. Craftsmanship seems to be back. Independent artists, and even bigger brands are adapting a “handmade” style and I’m seeing designers taking inspiration from regional heritage and traditional techniques.

HBI: What projects are you currently working on?

MBZ: In addition to our flagship project KOA Canvas, we’re now focusing on a unique social club and workspace, a Dubai first. I don’t want to give too much away at this stage, but we are incredibly excited about this new project. We have an exceptional regional and international design team that we are confident will bring something very special to Dubai. Watch this space!

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HBI: From where do you source your creative inspiration?

MBZ: I have a particular interest in antiques. History, nostalgia and tradition resonate with me. I’m inspired by design strikes a balance between innovation and an acknowledgement and respect of the past.

HBI: What are your thoughts on the design scene in the Middle East?

MBZ: It’s booming. What is most impressive is that the Middle East is actively investing in and fostering the design scene, providing the framework and infrastructure to support the industry and ensure its continue development. I feel we are most definitely on the map as a global design force.

HBI: What do you feel the Harper’s Bazaar Interior Awards mean for the region?

MBZ: The award is an amazing acknowledgement and celebration of the talent that we have locally. It provides a much-needed platform to showcase the exceptional designers we have here.

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HBI: Can you name the most crucial traits you’re looking for in the nominees across the 10 categories this year?

MBZ: I am most interested in the process – inspiration, craftsmanship and thought process that led to creation.

HBI: What would a win at the HBI Awards mean for the nominated brand/designer?

MBZ: An acknowledgement from such a prestigious and internationally renowned publication is setting the winner up for success. Not only does it celebrate their talent but it offers the right audience to experience their work and to help to further grow their brand and set them up for commercial success.


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