Discarded materials shine in ‘public seating’ avatar in Dubai

Purva Grover /Dubai Filed on November 22, 2020
Supplied photo


It was fixed at the entrance of Colab — the first purpose-built material library in the UAE.

A public seating arrangement made from discarded materials is gaining traction even after it was mantled following the recently concluded Dubai Design Week.

With the structural framework built on an original concept design by Broadway Interiors, the outdoor structure Re: Treat was carved out of aluminium scaffolding, fibracolour boards, green moss, etc. It was fixed at the entrance of Colab — the first purpose-built material library in the UAE and disassembled following the event.

Richard Wilson, founder-creative director, Colab, aspires to re-furbish the whole structure and give it a new life, perhaps at a new place. “I believe that sustainable design will become the norm rather than the exception in the years to come.”

“The concept was submitted as part of the open call for a partner installation for Dubai Design Week. Following our successful application, it took us just under a month to go from concept to reality,” he said.

Chris Barnes, owner-managing director, Broadway Interiors, said it was important to create concepts that provide a platform for the industry to work together to showcase the joy of design. “We explored the treasure trove of material in our warehouse, developed the idea for a sustainable structure, repurposing and redefining predominantly aluminium scaffolding, resulting in a new improved, colourful approach,” he said.

Krisanne Gonsalves, a final year interior design student, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, was instrumental in the initial research and material exploration. She was also responsible for developing 3D diagrams, visuals and model progresses. “It was a rewarding learning experience as it gave me a first-hand view into the design process; from research and conceptualisation to the exciting project we crafted,” said Krisanne.

Sustainable architecture

“Sustainable materials today might be an expensive proposition but so was the first mobile phone or computer at one point. The principles of sustainable design have always existed in one form or another. However, for sustainable design to be universally implemented, the entire ecosystem needs to support it. This includes manufacturers, suppliers, governments, designer and clients,” said Richard. “A deeper understanding — of the materials including life cycle costing, whole-life carbon modelling, post occupancy evaluation, an absolute must — and acceptance by the public and government legislation will ultimately determine this paradigm shift.


Purva Grover

Purva Grover is a journalist, poetess, playwright, and stage director. She made her debut as an author, with The Trees Told Me So, a collection of short stories. She is the editor of Young Times, a magazine that empowers the youth in the UAE. She conducts fortnightly writing workshops, author interaction events, open mic sessions, etc. for the writing fraternity in UAE. Her stage productions have been recognised for their boldness, honesty, and unique voice. She is backed with a post-graduate degree in mass communication and literature. Born & brought up in colourful-chaotic India, she writes in English and currently resides in Dubai, UAE. You can stalk her on Instagram @purvagr and say hello to her at

ERROR: Macro /ads/dfp-ad-article-new is missing!
MORE FROM Khaleej Times
CurrentRequestUnmodified: /apps/pbcs.dll/article?avis=KT&date=20201121&category=ARTICLE&lopenr=201129820&Ref=AR&profile=1664 macro_action: article, macro_profile: , macro_adspot:
KT App Download
khaleejtimes app

All new KT app
is available
for download:

khaleejtimes - android khaleejtimes - ios khaleejtimes - HUAWEI AppGallery