DUBAI, UAE/ City Within/ Bloomingdales/ DDD

Dubai, March-April 2013: As part of their ‘Celebrate the World’ campaign and in partnership with Design Days Dubai, the Middle East and South Asia’s first and only design fair, retail giant Bloomingdale’s-Dubai has collaborated with award-winning New York-based designer and Italian architect, Antonio Pio Saracino to create an exclusive installation entitled ‘City Within’. Open to the public on March 17, 2013 at Bloomingdale’s Home-Dubai, the dynamic ‘City Within’ installation will be part of the off-site events to complement the Design Days Dubai gallery exhibition and public programme of talks and workshops, running during the city’s Art Week from March 18 to 21, 2013.

“As an international brand, we are honoured to support international art and local cultural activities that resonate with both our customers and visitors in the region. As the first major retailer to participate as an off-site exhibitor for Design Days Dubai, we look forward to giving our customers a unique and engaging shopping experience through this highly-anticipated exhibition,” says Tanya Atkinson, Acting General Manager of Bloomingdale’s-Dubai. Fair Director for Design Days Dubai, Cyril Zammit, adds, “The second edition of Design Days Dubai will see an increased diversity in works, as we have 29 galleries presenting modern and contemporary creations from over 135 designers.

This variety will extend to the accompanying talks, workshops and installations, both on and off-site, as demonstrated by the collaborationwith Antonio Pio Saracino (represented by Industry Gallery at Design Days Dubai) at Bloomingdale’s Home-Dubai. We look forward to experiencing the installation, and hope more of the public will engage with design through seeing Antonio’s work.”

Composed of multiple hanging lightweight translucent polycarbonate sheets that create the shape of a box and conveys the idea of an ephemeral city versus the physical city, the ‘City Within’ installation is the metaphor of the contemporary digital city that is not made with a tangible space. The empty space inside the installation is originated from carving out the shape of a dimensional city landscape and presents a visual experience for visitors that pass by or those that wish to engage by sitting on cubes placed inside the installation. The many surfaces composing the installation display images, information and content that inspire visitors from all over the world with creativity. With its design, the ‘City Within’ installation becomes a portal from Bloomingdale’s-Dubai and Design Days Dubai to the world.

“In bringing Design Days Dubai into a retail environment, we saw an amazing opportunity to work with one of the world’s most innovative architects and designers and the relationship [with Saracino] has been organic right from the very start. His ability to engage his audience and stimulate social dialogue through his work is fascinating…With a lifestyle store like Bloomingdale’s Home-Dubai, it is not just about design but also about functionality and connection and Saracino’s work tangibly reflects that philosophy,” adds Matteo Magnanini, Head of Creative Services for Al Tayer Group.

In addition to the installation project, the Italian-born architect will exhibit a hand-picked selection of his original pieces and premiere 7 new pieces from his highly anticipated ‘Star’ collection at Bloomingdale’s Home-Dubai. Made in Italy and Saracino’s collection, the ‘Star’ collection is an exploration of the Star morphology applied into a chair and a coffee table. The points of the star extend from a core and become the legs, the seat, the back and the arms of the chair. The thin aluminum sheet is bent to strengthen the star section and it is hand welded and polished. The chairs are available in different colours and with an optional leather cushion.  Available in various colours, the Star coffee table is built with eight rays that build a dimensional star holding a glass tabletop.

“Although this is my first time in Dubai, it is definitely not the first time that I have dreamt of coming here for a project. Architects from all over the world have contributed to making Dubai a city of the third millennium and it has been quite an exciting project to collaborate with the dynamic creative team of Bloomingdale’s-Dubai,” says Saracino.