From products to graphics, animation to fashion, Dubai is home to many a design studio, and perhaps one of the city’s most unique ones is Möbius, founded in 2010 by three women: Hadeyeh Badri, Hala Al-Ani and Riem Ibrahim. Möbius. The three designers met during their undergraduate studies at the American University of Sharjah. With a mutual passion for visual communication, they decided to create a design studio and today they describe Möbius as their “outlet, a means to explore studio-initiated projects and commissioned work whilst maintaining some sort of sanity.”
Some two years after establishing the studio, they initiated Design House, which essentially was launched in 2013 as a group exhibition and series of public workshops. According to Tashkeel.org, Design House is more of an annual program dedicated to Dubai-based designers from various disciplines looking for a space to realize research-based enquires that are process driven. The three founders also see it as a sort of catalyst for the general public to understand and explore design beyond the confines of the commercial.
Speaking in 2013 to National, Badri discussed the importance of valuing design, not only as a final outcome, but as a process as well, saying, “We believe design has value, period, but when you eliminate the processes behind it, you devalue it. When people produce 10 [logos] for a client in a week, we don’t get that. We don’t work that way. […] It’s about discipline, dedication, and process, and lots of it. When you are disciplined, you want to invest more time in executing something because you understand that what you’re doing is valuable.”
To date, Möbius has worked on commissioned projects in collaboration with and for a number of prominent institutions such as New York University Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority, American University of Sharjah, Salama Bint Hamdan Al Nahyan Foundation, the UAE Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and Tashkeel. When the three friends and founders are not busy with Möbius and Design House, they are pursuing other interests that are equally inspiring. Ibrahim and Al-Ani currently teach at the American University of Sharjah, and Badri is at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago.