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We Are Still Not Over This Iconic Bentley Installation with Emirati Design

Hessa Al Suwaidi’s exploration and development lies with hybrid processes such as integrating the use of traditional craft techniques with modern iterations.

Bentley's Head of Design Collaborations Brett Boydell and Hessa Al Suwaidi

As part of its commitment to the region’s design and craftsmanship industry, Bentley Motors recently collaborated with up-and-coming Emirati designer Hessa Al Suwaidi. And the result was a unique creative installation that stood as a centrepiece at the recent Dubai Design Week, the Middle East’s largest creative platform and festival. The bespoke installation titled “Safeefa,” which was showcased in the heart of d3, takes inspiration from Bentley’s craftsmanship and design of movement. There’s also a modern iteration of traditional Emirati weaving, all coming to life through print created movement.

The designer, who was born and raised in the UAE, worked with Bentley’s Head of Design Collaborations, Brett Boydell, on the creation. Al Suwaidi drew upon the luxury automotive brand’s extraordinary design, technical and craftsmanship skills to create the piece that demonstrates the colliding of two worlds. Using one of the brand’s hero models, the Flying Spur, the concept combines the artistry of the woven safeefa structure with the beauty of the Flying Spur’s movement.

 Bentley x Hessa - "Safeefa"

Safeefa is a traditional Emirati craft involving the weaving of palm fronds to create specific items, similar to the technique used for making wicker in other parts of the world. The vibrant design created by Al Suwaidi,  who graduated with a BA in Textiles from the UK’s Loughborough University in the UK,  is a tessellation of the safeefa structure moving across the Flying Spur, mimicking the effect imaged should the car have driven through the safeefa and caught the pattern.

Hessa Al Suwaidi

“The entire process of the creation has been really exciting, from learning about Bentley’s craftsmanship process, been able to bring in my local interest in the traditional craft of safeefa, visiting Sharjah Institute for Heritage at Emirates Handicraft Center alongside driving the Flying Spur really captured the imagination of how we wanted this piece to look,” Al Suwaidi, who is based in New York while studying for an MFA in Textiles from Parsons School of Design, said. “I am delighted with the final result which showcases an embodiment of both modern design integrated with traditional form of craft to showcase movement and life.”

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