Aljoharah Alrasheed, head of design at Teeb, a Saudi brand, talks to Arab News about the company's winning submission, "AlUla Terrains: Dates Serving Set," for the AlUla Design Award. This design was a response to a design requirement that sought out retail products with cultural connotations influenced by the geography, creative legacies, and heritage of AlUla.
Participating in the AlUla Design Award once more was a source of great excitement. AlUla is immensely inspirational especially with its magnificent natural surroundings. This time, the harrat—geological formations made by old volcanic lava flows—served as a source of inspiration.
Their goal and challenge was to create something that celebrated the culture and heritage of Saudi Arabia, all while ensuring that the product possessed both aesthetic appeal and functionality.
The product aimed to reflect the spirit of Saudi hospitality. It's a common tradition in Saudi households to welcome visitors with Saudi coffee and a plate of dates. In Saudi Arabia, dates hold a special place, akin to gold. When visiting AlUla or any historical site, the first gesture is offering dates and coffee as a symbol of hospitality.
This date serving set is not just a functional piece but also a work of art that can be proudly displayed in a living room. It's elegantly designed with a minimalistic stacking, and each layer serves a specific purpose. The top compartment is for the date seeds, the second is for dipping dates in tahini, and the bottom compartment is for serving the dates.
At Teeb, their approach to product design always revolves around a story, be it domestic or global. They believe that every gift should have a story behind it, something worth sharing. They invest significant effort into research and craftsmanship for every piece they create. In the case of the 'AlUla Terrains: Dates Serving Set,' they collaborated closely with a skilled stone carver to achieve the remarkable, hand-crafted piece that resembles a volcano.
With pride, they are able to declare that this product is truly Saudi, having been conceived in Saudi Arabia by a Saudi designer and made from Saudi materials like white stone and basalt.