by Ayesha Shaikh
  • 2 minute read
  • July 08, 2019
How Architect Abdalla Almulla Is Working Towards Futuristic Design

In Dubai’s Increasingly crowded design circuit, architect Abdalla Almulla has quickly shot to fame. Three years into his design practice, he was one of eight Emirati designers selected to represent the country as a part of ‘UAE Design Stories: The Next Generation of Designers’ at London Design Fair and Milan Design Week 2018.

Last year, he opened his own studio, MULA, which straddles architecture and product design, embodying his unique aesthetic vocabulary, which is at once futuristic and sensitive towards the UAE’s cultural past. “Architecture and product design are ways of tapping into people’s lives and enhancing them,” he says.

Wov Collection

Almulla forayed into design after pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Architecture at Woodbury University in San Diego, USA, in 2014. Upon his return to Dubai, he was commissioned by Sharjah-based 1971 – Design Space to create ‘Intrinsic Flux’ (2015), a wall installation made of modular clay pieces, which he went on to showcase during Dubai Design Days 2016 and, more recently, at last year’s Milan Design Week.

Integral to his creative process is doing a preliminary study of concepts and prototyping. “It all comes down to the sequence of theoretical and visual design explorations within a focused subject by using patterns and geometry as regulators in setting the design guidelines,” he explains.

Abdalla Almulla

Attuned to these futuristic principles, his most recent project is a Dubai-based office building he has termed ‘Denude’. “The building is being designed to celebrate the interior of the space by exposing activities inside and replacing solid walls with wooden louvres and glass. The roof is extended to provide shade and indirect
sunlight,” he paints a picture.

Among his most gripping projects is ‘1,000 Meters Above Ground’ (2018), an installation that was shown during the Sharjah Islamic Arts Festival at Sharjah Arts Museum until earlier this year. The idea was to reclaim the mosque space in the increasingly vertical skyline of the city. A lesson in revolutionary design, his ‘Minaret 2.0’ (2018) is a kinetic minaret featuring a geometric pattern that is programmed to respond to the sun’s movement, thereby indicating prayer time for Muslims throughout the day.

‘Instrinsic Flux’ (2015)

With an impressive roster of projects under his belt and plans of returning for London Design Fair this year,
Almulla looks towards the future with high hopes from the UAE’s evolving design palate. “It is very diverse and young, and that is what makes it beautiful and offers designers a platform to explore,” he notes. “It is still in the process of evolution, but the future looks exciting.”

Images courtesy Of Abdalla Almulla

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