Enriched by the heritage of Sharjah and its cultural area, Lana found inspiration in primary settlements that remain to remind current generations of their past.

Society is often drawn to reminisce upon the aesthetics of a bygone age and historical landscapes. Lana chose the traditional architectural practice of locally woven palm-leaf (arish) as her starting point. Palm leaf has been used in many imaginative and ingenious ways to construct buildings, creating a cool interior that emits a beauty in the patterned shadows that alter during the day as the sun travels through the sky.

Mokaعab seeks to share such centuries-old skills with a new generation who call the UAE home. The traditional weaving technique of dried palm fronds (khoos) practiced by women has historically been used for wall and ceiling decorations, floor mats, handheld fans, food covers and baskets among other everyday objects. Today, this impressively versatile yet intricate skill can be applied in contemporary designs for an even wider range of products, both functional and decorative.

Lana sought to blend traditional concepts and silhouettes with modern elements. Patterns, folds and geometric shapes play a significant role in inspiring her practice. When designing Mokaعab, her intention was to interpret Emirati culture, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design by using a variety of materials and methods. Mokaعab (which means ‘cube’ in Arabic) was born from merging all these elements while remaining true to the intention of creating a modular, interactive and versatile product. Each cube is made of a wooden structure connected by metal angular components that are welded together to create a uniform shape that can be stacked or laid out to fit the intended space. The surface part of the cube is intricately woven from camel leather and khoos. Lana worked closely with Sharjah Heritage Institute to interpret the traditional craftsmanship within a modern element. The strands of camel leather provide the necessary sturdiness and rigidity for a functional surface while the hand-carved vertical wooden tubes accentuate the beauty of UAE craftsmanship.

The cubes can be attached and stacked using leather straps that pay homage to the nomadic method of connecting arish with rope. This allows the cubes to be curated by the client for use as a shelving unit, modular seating arrangement or coffee table. This ambiguity gives the product a multifunctional versatility that is demanded by 21st-century living, allowing it to adapt to our changing surroundings.

Artist Biography

Lana El Samman is of Lebanese origin, and grew up in Beirut and later Canada, where she studied interior design followed by a Master’s degree at the Florence Institute of Design, Italy. Her career began as a teaching assistant at the American University of Sharjah before joining Sharjah Art Foundation, which has been her home for the past eight years working as an interior designer and then progressing to become a significant member of the production programme. In the SAF Production Programme, S...

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Lana El Samman
Mokaعab

Edition:
Limited edition series of 5 per size (10 in total)
Size:
50 (L) x 50 (W) x 50 (H) cm / 50 (L) x 50 (W) x 30 (H) cm.
Materials:
Teak wood, gold powder coated stainless steel, woven palm fonds and leather.

Enriched by the heritage of Sharjah and its cultural area, Lana found inspiration in primary settlements that remain to remind current generations of their past.

Society is often drawn to reminisce upon the aesthetics of a bygone age and historical landscapes. Lana chose the traditional architectural practice of locally woven palm-leaf (arish) as her starting point. Palm leaf has been used in many imaginative and ingenious ways to construct buildings, creating a cool interior that emits a beauty in the patterned shadows that alter during the day as the sun travels through the sky.

Mokaعab seeks to share such centuries-old skills with a new generation who call the UAE home. The traditional weaving technique of dried palm fronds (khoos) practiced by women has historically been used for wall and ceiling decorations, floor mats, handheld fans, food covers and baskets among other everyday objects. Today, this impressively versatile yet intricate skill can be applied in contemporary designs for an even wider range of products, both functional and decorative.

Lana sought to blend traditional concepts and silhouettes with modern elements. Patterns, folds and geometric shapes play a significant role in inspiring her practice. When designing Mokaعab, her intention was to interpret Emirati culture, traditional craftsmanship and contemporary design by using a variety of materials and methods. Mokaعab (which means ‘cube’ in Arabic) was born from merging all these elements while remaining true to the intention of creating a modular, interactive and versatile product. Each cube is made of a wooden structure connected by metal angular components that are welded together to create a uniform shape that can be stacked or laid out to fit the intended space. The surface part of the cube is intricately woven from camel leather and khoos. Lana worked closely with Sharjah Heritage Institute to interpret the traditional craftsmanship within a modern element. The strands of camel leather provide the necessary sturdiness and rigidity for a functional surface while the hand-carved vertical wooden tubes accentuate the beauty of UAE craftsmanship.

The cubes can be attached and stacked using leather straps that pay homage to the nomadic method of connecting arish with rope. This allows the cubes to be curated by the client for use as a shelving unit, modular seating arrangement or coffee table. This ambiguity gives the product a multifunctional versatility that is demanded by 21st-century living, allowing it to adapt to our changing surroundings.

Artist Biography

Lana El Samman is of Lebanese origin, and grew up in Beirut and later Canada, where she studied interior design followed by a Master’s degree at the Florence Institute of Design, Italy. Her career began as a teaching assistant at the American University of Sharjah before joining Sharjah Art Foundation, which has been her home for the past eight years working as an interior designer and then progressing to become a significant member of the production programme. In the SAF Production Programme, S...

Learn More

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