1. ‘Gatsby’ coffee table
Maisons du Monde (stand SS1B139) is painting the town gold with gilded pieces from its Gatsby collection. Rooted in French tradition and heritage, the brand is famed for its stylish, contemporary designs. A standout piece is the Gatsby coffee table, made of marble and gleaming brass, both of which were prized trading commodities along the Silk Road. Weighing 44kgs, this is a table that could command a room as a statement piece, or work in harmony with other items from the Gatsby line, such as the brass finish shelf and the metal and mango wood sideboard.
2. ‘Arville’ sideboard
Struggling to find unique French-inspired furniture? Au contraire! Fashion forward manufacturer French Heritage (stand SS2E121), crafts eclectic custom pieces using the same techniques once employed by master craftsmen in Europe. Among its signature collections is the Maison line, featuring the iconic Arville sideboard, crafted using fine cherry and mahogany wood. Part furniture, part piece of modern art, the sideboard’s calming palette of beige, grey blue, ivory and sand reflects the rugged desert landscape and vast azure oceans of the Silk Road.
3. Mosaic works
The simplicity of artist Fahar Al-Salih’s tools – dishwashing sponges, acrylic paint, ink and resin – belies the intricacies of the striking mosaics he creates. Born in Baghdad and raised in Kuwait, Al-Salih travelled to Europe to pursue a career in art, where masterclasses by renowned artists Hermann Nitsch and Markus Lüpertz helped him to hone his skills. His colourful, raw artworks combine the audaciousness of modern expressionist paintings with the traditional craftsmanship of his Arab roots. See the mosaic at Contemp-Rent (stand SS1G143).
4. ‘Bull’ painting
Among the highlights from the Delhi-based Modern Art Gallery (stand SS1C153), which exhibits contemporary paintings, photography and sculpture by a range of Indian artists, is the ‘Bull’. Painted by artist Iruvan Karunakaran, it’s a striking rendering of the daily bustle of Indian street life – where bulls and cows roam freely – brought to life in Karunakaran’s characteristic bold brush work and deep, rich colours.
5. ‘Spirit of Dubai’ lamp
Standing at nearly 80cm high and combining crystal glass with pure 24-karat gold, the Spirit of Dubai lamp pays tribute to the city’s luxury and dynamism. This is a true collectors’ item; and one that reflects the UAE’s status as a key stop in the New Maritime Silk Road. It has been brought to INDEX by the Lisowski Glass Studio (stand SS1A160), a Poland-based atelier that has been combining classic design with new manufacturing technology for almost thirty years.
6. ‘Casablanca’ table top
Volcanoes are made of tough stuff, which explains why this ‘Casablanca’ table top, made from volcanic material, can withstand the outdoor heat of a Dubai summer. It is also scratch, stain and frost-proof, combining the virtues of practicality with intricate design. Brought to you by Mediterranean Ceramics Malta (stand SS2A92) – a family-run business that showcases Maltese craftmanship through ceramics, as well as bespoke volcanic and lava stone products – the design honours the legacy of the Silk Road through its fusion of Mediterranean and Moroccan flair.
7. ‘Open Water’ carpet
This understated masterpiece from Floor to Heaven would breathe life into any living or creative office space. Brought to INDEX by Samovar Carpets (stand SS2E129), the 300cmx250cm floor covering has been carefully hand-tufted in China, using fine artificial silk. Its intricate design creates the calming illusion of lapping waves from the picturesque Mediterranean Sea to the vast Indian Ocean. It is one of many artistic creations from Samovar, which exclusively presents some of the world’s most recognised carpet designers across the Middle East.
8. ‘FORMA: One’ chair
Paying homage to traditional dhow building, the ‘FORMA: One chair’ is a collaboration between designer Rand Abdul Jabbar and dhow builder, Muttayya. Wooden dhow boats carried much of the trade along the Silk Road’s historic sea routes and still form intrinsic part of Arabian heritage. While the craft of dhow boat building has been passed from generation to generation, it is a dying tradition, which is why the FORMA series, brought to you by Tashkeel x Scarlet Opus (stand INDEX Design Hub) is especially poignant. Including chair, table and stool, it celebrates this ancient, highly skilled profession and its rich maritime legacy.
9. Prism Pendant lights
The prism is a timeless form that has inspired architectural marvels along historic trade routes for centuries, including Egypt’s famous Pyramids of Giza and Myanmar’s ancient Ananda temple. For Stephanie Ng Design (stand SS2F111), an award-winning industrial design studio headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, the prism shape has inspired a range of lighting solutions to extraordinary effect. Carefully crafted using wireframe, these Prism pendant lights serve as a focal point in any room.They can be displayed on their own as a hex, or combined to create a larger polygonal pendant lamp.
10. Printed accent chair
This printed accent chair from Artisanal Abode (stand SS1D151), a design studio based in Pune, India, features a classic Asian fan print, in brilliant blue and white. Contrasted with gold-finished legs, it’s a functional design piece that radiates flair. Use it as a standalone statement piece or mix with clean, contemporary lines to create a truly eclectic look.