NACRE, where collectible design pairs cutting edge technology with local history, in a collaboration of London-based designers HagenHinderdael and Dubai-based 3D-printed concrete specialists Concreative.
NACRE is inspired by Dubai’s ancient history of pearl diving, with archaeologists finding evidence of this tradition dating back more than 7,000 years ago. The booming pearl industry led to people moving to the coast, establishing the basis for the founding of Dubai. Pearl diving became, and is still considered, one of Dubai’s most treasured traditions. Many Emirati families can trace their ancestry to a time when they were involved in the pearl trade, which served as the foundation of their modern-day wealth. This early trading tradition led to multi-cultural engagement which is still reflected in Dubai’s present day identity – and becomes even more important considering the challenges of our current times, where human interaction has been paused due to the global pandemic Covid-19.
NACRE is an installation of modular pieces which encourage engagement through a variety of compositions. The shapes are constructed following our research into the structure of the mother of pearl, which is known for its extraordinary strength and flexibility. The structure consists of hexagonal platelets which are interlocking, rotated and penetrated, which results in the extraordinary qualities of flexibility and strength. NACRE’s platelets are made of 3D printed concrete with intricate textures and integrated LED lighting. The result is a constellation of sculptural outdoor furniture objects that allow for a variety of configurations, from distancing to proximity, provoking an emotional response.