‘Win, Victory, & Love’ - a collaborative installation between Khalid Shafar and AHEC unveiled at Downtown Design

in Events, Species focus

45 crafted wooden stools in American cherry and soft maple commemorate the brave and unforgotten Emirati soldiers


October 28, 2015 - 'Win, Victory, & Love’, a collaborative installation between respected Emirati designer Khalid Shafar and the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), the leading international trade association for the American hardwood industry, was unveiled yesterday (October 27, 2015) at Downtown Design, which runs until October 30, at Dubai Design District (d3). Using two important American hardwood species - American cherry and soft maple - Shafar has created his installation in memory of the 45 brave UAE soldiers who gave their lives in Yemen this September.




According to Shafar, the installation reflects on the recent tragedy the United Arab Emirates experienced for the first time in its military history, where 45 of its brave soldiers lost their lives during their mission in Yemen and commemorates those brave and unforgotten Emirati soldiers. Through this installation, Khalid Shafar aims to pay homage to the fallen Emirati soldiers who devoted their lives to the UAE and also contribute to the documentation of their sacrifice, a process that is already in place by the UAE Government.



Shafar has created a total of 45 crafted wooden stools in American cherry and soft maple, set graciously in a site-specific installation and presented in a harmonious setting. Derived from Shafar’s well-known LITTLE PALM stool, the hardwood stools have been upholstered in an original military uniform textile to inject the soul of the Emirati soldiers in to them. Inspired by the palm trees of the region, which demonstrate great resilience against the harsh weather of the area, the LITTLE PALM stool is a perfect metaphor for the brave soldiers of the UAE who lost their lives, but will be remembered forever.




“Taking its name from the famous three-finger salute that was introduced by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in February 2013 during the Government Summit in Dubai, ‘Win, Victory, & Love’ is an innovative trademark for work ethic, success and love for the nation. A pure foundation and belief of what those soldiers lost their lives for,” said Khalid Shafar. “This is my second collaboration with AHEC and it has allowed me to work with two wonderful hardwoods on a project that pays tribute to our fallen heroes.”


Downtown Design is the only platform in the Middle East for the region’s trade professionals to discover original, high quality design from all over the world and a key element of Dubai Design Week. In its third edition, the fair will take place at the Dubai Design District and present a carefully edited roster of established and emerging brands across a range of product categories; including furniture, lighting, bathrooms, kitchens, textiles and accessories. Fostering greater interaction, connectivity and commercial opportunity, Downtown Design is dedicated to providing a dynamic environment for buyers and brands to do business easily and efficiently.


“Our involvement with Khalid Shafar and Downtown Design is at the core of what we do to celebrate the potential of American hardwoods. By supporting installations for events like Downtown Design, we can be experimental with American hardwood species through exploration of design and craftsmanship. We also want to ignite new thinking and excite designers about new ways to use wood, particularly underutilized, yet widely-available hardwoods, such as American cherry and soft maple,” concluded Roderick Wiles, AHEC Director for Africa, Middle East, South Asia and Oceania.


As a testament to the sustainability of the American hardwood resource, a quick environmental analysis of the project, based upon AHEC’s extensive work on Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), revealed that it would take less than six seconds for new growth in the U.S. forest to replace the cherry and soft maple required to manufacture all 45 stools. Of course, it is the sheer scale of forests, which cover the same landmass as England, France and Italy put together that makes this possible, together with the fact that every year growth far exceeds harvest. Furthermore, almost exactly twice as much carbon was stored in the wood used to manufacture the stools as there were carbon emissions associated with sourcing, processing and delivering the wood to Dubai.



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About AHEC:

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is the leading international trade association for the U.S. hardwood industry, representing the committed exporters among U.S. hardwood companies and all the major U.S. hardwood production trade associations. AHEC runs a worldwide programme to promote American hardwoods in over 50 export markets, concentrating on providing architects, specifiers, designers and end-users with technical information on the range of species, products and sources of supply. In addition, AHEC also produces a full range of technical publications. For more information, please visit: www.americanhardwood.org.


About Khalid Shafar

Khalid Shafar is a leading Emirati object and furniture designer. As a business graduate of the American University in Dubai, Khalid worked in marketing and communication for almost seven years. In 2005, he completed a degree in Fine Arts in Interior Design and by the end of 2009 had decided to leave marketing and follow his passion for design. Since then, he has studied and specialized in Furniture & Objects design, first at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, UK, and then at the Centre for Fine Woodworking in Nelson, New Zealand.


In 2011 Khalid opened his own studio in Dubai and in November 2012, he inaugurated his first showcase space ‘KASA’. Khalid’s approach to design encompasses his personal expression of form, movement, emotion, and in particular, ‘the tale’ of objects. Simple lines mixed with rich details and fine materials are the hallmarks of a Khalid Shafar object. It is a revival of the 50s, 60s, and 70s avant-garde sleek styling re-interpreted with today’s furnishing trends. For more information, please visit: www.khalidshafar.com.


About Downtown Design

Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, and in partnership with the Dubai Design District (d3), Downtown Design celebrates its third edition as the commercial centerpiece of the first Dubai Design Week. The trade fair is one of the fastest growing in the world. It has doubled its footprint since 2014 and will this year host over 90 exhibitors from more than 25 different countries across 15 different product categories. It will also introduce to the region for the first time 18 emerging brands, being presented by six international Design Weeks, as part of the Destinations initiative. Positioned as a fair of discover, Downtown Design has launched a bespoke buyers programme to ensure trade visitors enjoy a productive and efficient experience. For more information, please visit: www.downtowndesign.com


About American cherry & soft maple

American cherry (Prunus serotina) is a premium wood with a creamy white sapwood and rich reddish brown heartwood which will darken as it ages. The wood has a fine uniform straight grain and smooth texture and is popular for its subtle grain patterns and warm colors. American soft maple (Acer rubrum, Acer saccharinum) is very similar in appearance to hard maple, although due to its widespread growth it is more susceptible to regional color variations. Sapwood is pale and the heartwood varies from light to dark reddish brown. The wood is usually straight grained. For more information on these and all American hardwood species, please visit: www.americanhardwood.org.