Marina Home’s signature community initiative gives young local talent a platform to showcase their originality and gain an entry into the exciting world of design


2017 Marina Project Remake promises to return with a bigger challenge opening the invitation to nation-wide participation


Marina Home revealed that Manipal University’s senior design student, Abdul Ghani Ansari is the winner of the second edition of Project REMAKE at an awards ceremony held on September 27th at the brand’s flagship store in Al Barsha. Ansari was awarded an invaluable all-expenses-paid, three-month internship with industry pioneer, Schwitzke Group, Germany; after his interpretation of a reclaimed wood and metal side-table received top marks from an elite panel of judges and via public vote.


Ansari faced fierce competition from nine other shortlisted design students, whose installations were exhibited at the Marina Home showroom on the day, at the recent CID Awards and published online at www.marinaprojectremake.com. Although a panel of judges – composed of Maryam Al Suwaidi and Sulaiman Al Thehli of Design talk, Tarik Al Zaharna of T.ZED Architects, Maliha Nishat of DWP UAE, Manuel Arnaut of Architectural Digest Middle East and Karl Schwitzke from Schwitzke & Partner – shortlisted the ten most innovative designs for the final round, the winning design was selected after incorporating the online public voting results.


In his fourth year in the Architecture program at Manipal University, Ansari re-imagined the Canvas Product, a reclaimed wood and metal side-table, as a “Reunion”. His vision for the piece was based on three essential features: its antique feel; its ability to supply electricity and its need for human activity thereby promoting fitness through movement. Speaking about his design as well as the impact of his win, he said: “My installation is a functional product, which is trying to update furniture and to bring it to the center of attention rather than keep it in a corner of the room. It feels especially amazing to be a student and win this award as it will give me the opportunity to work with a distinguished brand and explore the world at the same time.”


As the 2016 Marina Design Star, Ansari will be awarded a three-month internship at the global headquarters of Schwitzke Group in Dusseldorf, Germany, where he will gain practical experience in a diverse range of design sectors, including architecture with Schwitzke Project, graphic design with Schwitzke Graphics and interior design with Schwitzke & Partner. Underscoring the importance of gaining international experience, Zeina Khoury, the 2015 Marina Design Star, who recently started her stint at the global design powerhouse, sent a message to the new crop of designers at the award ceremony via video link, “I am learning a lot being here and I am growing as a designer. I hope by the time I am done, I will be skilled and experienced enough to confidently start my career in interior design.”


The 2016 Marina Project Remake competition received an overwhelming response of 80 student entries across four universities – American University in Dubai, Heriot-Watt University Dubai, Manipal University and Zayed University Dubai, to participate in this inventive and resourceful design challenge. During the invention phase of the contest, students gave us sneak peeks into their creative process by posting inspiring photos and videos onto the competition hash tag gallery #MarinaProjectRemake.


Sahar Vakil, Head of Brand Development at Marina Home, added: “The Project Remake challenge offers young local designers an opportunity to hone their raw design acumen and sharpen their applied skills. Furthermore, a race to an internship at one of the world’s leading design companies has an undeniable influence on their creativity and competitive spirit; altogether giving them the springboard they need to launch their careers, not only within the region but also internationally. Every aspect of the competition – from the public and industry recognition to the caliber of our judges – is geared towards opening doors to advance their careers and become globally-inclined design professionals.”


The inspiration behind Marina Design Star


At Marina Home, we believe that we are just as responsible toward the betterment of the community as to our patrons. Today, our name is synonymous with quality, creativity and a strong aspirational proposition, but at the same time, we engage in humanitarian efforts that can shape future generations. Efforts that have come to life in the form of Marina Design Star, a unique initiative that nurtures talent and gives young designers across the region a chance to shine.


Conceptualised as a series of competitions, such as 2014’s Marina Star and 2015 / 2016’s Project Remake, this program recognises and celebrates young creative minds, providing them with an invaluable platform to showcase their talents, and gain an entry into the exciting world of design.


Our vision is to be a catalyst of growth in the communities we operate in and to grow the brand’s value beyond industry perceptions of being a ‘furniture expert’ to establish our standing as ‘nurturers of design talent’ committed to shaping future generations of artists.