Uncommon is an international guidebook project based in London. We invite the contributors, where possible, to write in English, allowing the local flavour of language to come through. English 'as she is spoke' the world over is varied, colourful and idiosyncratic - we celebrate this.
Uncommon’s intention is to communicate the essence of a place; that which is felt and understood upon visiting, but seldom described.
This hybrid book of travel writing and guide is a ‘companion’ for the traveller before, during and after the journey. It is intended to become part of one’s library and may be referenced and revisited, just as we do with our most treasured neighbourhoods and destinations.
The brief to me by the editor was simple – besides being something indigenous to the Emirate – it should be all about pattern and lots of colour. Since this would be my third illustration venture into the Al Sadu weaving style, having already created the Brownbook + QM and Alef Magazine illustrations along a similar concept, my approach this time was to try a different technique and focus on the actual weave of the craft.
A study of various Al Sadu patterns
Excerpt from the article: I used a series of small thread forms to put the full pattern together, trying in my own untrained way to see a design come together, knot by knot, perhaps as a real weaver would. A sense of parallel lines was my first impression from the traditional woven patterns, and this appealed to me as an apt representation of Dubai and her skyline. I wanted to create a pattern expressing not just her vertical-ness, and also her complexity and diversity.
The full pattern, a continuous loop -
Text and illustration in a four-page foldout.