EXPO2020 VIP GIFT
Product design, special projects
The GHAF TREE is a native plant from the Arabian Peninsula and was declared national UAE tree in 2008.
In fact, it is part of the Emirati culture and is the perfect example of resilience, thanks to its ability to withstand to the extreme conditions of the desert. It is also an indicator and source of life: it shows the presence of underground water, while its flowers, fruits, leaves, bark, branches, and roots are resources and habitats for a great variety of native fauna and flora.
With our proposal we want to represent and pay homage to this symbol of the UEA’s heritage. Therefore, the shape of the gift is the abstraction of the tree. It has been developed horizontally and asymmetrically to give it a strong plastic tension. This represents the concept of resilience: like the real tree, it hangs in the balance, and it seems to be about to fall, but this does not happen thanks to its strong roots.
The base – trunk - which keep everything in equilibrium is made of real ghaf wood, (which makes the gift precious), while the hanging part - green foliage - is made of real Murano glass. Both materials will be shaped thanks to the skilled hands of Emirati and Italian craftsmen. The choice of using artisans to produce this gift is not accidental. First, craftsmanship and its know-how represent one of the most important “intangible heritage” of every culture. Therefore, each object they produce is imbued of history and local traditions. Secondly, the collaboration between Emirati and Murano artisans gives the work an international breath: wood and glass become the symbol of an embrace between cultures.
A positive message of openness and respect towards who will receive this gift.