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Home Centre design head unleashes his creativity

Michel Vandamme, head of design at Home Centre, talks about some of his favourite places and spaces in Dubai

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. ~Henry Ward Beecher

The sight that inspires me the most in Dubai is… I’ve always loved night cityscapes and Dubai Marina by night will never stop to amaze me; it also reminds me my first days in the city. This is the kind of place you tend to forget when it is part of your daily routine but when you go back there, the wow effect remains the same.

The building I feel most connected to in the city is… Dubai has so many remarkable buildings, making this a tough question! I really love photography, and from a purely photographic point of view, I really love the Burj Al Arab. You can capture it from so many angles, distances and lights, and the result will never be the same. It is quite fascinating to look at a sunset through
its reflections.

A recent “find” is… This is not really a recent find if I’m honest, but I love Origin Base in Al Quoz. This is a great place for makers and people who want to actually create something and unleash their creativity through DIY. Finding a place like this one in Dubai was a wonderful discovery and I’m inviting everyone who would like to learn how they could create something to visit them.

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. ~Henry Ward Beecher

An object from outside my city that sits in my home is… a mini Eiffel Tower. I’m not used to suffering from homesickness but this very little thing is a daily reminder of my home country.

On my coffee table you’ll always find… My DSLR mounted with a 50mm lense. It’s always close by.

My favourite space in my city is… Kite Beach is my favorite outdoor space during winter. Laid back and accessible, it contrasts with the busy and sophisticated
Dubai lifestyle.

The last gift I received from someone in the city was… a lovely leather keychain that I really like, as I didn’t expect it. 

My next investment… Very long ago I promised myself that one day I would buy an Eames lounge chair. The debate is now white or black? I can’t decide...

My last memorable trip was to… Thanks to my job I’m used to travelling a lot, especially in Asia. I recently discovered Taiwan and even if the trip was quite short and not focused on tourism, I felt quite intrigued and excited by Taiwan’s multiple influences and modernity. I’m looking forward to travelling there again.

The thing I most look forward to coming back to is… Designing something from A to Z all by myself. I love to work with people and teamwork is crucial in competitive environments, but having the luxury to define your own brief and make it happen by yourself is so rewarding!

The last thing that surprised me about the city was… the continuous strive to grow and create amazing new spaces to build the future of the UAE. Dubai Creek, Marina Harbour and other upcoming projects really push the boundaries of people’s expectations and demonstrate a long-term vision that commands respect.

If I didn’t live in my city I would live in… I would choose Hong Kong, such a lively place, constantly moving, a great centre of creation and an amazing mix of cultures. My second option would be Tokyo for it’s unbelievable mix of tradition and modernity.

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