T oday marks the first day of Design Days Dubai, which is host to the 2016 Van Cleef & Arpels Middle East Emergent Design Prize winner, Ranim Orouk. The architect-cum-jewellery designer-cum-emerging 3D designer, won the coveted competition with her light installation, Glow. Buro 24/7 Middle East spoke to Orouk just minutes after she was announced the winner to discuss her winning jelly fish inspired creation...

Congratulations Ranim! How are you feeling?

Thank you. I'm actually very excited and looking forward to the courses I won, which take place in L'Ecole in Paris. That was my main motivational factor in entering the Van Cleef & Arpels competition.

What was the concept behind the jellyfish?

The theme of this year's Van Cleef & Arpels Emergent Designer Prize is nature, so I looked for something that would influence the form and the function of the product design. I found that concept of the jellyfish to be a great light effect. They illuminate when they swim together so I took that as the function of the piece and the form of course, is the jellyfish. The material is inspired by traditional glass blowing but I used 3D printing to create the light.

Ranim Orouk

Why did you choose to create a 3D print?

I'm an architect and I've done a lot of 3D prints, so I know that 3D printing is something very real.

When did you find out you'd won?

The submissions went through on New Year's Eve. Then a month later, the shortlist was announced. This was followed by presentations, which were held every two weeks. Last month a press conference was held announcing the finalists and we were told that by now, a winner had been selected but it would be announced in two days. But ten days passed and no one called, so I figured I wasn't going to win. Then I received a call saying that I was the winner! I then had two weeks to make my piece. It was very challenging. If something is wrong, just one thing, you can't print. The machine will not read the files.

Ranim Orouk sketches

What was the most challenging part of entering the Van Cleef & Arpels Emergent Designer Prize?

They called the shortlist of people; there were four of us. We had to do a presentation describing how we would make our artwork - they wanted to make sure that we could actually make it (laughs). 3D printing is a new technology and people don't trust it here.

Did you have anything go wrong?

Yes. I had to clean the files over and over.

So now you're off to Paris. Tell us about that?

At L'Ecole, there are many different weekly classes. I can do as many as I want. I'm not going to sleep!

Do you think you'll continue on the design path?

Now I'm working on designing a jewellery line, O by Orouk. That's why the courses are so important for me because I want to do jewellery and design courses. I like architecture and building buildings but it's a very tough job (laughs).

Van Cleef & Arpels together with the Design Days Dubai platform, are now going to be pivotal to your career. What do you think of the week-long initiative?

It's great for emerging designers who have the power and energy to design but don't have the money to make product.

Ranim Orouk Van Cleef & Arpels installation

Visit Design Days Dubai from March 14-18, at The Venue, Downtown Dubai and experience Ranim Orouk's winning entry Glow along with Van Cleef & Arpels luxury jewellery collection.