Herman Miller recently hosted ’Best in Show – Creativity for a Cause’, collaborating with design firms in the UAE. Woods Bagot, AAID, Wilson Associates, Gensler and non-profit organisation Team Angel Wolf came together in a spirit of friendly, puppy- focused fun.
The initiative has been adopted from the US and this is the first time it is being held in the UAE. The objective is straightforward: entrants must redesign a Magis Puppy provided by Herman Miller, which will be donated to the Al Noor school of special needs and Sanad Village, the World’s Largest Rehabilitation Centre for People of Determination. The beloved plastic dog sculpture was designed in 2004 by Finnish designer Eero Aarnio for furniture manufacturer Magis’s children’s line. This design will showcase each firm’s regional flair and echo both Herman Miller and the design firm’s ethos around Diversity, Equity and Inclusiveness and make a difference in the lives of this very unique audience and bring a smile to their faces.
Wilson Associates designed a henna painted puppy incorporating regional flair. AAID created Abby Angus in Dubai by infusing character using materials they had on hand, the same way a child can build whole worlds from everyday objects around them. While Gensler designed an amazing caricature of little hand drawn unique puppies who all had a very special handicapability. Woods Bagot used children doodles to create a puppy that certainly struck them with joy. And finally, Team Angel Wolf brought the Ying and Yang, the balance that they see our people of determination need us to give them.
These messages act as a channel for change by creating awareness about these key issues. Our President and CEO, Andi Owen, has also placed great emphasis on embracing diverse perspectives. In her statement on our Diversity, Inclusiveness and Equity values she mentioned that it’s important for us to welcome ideas from as many perspectives as possible, not just because it’s the right thing to do, but because we know from experience that it makes us a stronger company.
Team Angel Wolf’s story has a very special place in our hearts, as Nick Watson understands too well the needs of our audience. His son, Rio, is a Person of Determination, with a rare chromosome disorder called ‘Denovo syndrome’. As a family, they compete in sporting events, and always include Rio, which lead them to create the non-profit foundation, that is all about inclusive impactivity for the community.
Faris Saeed, the Chairman at Sanad Village also commented, “In a world that fights for the equal rights of all, we mustn’t forget People of Determination. We, at Sanad Village, believe that by raising awareness through training and education, combined with a fully rounded holistic treatment approach, we can encourage inclusivity, that will support and pave the way for People of Determination to transition towards independence. Receiving a Magis Puppy alongside other great initiatives serves as a kind reminder that we are not alone on our journey.”
Ranjini Ramnath, Director at Al Noor Rehabilitation and Welfare Association for People of Determination also added, “It is hoped that united vision of diversity and inclusion that Al Noor shares with Herman Miller will lead to an enduring partnership and help enhance the quality of lives of people of determination.”
Herman Miller’s Regional Director, Stacy Stewart said, “This is the first time we are bringing this to the region, and we believe in the power of diversity and aspire to be an inclusive community at Herman Miller. We took a hard look at how we’re putting our beliefs about diversity, equity, and inclusion into practice, and while it is a small step in this direction for us here in the region, we look to further collaborate and work with these amazing people moving forward.”