An insight into the world of contemporary design, Modern Road Design Studio is recalibrating traditional into modern with its own signature touch
What started out as a fashion and lifestyle blog in London, touching upon the food, places, fashion, and art scene, Modern Road developed into one of the most widely commended design studios in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, London, and Spain. Working with the likes of Khaleda Rajab, Bulgari, and more, the design studio caters to a wide spectrum of design needs for their clients, adding their own signature touches to each project. Co-founders Ahmed Al Zayani and Faisal Al Fadda, spoke to Perle Magazine about their design studio and their aim to redefine design through their unique vision.
Receiving their higher education in Marketing in London, both Ahmed and Faisal always had an eye for design, which lead to Faisal starting his blog, Modern Road. Faisal’s interest in lifestyle and artistic savoir vivre allowed him to set the blog’s aesthetic of that revolving around elements life inspired by fashion, nature, and art.
Mirroring the same aesthetic in their design work, Ahmed and Faisal take a very personal approach while working with their clients to provide them not only with a personal, dedicated, and customised service, but also deliver results with a unique combination of contemporary yet ultra modern outlook.
Offering a full range of design services including Interior/Exterior Design, Product Design & Manufacture, Venue Design, Corporate Branding, Social Media Management, Website Design & Maintenance, Photography/Videography & Animation, Creative & Art Direction, and Digital Printing, Modern Road found its beginnings in design in Saudi Arabia for the multi-brand shop, Little Boutique, where they revamped a spiral staircase into a mini gallery with a display of vintage French-fashion, Italian models, and other paintings, in chic black frames, turning neglected space into the central part of the shop.
“We had an idea to change the concept of ‘design’ itself”, Faisal says of their style of work, adding their vision is to present to their clients something different to what are used to and have seen before. Working with the likes of fashion giant Bulgari, Modern Road was responsible for curating the launch of their high-end jewellery in Marbella, Spain. Putting their Venue Design expertise into practice, the design studio covered every element of the event from the theme to the catering, resulting in a luxurious experience for the attendees.
Bringing the same level of opulence to their event in Bahrain, Modern Road’s work for Khaleda Rajab x Linda Farrow collaboration launch was nothing short of spectacular. The collaboration between the high-end sunglasses brand, Linda Farrow, and Bahraini designer, Khaleda Rajab, resulted in the production of sunglasses that mirrored the designer’s affinity towards bold designs, and to convey her uniqueness through multimedia, Modern Road directed and produced a film-noire-esque promotional video for the extraordinary sunglasses designed. From concept of ‘Black Swan’, to execution, which included photographing the models to shooting and editing the video, Modern Road produced short film that successfully delivered Khaleda Rajab’s unique flare as an haute couture designer. Bringing the same experience to Bahrain, the design studio was also responsible for handling an exclusive event for the collaboration. Making sure to add their signature of always taking the designs to a whole new level, Modern Road allowed the invite-only guests to experience and become a part of the “Black Swan” aesthetic, with the presence of a ballerina dancing the Black Swan and a violinist adding an air of sophistication to the event with pleasant and soft ambient music.
Juxtaposing a little bit of contemporary with traditional in the heart of Manama, Modern Road also designed a small café in one of the oldest shopping complex, Yateem Centre. Called Cantine, the café serves healthy food options such as freshly made sandwiches on brown bread, homemade cold-pressed juice, fresh fruits, and healthy desserts. Situated on the second floor of Yateem Centre, Cantine is a quaint little café and its aesthetic replicates the freshness of the food that is served. White brick interior, suspended flower pots, and subtle lighting allows the diners to feel at ease when they walk into the shop and the minimalistic interior mirrors the small but hearty menu Cantine has to offer. “For this project, we managed to make the look of the place fresh with the muted interior and subtle hints of greenery”, Faisal adds.
Along with working on commercial and private design projects, Modern Road is bringing to Bahrain a unique art exhibition concept – a production of their own. Aiming to showcase all international, local, already established, and upcoming artists, Modern Road hopes to bridge the gap between the rising art scene in Bahrain and internationally to create a merging of different artistic ideologies, beliefs, practices, and forms.
Ahmed and Faisal add, they would like to educate both markets about the different types of artists and arts present around the world. Befittingly, the event will be held in the heart of Bahrain, in La Fontaine – The Centre of Contemporary Art – and features the work of British International artist, Taline Temizian. The artist draws inspiration from her own life, especially from her late father who was a renowned Cardiologist, fused with modernist paintings and literature, Neurology and its link to memory and trauma. Her art depicts the heart in various media such as paintings, works on paper, multi-media works, kinetic and light installations and uses figurative, conceptual, and process-based strategies, systems, and signs to explore the interplay between personal narrative, and cultural history showcased through, science, technology, art, and poetry. Themed “Transcend”, Ahmed and Faisal say they look forward to this event taking off and will continue to curate these events and bring different artists to Bahrain from around the world.
Looking to expand their services further, Ahmed and Faisal say they are also working on a home-accessories and furniture line by Modern Road to encompass any and all aspect of design under one roof.
Changing the perspective of what is seen as “design” through each of their projects, Ahmed and Faisal are achieving what many have not braved to do so before. Moving away from the traditional design that many are used to, through Modern Road, Ahmed and Faisal are not only presenting a more contemporary outlook on lifestyle, but are, in fact, paving the way to novel designs through a modern road.
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