A Shared Challenge

Dubai is preparing to welcome Expo 2020 and its theme 'Connecting Minds, Creating the Future' by making the DDW even more international. Dubai on Design brings together the best of the 2019 edition

From the general to the specific, and vice versa. The gaze moves, as it does during the most compelling tennis matches, from one side of the court to the other: from a broader, international perspective, to one that is more specific, regional, and traditionalist.

It is a continuous and passionate exchange, a movement that brings with it a touch of the characteristics and unique qualities of each of the two players, transferring them to the other, thus becoming a game of cross-contamination. This is the landscape of design in Dubai: torn between the inflexible desire to cultivate, expand, and disseminate local creativity on the one hand, and, on the other, its identity as an international hub, a meeting point of different cultures, a breeding ground for renewed creativity. This is true now more than ever, with Expo 2020 ready to open its doors, structured around the theme “Connecting Minds, Creating the Future”.

Dubai Design Week is an example of this design polarity, an event that provides local creative talent with a wide and varied stage on which to measure itself against the biggest names from the sector (Madar, Adwab, and Downtown Edition come to mind), while international design, which is making headway in the Middle East, must cope with the region’s strong culture and heritage, both deeply rooted in tradition, which, however, can also provide new sources of inspiration. What’s at stake is also the opportunity for greater development and innovation for a city that, in addition to being a bridge between two sides of the world, also represents a connection between past and future.