Downtown Design 2020: reinvention of the fair

The event returns to Dubai from 9 to 14 November with a hybrid digital-physical program

Blume di Sebastian Herkner per Pedrali, foto di Andrea Garuti
Blume by Sebastian Herkner, Pedrali. Photo © Andrea Garuti

A hybrid virtual-real program: in the new “phygital” era, this is Downtown Design, the most important event for creativity in the Middle East, from 9 to 14 November 2020 during Dubai Design Week. The initiative will be split into a digital fair, a conceptual exhibition, a program of virtual lectures and physical experiences, as usual in the Dubai Design District (d3).

Void Matters di Note Design Studio per Sancal
Void Matters by Note Design Studio, Sancal

The digital fair will be an online showcase to permit design professionals and enthusiasts to discover the latest trends and collections, like the theatrical Fractal luminous compositions of Thomas Feichtner for Preciosa, the Void Matters collection by Note Design Studio for Sancal, or the Blume family by Sebastian Herkner for Pedrali.

A digital fair that also becomes an interactive platform, with microsites to narrate new developments and company profiles, offering useful contacts and links to connect buyers and brands in real time, helping them to create strategic relationships.

The physical exhibition in Building 4, titled The Shape of Things to Come, invites local creative studios to investigate how our ways of living, working and interacting will change after the pandemic, a very timely theme also addressed in the program of online talks, with the participation of architects like Aline Asmar d’Amman, interior and product designers like Pallavi Dean, sector journalists like Max Fraser, to reveal how recent global events have left room for positive action and innovative thinking that will help to remodel the design industry. A panel discussion will take place on site, with the contribution of designers such as David Nicolas, Sacha Walckhoff and Sabine Marcelis on the future of design heritage.

L'illuminazione Fractal S di Preciosa Lighting
Fractal lighting by Thomas Feichtner, Preciosa

Finally, Associative Design will present the exhibition The Best of Portugal, to explore the diversity of Portuguese design, in collaboration with the Associação das Indústrias de Madeira e Mobiliário de Portugal (AIMMP): visitors will have a chance to discover a conceptual Portuguese home set up at the Dubai Design District (d3), Building 6 (R02), an installation that brings Portuguese charm and creativity to the Middle East, between crafts and technology, with a selection of 18 brands ranging from furniture to lighting, fabrics to accessories, such as Vista Alegre which presents a new collaboration with Ross Lovegrove.

The initiative Dubai Design Week Marketplace during the weekend of 13-14 November is also noteworthy: a retail platform that brings together artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs based in Dubai, in the outdoor context of d3.