The most important event for creativity in the Middle East, a week of presentations, exhibitions, installations, workshops and talks: we’re talking about Dubai Design Week, from 9 to 14 November, held in the Dubai Design District (d3).
This year, the fair that has reached its 6th edition presents a hybrid virtual-real program, a platform to reimagine the world in which we live and to reflect on the strategic role of designers in the formulation of solutions to cope with the difficult post-pandemic era. Here are the events not to be missed.
Abwab: Fata Morgana
The Abwab pavilion this year has the title Fata Morgana, interpreted by the Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana in collaboration with Generous Studio and Woodcast Designs. The installation addresses the constantly evolving relationship of the inhabitants of cities with their public “realm” and the ongoing need for urban intervention to provide shelter, relief and relaxation.
The outdoor area of Dubai Design District (d3) hosts a series of public installations by local and international talents, design solutions for the rapid changes caused by the pandemic. Such as “Please Sit Here” by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) in collaboration with local designers Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah and Hamad Khoory, a series of benches that allow users to sit at a distance of two meters; in the future, when safety measures have been relaxed, the benches can be adapted for multiple use.
Global and MENA Grad Shows
At its debut, MENA Grad Show is a new addition to the Global Grad Show initiative, presenting 50 selected projects submitted by students in the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on solutions to improve and transform people’s lives.
The Global Grad Show returns, for universities around the world, with an interactive digital exhibition presenting the 100 projects selected in the fields of environmental, social and economic development. This year there were over 1600 candidates from 270 universities in 60 countries, for an increase of 30% over last year.
d3 Architecture Festival
Dubai Design Week 2020 puts the spotlight on local and regional talent with a series of exhibitions, including the launch of the d3 Architecture Festival in collaboration with RIBA Gulf Chapter and the UAE Designer Exhibition. Viewers can see the proposals of 20 creative talents residing in the United Arab Emirates, including Tanween 2020 by Tashkeel, limited editions produced in the United Arab Emirates by emerging designers; Fashcultivate by 1971 Design Space, which presents seven textile works made with date palm leaves, a sustainable material of local origin; the second edition of Mn Laila by Hamzat Wasl, with a new collection of contemporary prayer rugs, available for purchase, with proceeds donated to families struck by the current pandemic.
Besides these regional initiatives, there is room for international institutions such as Reflections on Swiss Innovation of the Swiss Embassy, Space, Exploration and Design of Institut Français, Design is GREAT: From the UK to the UAE, presented by the Department of International Trade of the United Kingdom. Finally, AIMMP (Association of Industries of Wood and Furniture Portugal) invites visitors to a conceptual ‘Portuguese apartment,’ while the Netherlands presents Serres Séparées, a concept that allows guests to dine in individual greenhouses.
In the context of Downtown Design, we should mention the exhibition The Shape of Things to Come, where over 20 of the most stimulating studios of architecture and interior design in the Middle East imagine how we will live, work and plan in a post-pandemic world.
UAE Designer Exhibition
UAE Designer Exhibition is the new showcase that spotlights works by 20 local creative talents, including Acrylic Collection, furnishings in acrylic material by interior designer Reem Al Bustani, and the How to Be at Rest chair by the artist Christopher Benton.