From 8 to 12 November, Downtown Design is back in a physical way, as the most important event in the Middle East on design and creativity. Visitors can set their sights on the Dubai Design District d3 to discover the new collections and offerings of over 150 local and international brands, hailing from over 20 countries, such as Lema, Minotti, Giorgetti, Vitra, Illulian, Kvadrat, Verdi, Grohe, Villeroy&Boch, Laboratorio Mattoni, Rak Ceramics, Lasvit, Baranska Design, Shakúff, just to name a few.
There is a strong Italian presence, as the protagonist of the exhibition Luxury Interiors – The Art of Italian Design organized by ICE, the largest exhibition in the history of the trade fair, with over 40 Italian companies taking part. Among the guest countries, France presents the exhibition Art de Vivre, Spain is on hand with an installation curated by the Spanish architect based in Dubai Juan Roldán, Austria displays its finest producers of furnishings and lighting, and Hungary presents Budapest Select, a section on young talents.
“With the return to a live iteration of the fair in November, coinciding with a demand for services of interior design and architecture at levels never seen in this region in the past, Downtown Design will provide a perfectly timely, exciting and strategic platform to reconnect the sector and to pay tribute to original, high-quality design,” says David Ross, director of Downtown Design.
Happenings on a rebound include Downtown Editions, a showcase of limited-edition and custom design, with brands like Aline Hazarian, The Line Concept, Nakkash Gallery and Zieta Studio, joined by emerging creative talents of the region. Downtown Editions will be supplemented by a series of settings to reveal the latest developments of local design, including the Beirut Concept Store, which presents works by 50 well-known designer and emerging talents based in Lebanon, while the UAE Designer Exhibition 2.0 focuses on works by 25 up-and-coming creators with local offices and production. The spotlights will also be trained on the works of four designers selected by Tashkeel for the Tanween Program 2021.
Not just products, but also installations: don’t miss the interactive and multisensorial space at the entrance, designed by the studio Niu of Dubai, a maxi-work clad in mosaics of large proportions created by the artist Antonello Blandi, decorated by Fantini Mosaici, one of the Italian leaders in the field of hand-cut mosaic tile, with lighting by Artemide.
Another obligatory pit stop is the Lounge Bar designed by Broadway Interiors, as well as the Lighthouse Café created by Lulie Fisher Design Studio and inspired by Virginia Woolf, a café covered with colorful mosaics topped by a wooden canopy.
Finally, the Forum offers a variegated program of talks, held live at the fair in an amphitheater made for the occasion, welcoming important architects and designers like Sebastian Herkner, Elliott Barnes, Gregory Gatserelia, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Adrien Gardère and Micael Calatrava. The talks are joined by round tables with local architects and interior designers like Jonathan Ashmore founder of Anarchitect, Laura Bielecki, group design director of Ellington, Pallavi Dean with the Roar studio, Andy Shaw, managing partner, AMA and chair of Riba Gulf Chapter, Diane Thorsen, design director of Gensler, and Isabel Pintado, SVP Design&Innovation of Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts.