In 2018 Dubai was assigned the title of “City of Design” by UNESCO: an exceptional honor for the city, which is becoming a true hub for the sector in the UAE. Dubai Design Week, from 8 to 13 November, is a celebration of this role. And its main event is Downtown Design (9-12 November), the fair on new international trends in design. The location, as usual, is the urban zone known as d3 (Dubai Design District), a global and pioneering creative ecosystem for design, fashion, architecture and art, where people can meet, grow and create together.
“We are proud to host this prestigious event,” says Khadija Al Bastaki, vice-president of d3. “We make a direct commitment to engage, to connect and to foster interaction between the ideas of designers and artisans, through installations, exhibitions, conferences and workshops, creating a special gathering place in relation to the market.”
Under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, president of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of the ruling family of Dubai, in its 8th edition Downtown Design welcomes over 200 international exhibitors. They include: Poliform, iGuzzini, Minotti (at Aati), Illulian, Cosentino (with a creative concept by RSP Architects), Jaipur Tappeti, cc-tapis (at Iwan Maktabi, with the latest collection by Duccio Maria Gambi in a world premiere), Lasvit, VitrA (in collaboration with Tom Dixon).
Once again this year, the fair reprises the appointment with Downtown Editions, the section on limited editions and custom creations, and with The Forum, which hosts international architects and designers, including high-profile speakers like the British designer Kelly Hoppen, the Florentine Duccio Maria Gambi and the Kuwaiti Jassim Al Saddakh.
The installations in the program include the immersive experience of Design with Impact, made with materials that have a positive impact on the environment. Among the exhibitions, a show on the technology of the metaverse and its influence on design, and the UAE Designer Exhibition, supported by Dubai Culture, featuring works by the most interesting local designers.
These happenings are joined by the d3 Design Market of FLTRD, an interesting offering for all visitors, with retail sales of products ranging from homeware to prêt-à-porter, taking place throughout the week for the first time.
Saeed Mubarak bin Kharbash, CEO of the arts and literature section of Dubai Culture, concludes: “We are working to build a lively, sustainable and competitive creative sector in global forums, in line with our strategic projects, and we are also attempting to consolidate the position of the Emirate as a global design capital and a center for the creative industry in general. Downtown Design is an ideal platform to shed light on the work of the talents of the United Arab Emirates, presented in an innovative way to a global audience.”
Finally, in coordination with Dubai Design Week, the Dubai Design District (d3) will also host its annual d3 Architecture Exhibition.