It’s all happening Downtown!

30 Oct , 2018  

It’s time for that touted design trade show, happening every year right in our own glittering backyard. Dubai’s Design District will come alive with creativity, and as the marquee goes up, we lift the flaps to give you a sneak peak of some of the hottest talent, cutting edge design, products, events and trending talks. Here’s what’s not to miss at Downtown Design…


Downtown Design is here for its sixth edition, attracting key professionals from the regional and international design industries. With over 175 international, contemporary design brands, and regional talent featuring 40 designers, this year’s fair is by far the most ambitious to date. The theme is ‘Liveable Cities’, and visitors and participants can look forward to a series of industry talks and workshops, networking events, and unique installations focusing around this common topic.

Here are a few events and activities that had us excited…

Downtown Editions

Downtown Editions is a new element dedicated to bespoke and limited-edition design, capsule collections, individual studios and designer collaborations. It showcases local and regional talent, presenting a diverse and exciting range. And in an effort to unite both commerce and creativity, the exhibition hopes to connect brands and designers from around the world to opportunities within this region.

Workshops for Trade Professionals

For the first time, Downtown Design will be hosting workshops that will feature influential strategists and analysts in the industry. This inaugural series aims to empower design professionals with the tools, skills and information to help them future-proof their proposals, and enhance their offerings, both commercially and creatively. 

Clockwise from top left: Carolina Calzada-Oliveira, co-founder of the UK-based colour strategists Calzada Fox, will present colour trends for 2020. Molly Dolan, Content Manager of Sleeper, will share emerging industry trends. Social media expert Ashley Cadzow, will present the masterclass ‘Brand Your Instagram’. And Oliver Baxter, Insight Programme Manager from Herman Miller, will talk about the future of workplace design.

Also look out for…

Award-winning sculptor, David Harber, presents his latest work, the Aeon (left), which interprets the ‘Big Bang’ in bronze and gold leaf. Simply stunning…

LA based, multi-faceted designer, Marc Ange will debut a new version of his acclaimed installation, ‘Le Refuge’ (below). The brass and marble installation will be presented with the backdrop of Dubai Creek and the city’s skyline.



This year, Humanscale is inviting one and all to explore their latest innovations in sustainable design – top ergonomic solutions with the smallest environmental impact. We are particularly keen on checking out the Smart Ocean (left), which claims to reduce ocean plastic pollution ‘one chair at a time’. Humanscale have partnered with Bureo to create this first ergonomic task chair made with recycled fishing nets.

From below left: Umbra lights, CC Tapis rug, and GebrÅder Thonet Vienna GmbH furniture


At the Steelcase stand, you will get a chance to check out its famed SILQ chair (right) crafted from a polymer material that emulates the qualities of carbon fibre without the expensive price tag.

They will also be showcasing Umami, which we love! (below), a versatile lounge furniture system with a flexible, modular design that allows users to create unique settings. But of particular interest to designers will be the selection of winning entries from Steelcase’s competition on the customisable LessThanFive chair (below right). This chair is composed entirely of carbon fibre, and can support up to 300 pounds, while weighing less than five!

Herman Miller

Sit in the Cosm (below), and you just might forget you’re sitting in a chair at all. So is the claim about this product by Herman Miller, and with its stunning colours and overall sleek look, this could be one worth checking out at the fair. While you’re there, you may also want to check out the Memo, a work system by Herman Miller, designed to help offices become more agile.

And check out this video…

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