Dubai Design Week 2020: What Not to Miss

Dubai Design Week returns for its sixth edition, and while the world goes virtual, local design aficionados rejoice at the chance to celebrate design, both physical and digital.



This year, Dubai Design Week turns its spotlight on the regional design scene under the theme of redefining and reimagining the way we will live in the near and distant future. Within a safe open-air setting in Dubai Design District (d3), the 2020 edition of the creative festival stages a series of installations, urban interventions and outdoor experiences that we cannot wait to experience. 


The MENA Grad Show

The inaugural MENA Grad Show presents university projects that make the world a better place, complemented with a programme that supports young talent in sharing knowledge and experiences to advance their professional careers. The initiative is supported by A.R.M. Holding and Dubai Culture, and never disappoints. This year, we will witness 50 social impact innovation projects in the fields of technology, science and design, such as a biodegradable leather alternative produced through fermentation process, by Amal Hassan Alsuwaidi of DIDI, and an alternative to concrete using palm tree waste, by the Green Team from the University of Buraimi in Oman.

The Abwab Pavilion

Abwab, a platform that nurtures and showcases regional design talent, commissioned a singular landmark pavilion,‘Fata Morgana’, a project by Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana in collaboration with Generous Studio and Woodcast Designs. Addressing city dwellers’ ever-changing relationship with their public realm and the constant need for public interventions offering shelter, respite and relaxation, the concept incorporates natural social distancing for visitors to have a safe experience. Focusing on the framework of a modern-day city through an open-plan arrangement of components arranged around a central origin point, the Abwab 2020 Pavilion features pillars symbolic for each of the seven Emirates.

Outdoor Installations  

Staged throughout the open-air, pedestrian setting of d3, the outdoor installations and public interventions are a result of creative collaborations and the merging of talent. Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah and Hamad Khoory were commissioned by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) to create convertible seating solutions designed for the UAE’s continuously adapting urban environments. Multi-disciplinary Kuwait based Studio Meshary AlNassar has joined forces with surface brand Cosentino to present a contemporary take on the ancient Persian paradise garden, an antidote for enclosed spaces, and Jumanah Rizk and Delta Light showcase an abstract installation rooted in a contextual exploration of material that cultivates the local and natural resources in response to the pandemic.

For the full programme of installations, click here.

Aectual’s 3D Printed Forms

Explore the Worlds’ first platform for mass-customizable building products, that offers sustainably 3D printed architecture & interior items, all made of recycled and renewable materials. Aectual Studios explores the possibilities of XL 3D printing, parametric design, and circularity, with a product range of interior items, from planters, room dividers to even a life-size staircase, that can evolve into each other over time. A special installation will be showcased, featuring a range of circular products catering to a new flexible interior, whether at home, the office, or perhaps somewhere in-between. All products are made with a bio-based plastic made from linseed, that can be shredded and directly re-printed. This makes the material and product use incredibly versatile. Next to several life-size printed prototypes, the entire process, from design to large scale 3D printing, can be experienced.

Tanween by Tashkeel

We never miss a chance to visit this exhibition that nurtures the UAE design aesthetic, showcasing commercially available, limited edition pieces inspired by, designed, and manufactured in the UAE. This year’s highlights are Nada Abu Shaqra’s high back Hisn chair, inspired by the UAE vernacular architecture integrating locally sourced terracotta with modern manufacturing techniques. Inspired by heritage and sustainability, Lina Ghalib’s Yereed bench-seat features a new and innovative application of arish, offering new design possibilities for this local material. Neda Salmanpur’s ceiling light draws on muqarnas and calligraphy to create a non-traditional form using 3D printing

For the full programme of exhibits, click here


About Dubai Design Week

When: 9 – 14 November, 2020 

Where: Dubai Design District

Dubai Design Week is the region’s largest creative festival, reflecting Dubai’s  position as the design capital of the Middle East. Staged in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai Design Week, is a platform for regional design as well as a  catalyst for the growth of the creative community in Dubai. The festival’s varied programme consists of design-related  events, exhibitions, installations, competitions, talks and workshops across multiple creative disciplines.

Visit their website for more details.

Related Articles