A Quick Look at Dubai Design Week 2017

19 Oct , 2017  

It’s almost time for Dubai Design Week 2017, and we took a few minutes to see what’s in the pipeline. Taking into consideration Dubai’s passion for collaboration and innovation, and as a reflection of the city’s global outlook, Dubai Design Week is both regional and international in scope and ambition. As an event, it covers both public and private sectors, culture, education and entertainment, and spans multiple disciplines, ranging from graphic and product design to architecture and industrial design.

In keeping with this drive to always go bigger and better, Downtown Design – the anchor event for Dubai Design Week – has announced its largest and most significant edition to date, celebrating five successful years as the leading design trade fair for high quality design in the Middle East.

Dubai Design Week's 2017 Programme

A diverse 6-day programme of keynote speeches, panel discussions, public performances and educational workshops will allow visitors – from local start-ups and entrepreneurs to international visitors, the media and families – the opportunity to discover and engage with design.

Taking place from 14-17 November 2017 in partnership with the Dubai Design District (d3) and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA), the show is set to enhance its position as the Middle East’s essential contemporary design event; providing industry and public audiences with lots of new products, attention grabbing trends and tons of inspiration.

Downtown Design: The fifth edition of Downtown Design will present a significant range of carefully selected and emerging brands from all over the world to the design professionals drawn to Dubai from across the Middle East. The annual exhibition, held for the third time at Dubai Design District (d3), will provide the architecture and design industry with a unique blend of exhibitors, live events and installations, all within a purpose-built venue.

Rue Khotari, Show Director of Downtown Design, says, “We’re delighted to be marking five years of Downtown Design with a show double the size of previous editions. Not only does this reflect the strength of the exhibition and its reputation but also the growth in high-demand sectors of lighting, furniture and textiles. The show continues its rise, while focusing on connecting exhibitors to the region’s leading architects and interior designers. Helping brands and buyers to unlock the potential of the Middle East design market is at the heart of Downtown Design.”

Some of the key projects offered as part of Dubai Design Week include the hugely popular Global Grad Show, Abwab, Iconic City: Loading…Casa as well as GraphicRCA: Fifty Years and Beyond.

The Global Grad Show: For starters, this exhibition will be showcasing 200 projects from 90 of the world’s elite universities across more than 40 countries, including nine universities from the MENA region. Since its launch in 2015, the show has grown to become the world’s largest and most diverse meeting of design graduates. The Global Grad Show’s selection draws from an original interpretation of design that emphasizes four defining virtues: innovation, equality, access and impact.

Abwab: We’re particularly looking forward to Abwab, which returns for its third incarnation. The Arab word “Abwab” refers to doors, and will feature selected talents by asking designers who’ve submitted their designs, to nominate another designer – a design dominoes method. The show will provide visitors a unique insight into techniques, materials and craft through 45 selected designs from 15 countries. The Abwab pavilion, which will be placed at the centre of d3, has been designed by Dubai-based Fahed & Architects. According to Rawan Kashkoush, Head of Programming at DXBDW/Art Dubai, Abwab symbolises a union of sorts where people are brought together: “With a strong presence in India, Middle East and West Asia, and with partners located across the world, Abwab is a mélange of talent: people from varied backgrounds and culture, who bring with them the richness of knowledge and distinct perspectives.”

They’ve opted to use recovered bedsprings from waste management company, Bee’ah. The final selection of products was informed by a high-profile international editorial board including Joy Mardini, Max Fraser and Sheikha Lateefa bin Rashid.

Iconic City – Loading…Casa: Each year, this research based exhibition and pop-up series shines the spotlight on the design scene of a different city within the region. Curated by Salma Lahlou, the third edition of the popular exhibition highlights the story of Casablanca through five perspectives: counter-culture, amnesic memory, hedonism, transhumance and mutation. It will also showcase newly commissioned works from a sound artist, a graphic designer, a photographer and an interior architect to portray the unique character of Casablanca.

GraphicRCA – Fifty Years and Beyond: This exhibition reveals the rich history of graphic design at the Royal College of Art (RCA) and demonstrates how, for the past half century, the RCA has been at the forefront of major developments in graphic communication. The exhibition features original, rarely seen works from the RCA archive, including designs made at the College by RCA alumni who have gone on to become industry leaders and innovators.

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