Tuesday 27 October 2015

Dubai - MENA Herald: Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and a driving force for the development of Dubai as a global creative centre, today opened the inaugural Dubai Design Week (26-31 October 2015). Her Highness was accompanied by Dr. Amina Al Rustamani, Group Chief Executive Officer of TECOM Group, and other dignitaries.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Latifa bin Mohammed, Dubai Design Week is supported by both Dubai Culture, and the Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC).

After over a year in the planning, Dubai Design Week is a six-day celebration and showcase of the most exciting design and most innovative designers from the MENASA region and beyond.

HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed, said:”Dubai Design Week represents the dynamic evolution of Dubai in steering innovation, creativity and collaboration in the fast-growing design sector. Hosting this flagship design event in Dubai defines our city’s credentials as a fast-emerging global design capital that inspires designers around the world, provides them a vibrant platform for showcasing their works and fosters the next generation of design talent. Celebrating regional and international design, it underlines Dubai Culture’s commitment to achieving the goals of Dubai Plan 2021 to establish Dubai as a city of happy, creative and empowered people. Dubai Design Week’s pillars of creativity, education and innovation will further contribute to establishing Dubai’s status as a global hub for the design & creative industry.“

More than 100 events are taking place all over the city over the next six days, involving a large diverse cast: individual designers, studios, artists, architects, educational and cultural, institutions, retail stores, iconic brands, trade professionals, authors, thinkers and more. At the heart of it all is the Dubai Design District (d3), the brand new and ever-evolving creative community that is already becoming the hub of the Gulf’s design industry, and will play host to many of the flagship events and exhibitions of Dubai Design Week.

The world’s newest Design Week is owned and managed by Art Dubai Group and supported by the Dubai Design & Fashion Council (DDFC) and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture). It is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, the Vice-Chairman of Dubai Culture and a driving force for the development of Dubai as a global creative centre.

With more than 120 designers from 35 countries taking part, alongside some of the world’s most influential industry figureheads, representatives from global academic institutions and key creatives from across the Middle East, Dubai Design Week is the most significant event in the region’s design history. For 6 days, d3 becomes an ‘open museum’ of design, with cultural programme catering to all ages and interests. Taking advantage of the remarkable educational opportunity Dubai Design Week offers the Emirate’s designers of the future, more than 500 students from 25 schools and universities in the region are set to visit.

Launching with such an ambitious and broad-ranging agenda, Dubai Design Week aims to make a statement as bold and attention-grabbing as the spirit of the city itself, while encouraging the world to look beyond the expected and discover the balance of imagination and innovation that drives Dubai forward.

Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO of Dubai Design District (d3) explains: “We are pleased to welcome some of the global design industry’s most influential thought leaders to Dubai Design District. The varied programme of talks and workshops adds an extra dimension to Dubai Design Week, uniting local and international design communities and we look forward to the debate and dialogue that this will bring.”

Dubai Design Week Programme Summary


A fair of discovery

The centre of Dubai Design Week and the region’s fastest-growing design fair, Downtown Design presents a carefully considered selection of original, high quality design from all over the world.

Featuring more than 90 brands from 25 countries


Six international design weeks present the best of their city’s emerging design brands

Partnering with six different international design weeks annually, Dubai Design Week offers a platform to showcase the best emerging design brands in one location. Giving design enthusiasts the opportunity to discover new talent, Destination only showcases design from the participating countries that has never been seen before on the global stage.

Featuring • Beijing • Helsinki • Istanbul • Melbourne • Mexico City • San Francisco


10 universities present the next generation of innovation

For the first time, the highlights of graduate shows from a worldwide roster of design-education programmes are brought together in a single space, giving visitors an unprecedented opportunity to discover the ideas that will define the design landscape of the future.  

The exhibition features the work of 50 international young designers and design teams, each selected for their creative approach to problem-solving and their potential to make a lasting improvement to human society, across six themes: Construction, Home, Health, Memory, Play and Work.

Featuring • ECAL (Switzerland) • Eindhoven University of Technology (Netherlands) • Hong Kong PolyU (China) • KAIST (South Korea) • Keio University Graduate School of Media Design (Japan) • National University of Singapore (Singapore) • MIT (US) • Pratt Institute (US) • Royal College of Art (UK) • Tsinghua University (China)
Curator Brendan McGetrick


Emerging and established talent from six MENASA countries

Six purpose-built pavilions, integrated into the walkways of d3, invite visitors to journey through design from six nations of the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia region. United by the theme ‘Games: The Element of Play in Culture’, the content of each is selected by a curator from each country, enabling the pavilions to act as windows into the local aesthetic and immersing visitors in different design worlds.

Featuring • Jordan • Kuwait • Pakistan • Saudi Arabia • Tunisia • UAE

Creative director: Rawan Kashkoush


A Lebanese Design Showcase: 1950–2015

The first in a new annual series of Iconic City exhibitions, Brilliant Beirut explores the impact of local urban dynamics in the areas of design, production and creative culture. This graphic-led exhibition traces the development of Lebanon’s design scene from the 1950s to the present day, the exhibition straddles architecture, education, graphic design, fashion, furniture and cultural trends.

Drawing parallels with and distinctions from Western design movements, the far-reaching show considers the shifts in design thinking engendered by civil war and the transition to stability. In addition, it examines how Beirut’s complex social make-up helped nurture creativity, while its long-standing craft traditions and ample production resources contributed to the country’s pre-eminence in the global design scene.

Curator: Rana Salam


Site-specific sculptural works to transform the cityscape

Designed to give pause, spark imagination and spread the idea that wonder and beauty can be found in the most unexpected places, 13 specially commissioned sculptural, architectural and experiential pieces have been positioned at locations around the city for Dubai Design Week, including d3,  Al Fahidi Historical Neighbourhood, Tashkeel, THE BEACH by Meraas and CITY WALK by Meraas.

Conceived by international artists, architects and designers and chosen for their convention-challenging impact and strong sense of belonging, the installations collectively explore regional decorative traditions, technological possibility and the human environment.

Featuring • A Place to Departure by  D3’s Edson Pavoni and João Souz presented by Coletivo Amor de Madre • Detritus Wall by Ali Al-Sammarraie • Yaroof by Aljoud Lootah • LUZ by Bahar & Sawsan Al Bahar • Untitled (Archway) by Anjali Srinivasan • Deconstructing Zone by Henrique Stabile presented by Coletivo Amor de Madre • Notional Field (Dubai) by Cuppetelli and Mendoza • Earth Hives by Latifa Saeed and Talin Hazbar • Love Project by Guto Requena • LOT36587 by Raudha Al Ghurair • Soundweaving by Zsanett Szirmay and Bálint Tárkány-Kovács • Fragments of Now by Yohei Iwaki • Scaffolding/Truss by Zeinab Al Hashemi

Curator: Cyril Zammit


20+ hands-on workshops for Design talents and professionals and the wider public; 30+ educational and informative talks and panel discussions on the present and future of the local, regional and global Design industry

Throughout Dubai Design Week, a daily programme of talks, lectures and workshops held at d3 and Downtown Design will explore topics of local and international impact, ranging from considerations of modular Arabic typography to analysis of how developments in modern lifestyles are changing design in the home. Keynote speakers include world-renowned architects and designers Bernard Khoury and Humberto Campana; and leading design figure Deyan Sudjic,director of London Design Museum.

At the weekend in d3, families can enjoy two days filled with educational and entertaining children activities such as hands-on DIY Technology Workshops (ages 4-18+), pottery-making workshops, curator-led tours of the exhibitions and live acoustic entertainment.


Satellite design showcases across the city

Alongside the core events of Dubai Design Week, stores, studios, universities and galleries all over the city are staging independent exhibitions, workshops and open-door days, collectively underlining Dubai’s rich and multi-faceted design landscape.

Surprise, insight and creative expression await at every turn: from Ras Al Khor where design collective DRAK is highlighting the neighbourhood’s value as both a creative district and wildlife sanctuary through projects in architecture, fashion, jewellery, food and product design, to Al Quoz where Caravan’s performance piece blending human gesture and origami-generative design.


Pop-up design and food market and outdoor dining

On the weekend of 30–31 October, a two-day pop-up design and food market comes to d3, courtesy of community-led food and craft initiative Ripe Market. The work of local makers, artists, designers and craftspeople will be available for visitors to buy, alongside food and produce from the region’s independent food businesses and live entertainment via acoustic performances and children’s workshops hosted by participating designers.

This is just a snapshot of what’s on offer. All around the city, studios are opening their doors to the public, design stores are hosting special events, and galleries and universities are hosting independent exhibitions to mark Dubai Design Week.

From now until Saturday 31 October, the whole of Dubai will be given over to design, for the first time ever – but certainly not the last…

Full details of all Dubai Design Week Initiatives can be found at www.dubaidesignweek.ae

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