The Fourth Edition Of Dubai Design Week Is Now Open!
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice- Chairman of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Dubai Design Week has returned for its fourth edition, from 12- 17 November, 2018.
- Dubai Design Week 2018 holds its most extensive programme to date with 250 events and over 120 participating organizations.
- Downtown Design has grown to feature over 175 brands – including 40 regional designer New to Downtown Design this year is Downtown Editions; a curated section within the fair, dedicated to bespoke and limited-edition design.
- Global Grad Show will exhibit 150 projects – chosen from over 1000 submissions (double that of last year) and is for the first time held in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dub
- Within five pavilions, Abwab hosts designers from Amman, Beirut, Dubai (supported by Tashkeel), the Eastern Provinces of Saudi Arabia (supported by Ithra) and Kuwait City.
- 90 talks and workshops will take place throughout the week at d3.
- 20 design installations by international and regional designers are placed around d3.
- An extensive free-to-attend weekend programme for all the family will include the Design Souk, a series of activities for children at Making Space and Facebook’s community programme.
- Dubai Design Week’s programme outside of d3 included the opening of the Jameel Arts Centre and the UAE’s first graphic design biennale.
- The festival has launched its free app, the ultimate digital guide to the Week, including an AR-led experience.
Staged in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3) and supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA) and Audi Middle East, this year’s Dubai Design Week programme is the most comprehensive to date. Consisting of 250 events by over 120 participating companies, the festival encompasses exhibitions, commissioned installations, awards and competitions, talks and workshops as well as tours and experiences for design enthusiasts and public visitors alike.
Now in its fourth edition, Dubai Design Week has been a lead catalyst in establishing Dubai as a creative capital of the region and over the years has given the vast potential of designers from across the region an international platform to display their work. With an ambitious and broad-ranging agenda, Dubai Design Week mirrors the identity of the city by bringing together creative talent, exploring the unexpected and encapsulating the balance of ambition and innovation that drives Dubai.
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “Dubai’s creative sector is one of the engines driving not just our economic success, but the betterment of our everyday lives. Following the vision and directions of my father HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, it is our mandate to emphasise the role Culture and arts play in achieving our goals as part of Dubai Plan 2021, fostering a city of happy, creative and empowered people.” She continued: “Dubai has, for some time now, been regarded as the regional capital of design, and it is our flagship events such as Dubai Design Week that have cemented this reputation. As we look to live up to Dubai’s new designation as the first UNESCO creative city of design in the Middle East, the 2018 edition of Dubai Design Week offers more ideas, exhibitions, and conversations than ever, spanning so many elements of modern life from urban design to fashion, tech and health. This continuing commitment to dialogue, experimentation and the entrepreneurial spirit contributes so much to the vibrancy and dynamism of the UAE’s creative industry.”
His Excellency Saeed Al Nabouda, Acting Director General of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said: “We at Dubai Culture are proud to support the fourth edition of Dubai Design Week which celebrates local and international talents from the visual arts and creative community, especially following Dubai’s accession to UNESCO’s ‘Creative Cities Network.’ This event is in line with our mandate to support the visual arts sector in Dubai and provides an ideal platform for artists to showcase their work and their talents to various audiences. Dubai Design Week comes as an additional contribution from Dubai Culture to promote local talent through platforms that attract visitors from the UAE and internationally, with the aim to explore opportunities for innovation and excellence in Dubai and drive creative economy, contributing to our vision to promote Dubai as a global, creative, and sustainable city for culture, heritage, arts, and literature.”
Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, Chief Executive Officer of Dubai Design District (d3), said: “The fourth edition of Dubai Design Week is set to be the largest celebration and showcase of regional design talent to date. Design Weeks globally are a hugely valuable platform as they enable economic diversity and development as well as increase public awareness and appreciation of all aspects of design, whilst fostering recognition of the vital role design plays in our lives. I am proud to say that d3 has been a platform for the region’s growing number of designers, creative professionals and artists offering a space for everyone to unite, create and be inspired, and as a result, we have now grown into a thriving neighbourhood and a centre for creativity. We will continue to support the growth of the design industry and cement Dubai’s position as a globally recognised city of design.”
“The creative industry has grown over the years and the Art Dubai Group has been a catalyst of that growth through its events Art Dubai and Dubai Design Week, that have become the leading cultural events in the region and whose activities mirror Dubai’s identity and ability to create powerful partnerships across the spectrum of business and culture. The city fosters an environment that supports new ideas and welcomes the brightest minds from across the world and that is illustrated in the growth of content in this year’s Dubai Design Week”, said Benedict Floyd, CEO of Art Dubai Group.
Global Grad Show, 13-17 November
Now in its fourth year, Global Grad Show, held in partnership with Investment Corporation of Dubai, showcases 150 forward-thinking projects from universities across the world, each selected based on its power to accelerate, change and improve lives. The show is a platform for the next generation of designers. It brings together life- changing inventions from the world’s leading educational institutions, created to address global issues and trends such as climate change, mass migration, data privacy, and ageing populations.
New to this year’s event is the ‘Belief in AI’ conference, looking at creativity in the age of Artificial Intelligence and automation. The Dubai Evolution Challenge also makes its debut, bringing international and UAE design students together to create the next evolution of a Dubai-inspired product or service. The exhibition will also host the finalist presentations of the Progress Prize, an award selected by an international jury of design and innovation experts and presented to one Global Grad Show project each year.
Downtown Design, 13-16 November
The 2018 edition of Downtown Design, the leading design fair in the Middle East, presents a selection of established and emerging exhibitors, comprising 175 brands and designers, including 40 regional designers, presenting its strongest showcase of regional talent to date. With over 65 international and regional brands, such as Arper, Artemide, Baxter, Manfredi Style, Normann Copenhagen, Puiforcat, Jan Kath and Villeroy + Boch, exhibiting for the first time this year, alongside new fair features such as large-scale installations on the waterfront terrace, a pop-up retail destination and bespoke cafe concepts, this year marks a new creative direction for the fair. Featuring experts of the global design stage, a stellar talks programme will tackle themes critical to the sustained growth of the design industry; diversity in leadership, sustainable design in the regional context and the culture of collaboration.
Inaugural section of the fair, Downtown Editions, showcases limited-edition and bespoke design from the Middle East and beyond. Established designers such as Aljoud Lootah, Design by Hind and Fadi Sarieddine are presented alongside co-curated exhibits by the Amman, Beirut and Casablanca design weeks featuring rising names such as Aymen Azzam, Ahmed Khouja and Soukaina Aziz El Idrissi, demonstrating the depth and diversity of regional design. Waijh & Omar Nakkash and The Foundry by Tinkah explore a new narrative for Made in the Middle East and Layth Mahdi is launching his collection developed using algorithms to guide robotic manufacturing. Part of Dubai Design District (d3)’s ‘Design for Good’ initiative, the winning project of the Design 100 competition, “The Reading Bench” by Sakina Kara-Sabur and Alicia Spoljar, will be unveiled and on display at Downtown Editions, where 100 limited-edition pieces are available for purchase at Downtown Editions. All proceeds will go to Dubai Cares.
Named after the Arabic word for ‘doors’, Abwab is an annually remodeled exhibition and architectural installation dedicated to creating a platform for design from the region. The exhibition will this year take the form of a large- scale temporal structure, made up of five individual pavilions composed of natural materials including fallen twigs and timber coated in recycled paper pulp, designed by architecture firm Architecture + Other Things.
Each pavilion hosts the narratives of a community from the Middle East and commissioned designers have produced design experiences for cultural exchange under the theme ‘Between the Lines’; Designed by Saeed Al Madani and Hind Bind Demaithan and supported by Tashkeel, the Dubai Pavilion brings past, present and future together through investigations of sound, image, and video sourced from archival vaults and personal recordings. Amman is represented by Hashem Joucka and Basel Naouri, the Beirut pavilion by Tamara Barrage and David Habchy, exploring locally available materials and fabrication methods for the Kuwait Pavilion are Jassim Al Nashmi, Kawther Al Saffar and Ricardas Blazukas, whilst Lina Saleh, Ahaad Alamoudi and Sana Alabdulwahed are representing the pavilion of the Eastern Provinces of KSA, supported by Ithra.
Aglow by Liz West for Nemozena
Created for luxury clothing brand Nemozena, Liz West’s installation investigates the relationship between colour and light. ‘Aglow’ consists of 169 hemispherical fluorescent coloured acrylic bowls arranged on the ground in a hexagon shape. Their highly reflective concave surfaces enable spectators to see their surroundings in a different light whilst their edges glow as if charged with electricity.
Circadian Light Synthesis by Anarchitect
Designed by Dubai-based architecture firm Anarchitect and located at a key pedestrian entrance to Dubai Design Week at d3, Circadian Light Synthesis highlights our human relationship to light from the sun and the moon. The large-scale, site-specific installation is composed of two interconnected pavilions which investigate different elements related to light and how it dictates our body clock.
housEmotion by Tabanl?o?lu Architects
Considering the emotional meaning of ‘home’ in an age of increasingly transient living, the illuminated pavilion by Istanbul-based Tabanl?o?lu Architects is composed of white rods with embedded lights, transforming the structure into a glowing lantern at night.
Parametric Surfaces by SUPERFUTUREDESIGN*
A striking, undulating plane suspended in mid-air, this installation sits at the intersection of innovative design and augmented reality. Created out of flexible Wood-Skin® material, the single panel folds along virtual hinges, which are infinitely adaptable and programmable, exploring the possibilities of digital technology for design.
The Mesh by FBMI x Roudha Al Shamsi
Inspired by Afghani yurts and commissioned by Dubai Design District (d3) as part of the ‘Design for Good’ initiative, this collaboration features a series of three outdoor structures. Reinterpreting Middle Eastern motifs including contemporary patterns from handcrafted carpet weaving, these dynamic areas will open up new platforms, acting as a point of intersection for different cultures.
The Space Between by XBD Collective and Pandre Special Architecture
A pavilion exploring how VR technology creates new possibilities for architecture, ‘The Space in Between’ invites visitors on an interactive journey to an imagined future of experimental architectural spaces and environmental issues facing the planet today.
Paola Navone x Abet Laminati
Abet Laminati presents an installation in the shape of an imaginative three-dimensional puzzle created from large graphic stacking blocks, which come together to form a giant gate, designed by Paola Navone.
Other installations include; ‘After Pressure’, designed by Ammar Kalo and commissioned by Bee’ah, a project that up-cycles aluminium extrusion bales in an attempt to transform public perception regarding waste and its potential for reuse. Reflecting the traditional identity of the UAE and designed by Dr. lasef Md Rian, assistant professor at the University of Sharjah, using computational modelling, ‘Weaving the Mashrabiya Pavilion’ is a perforated pavilion made from woven ropes collected from fishing and construction sites. ‘Trapeza’, an interactive, modular installation made from American tulipwood, the design for the installation was conceived by Apical Reform in partnership with the American Hardwood Export Council. Among the buildings of d3, an installation will demonstrate Kohler’s Real Rain™ technology for the duration of the week.
UAE Design Stories: The Next Generation from the Emirates, will present a new and final chapter. titled ‘Design for Little Ones: Us, Ours & Others’, during Dubai Design Week. 7 Emirati designers were invited to delve into their own childhood to design a product considering parameters such as safety, hygiene, durability and eco- friendliness.
For the first time, Dubai Design Week has partnered with social networking giant Facebook through a real-world activation set within the heart of Dubai Design District (d3). Customised workshops and knowledge sharing activities have been specially devised to celebrate the Arab creative community. Facebook’s 6-day physical presence will showcase how people can use the platform to connect and build community in memorable, creative and responsible ways. Visitors can discover the region’s vibrant design community and learn how to use Facebook to build meaningful connections and express individuality during daily community workshops.
An exhibition of furniture work designed by 12 students from the College of Architecture Art and Design (CAAD) at the American University of Sharjah, ‘ProtoPieces’ will explore a specific type of joint or detail and the exhibition will show the complete design process. Design-incubator Tashkeel will present ‘Design+Making UAE’; a destination for those curious about the local design ecosystem, exploring design practice in the UAE from concept to completion. Design collective DRAK, based in Dubai’s Ras Al Khor community, will be conducting a community initiative titled ‘From RAK to DRAK’ with a focus on three commercial outlets from the neighbourhood.
Dedicated to telling the story of the Vitra originals, the international roadshow exhibition ‘Original Comes from Vitra’ narrates the history of the product with drawings, sketches and photographs of prototypes of the world’s most iconic pieces of furniture; Within the context of the Emirati-French Cultural Dialogue, the Institut Français in the UAE are taking part in Dubai Design Week with an exhibition titled “Le French Design – How Innovation Creates History”, focusing on contemporary French design and savoir-faire and returning Partner Rado will showcase their latest key design-led watch collections with the aim of inspiring young designers to enter the inaugural Rado Star Prize UAE, which will be launched during Dubai Design Week.
AWARDS AND COMPETITIONS
Urban Commissions 4.0 winner and 2019 theme announced
Supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA) and Dubai Design District (d3), Urban Commissions is an annual Dubai Design Week initiative that presents designers living in the UAE with an opportunity to produce an urban furniture product, unveiled at Dubai Design Week and installed permanently at d3. For the 2018 edition, designers were tasked with creating a water feature in order for city dwellers to maintain a connection to nature. Selected from a shortlist of three diverse proposals, the winning project ‘Fayyd’, which means overflow in Arabic, by Khalid Al-Tamimi, took inspiration from the traditional Japanese device the “Shishi Odoishi”, bamboo fountains, whilst encompassing elements of the city of Dubai including the colours and geometries of the skyline at night. Celebrating its fifth anniversary in 2019, Urban Commissions will pay homage to the city with the theme ‘Telling Time’. Seeking unique and innovative designs that display the time, Urban Commissions 5.0 will celebrate the Deira Clocktower, one of the first monuments of the city of Dubai.
Audi Innovation Awards 2018
Audi Middle East will announce the third winner of the Audi Innovation Award during Dubai Design Week 2018. The first of its kind in the region, the award seeks to empower local designers and inspire innovation by challenging creatives to submit entries, this year responding to the theme ‘Connections’. The winning project will receive $25,000 worth of investment in their concept and prototypes of all the shortlisted designs are presented in the striking Audi Innovation Hub, designed by Middle East Architecture Network (MEAN*) using cutting-edge design and fabrication technologies to maximise light, shadow and materiality and set within the buildings of Dubai Design District (d3), throughout the week.
TALKS & WORKSHOPS
The Dubai Design Week Main Stage will see international key note speakers, including innovator Daan Roosegaarde, Italian designer Paola Navone and Arab satirist Karl Sharro, who will address diverse subjects across sustainability, safeguarding culture, and what the future looks like, whilst globally renowned designers, including Ini Archibong, Martyn Lawrence Bullard and Marc Ange, will headline the talks programme of ‘The Forum’ at Downtown Design. UAE Modern will present a sustainability conference named ‘People, Planet, Profits’, due to host various activations across the Week, with a concentration on a full-day of knowledge exchange by global experts, including panel discussions and a keynote covering topics such as ‘Super Interaction: interconnected transport and infrastructures’, ‘Circular Economies: adoption and adaptation’, ‘Architectural Education from the Perspective of the Future’ and ‘Our Society in Motion: Communities, Resilience, Place’.
A range of discussions with innovators and change-makers, the week-long Audi Innovation Talks series will take place in the Audi Innovation Hub and partnering with Dubai Design Week for the first time this year; Kohler is staging a half-day programme of talks and workshops, including the first Dubai session of the Kohler Design Forum under the theme ‘All Things Connected’.
Workshops for design professionals as well as public visitors of all ages will take place across the Dubai Design Week programme. Located in a pop-up space in d3 for the duration of the Week, the extensive line-up at Making Space provides visitors of all ages, experience and ability with the opportunity to engage with design process including first-hand modeling, sculpting, weaving or sketching via practical workshops led by UAE-based and international creatives. Re:Urban Studio are providing the setting for professional masterclasses, amongst them creative design studio Ink; transforming music into physical spaces, alongside global agency MassiveMusic, who are demonstrating the exercise of branding sound.
WEEKEND PROGRAMME AT d3
The weekend of Dubai Design Week, 16-17 November, features a range of sights, sounds and experiences for all to appreciate. Highlights include; the Design Souk, staged by Ripe Market – a festival of design, retail, food and live events on d3’s busiest strip of cafes and restaurants. Throughout the weekend there will be a host of live music events and DJs at the Design Souk, including a live performance by the Neighbours on Friday 16 November.
Pop-up studio, Making Space will be dedicated to children’s workshops, including 3D printing with Ethan&Co, design with sustainability partner Bee’ah in addition to a rolling collaborative project with thejamjar, a design challenge with Designathon Works. The Tasmeem Facebook pop-up will be hosting a range of workshops and performances, whilst Tashkeel is running sessions for budding creatives as part of its Design+Making UAE programme.
Fictive by Empire Sessions will host live music and performances at The Block – d3’s urban recreational community space. Hosted by MC Hype, the line-up includes Soul & R&B from Eve Thomas, Blues and R&B by Tariq Mohammad and live poetry with Suhaib Alises.
Friday 16 November marks the public day at Downtown Design, where a vibrant selection of bespoke work by regional and global designers are available for all visitors to discover, purchase and commission, within Downtown Editions. Design enthusiasts and public visitors alike have the opportunity of participating in Lego and Instagram workshops.
AROUND THE CITY
Part of the 2018 programme during Dubai Design Week are several key openings, activations and events throughout the city, engaging the wider community in Dubai and the UAE. The highly anticipated opening of the Jameel Arts Centre, the new multi-disciplinary contemporary arts institution, will host a series of architect- led tours and the centre’s sculpture park will feature ‘Waterlicht’, presented by Dubai Holding; a dream landscape about the power and poetry of living with water by Dutch artist, innovator and keynote speaker on the Dubai Design Week Main Stage, Daan Roosegaarde. Alserkal Avenue in Al Quoz will host a guest exhibition in collaboration with the Hayward Gallery in their series of warehouse takeovers, exploring the topic of futurism. Other events include tours by The Frying Pan Adventures, inviting visitors to sample the local culinary scene in the alleys of Karama, comparing cutlery-free meals from Sudan, India, and Ethiopia whilst the Solar Decathlon Middle East will see students from 10 countries compete to create sustainable solar housing through a series of 10 contests. Further afield in Sharjah is the inaugural Fikra Graphic Design Biennial, a wide-ranging exhibition and curatorial initiative dedicated to graphic design which will see workshops, performances, installations and a conference explore contemporary and historical graphic design work.