Dubai Design Week is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority
- A celebration of regional design and creativity, Dubai Design Week concludes its sixth edition with 160+ events and activities staged throughout the week, in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3)
- The first major cultural event since the pandemic, the festival saw 650+ designers and creatives participate in the programme of installations, exhibitions, pop-ups, talks and workshops
- Downtown Design presented the exhibition ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ and launched a new digital fair to foster commercial opportunity for 150+ participating brands from around the world
- The inaugural MENA Grad Show presented 50 social impact innovation projects by some of the brightest young minds in the region
· The new Dubai Design Week Marketplace hosted 70+ vendors and welcomed visitors to d3 over the weekend
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority and member of Dubai Council, staged in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3) alongside Dubai Culture and supported by A.R.M. Holding, Dubai Design Week 2020 marked the first major cultural event in the region since the beginning of the pandemic.
From exhibitions and pop-ups to installations and workshops, events were staged with 650+ designers and creatives coming together to participate in shaping the Dubai Design Week 2020 programme, with a focus on celebrating the region’s creative talent and addressing the role of the creative community in redesigning and rethinking the way we live.
Renowned Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah, the founder of Aljoud Lootah Design Studio, said: “Dubai Design Week was spectacular as we saw people from various industries, backgrounds, ages and nationalities visiting throughout the week, interacting with the installations & enjoying the pop-up events. This, on its own, brought so much positive energy to the city and made it come to life. The festival managed to bring people, design and cultures all together, proving that the event has indeed established itself throughout the past 6 years as a strong and thriving global design hub.”
Continuing its role as a conduit for the region’s design industry, Downtown Design’s hybrid 2020 programme connected design professionals across digital and physical activations with the multi-media exhibition ‘The Shape of Things to Come’, featuring 25+ of the region’s architecture and interior design studios and the new Downtown Design Digital Fair connected creativity with commercial opportunity for 150+ participating brands from around the world.
Established as part of the Global Grad Show platform, the inaugural edition of MENA Grad Show presented 50 of the most exciting social impact innovations by some of the brightest university students from the region; from an airport, route-planner to avoid crowds or a game to explain the value of politics to a biodegradable fabric made from the fermentation and a method to turn palm-tree waste into the concrete.
Presenting her project ‘Living in a Space with Dignity’ through Zayed University in the UAE, graduate Maryam Abdulrashid said: “The opportunity to be a part of MENA Grad Show, first of its kind, was really one of the few highlights of this year. Having the privilege of my work being featured amongst other great designers who are striving to impact humanity in a positive way is a great honour to me.”
Also, new this year, the Dubai Design Week Marketplace, supported by Dubai Culture, featured 70+ of Dubai’s best artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs in a new outdoor retail initiative during the weekend programme. Alyazi Almuhairi, owner of ‘From The Arabs’ commented: “My experience at the Dubai Design Week Marketplace really allowed me and my brand to open up and engage with a different type of audience. It was a great opportunity for a small business like ours set in a safe environment and it was extremely successful for us and over-exceeded our expectations.”
Mindful of the challenges faced by the creative community and the design industries, the festival offered a centre stage to cultural and region-focused showcases, this year. The programme featured a new UAE Designer Exhibition presenting works of 20 locally based creatives and 25+ outdoor installations throughout Dubai Design District (d3), including; This year’s Abwab commission ‘Fata Morgana’, a conceptual framework in an open-plan arrangement featuring focal pillars representing each of the seven emirates, staged at the centre of d3 by Iraqi designer Hozan Zangana in collaboration with Generous Studio and Woodcast Design; the project ‘Please Sit Here’ by American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), presenting convertible seating solutions designed by renowned Emirati designers Aljoud Lootah, Khalid Shafar and Hamad Khoory and the winning proposal of Urban Commissions 2020, supported by A.R.M. Holding, titled ‘Basta’, designed by Emirati and Saudi architects Reema Almheiri and Lujain Alatiq was unveiled at the Dubai Design Week Marketplace.
The week also saw the launch of the new d3 Architecture Festival 2020, featuring regional projects of 40 RIBA-chartered architectural practices alongside multi-disciplinary exhibitions and initiatives by international organisations, councils and institutions.