- The region’s leading design trade fair, Downtown Design will take place from 13-16 November
- With more than 175 exhibitors, this year’s edition will be the largest to date, expanding in size by 20% following the fair’s rapid growth over the last few years
- New this year is Downtown Editions; a curated section within the fair, dedicated to bespoke and limited-edition design from all over the world, with a spotlight on the region
- International experts will share their insight as keynote speakers at The Forum
- Design weeks from the region will bring some of the best talent to be showcased at Downtown Design
- Downtown Design is the commercial centrepiece of Dubai Design Week, the region’s largest creative festival
REJO_ Rounded Collection_ Reem& Jumana_Downtown Editions_Downtown Design 2018
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, Downtown Design returns for its sixth edition from 13-16 November, 2018.
Taking place in its custom-built exhibition space on the d3 Waterfront again this year, in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), the 2018 edition will present a selection of established and emerging exhibitors, comprising over 175 brands, including 40 regional designers.
This November, Downtown Design will be introducing Downtown Editions; a new and curated section within the fair, showcasing limited-edition and bespoke design by individual studios, brands and designers from the Middle East and beyond, for industry and public visitors alike to discover and commission.
Rue Kothari, Fair Director at Downtown Design, says: “Our sixth edition is the most ambitious to date with more than 65 new brands, the inaugural showcase of Downtown Editions and large-scale installations, debuting at the fair. Delivering a unique experience, award-winning architects H+A have master-planned the fair around the theme of ‘Liveable Cities’; new fair features will include bespoke café concepts, a pop-up retail destination, indoor landscapes and activations on the waterfront terrace. This new blueprint coupled with a fresh creative direction will mark a new phase of growth and success for the fair.”
An annual meeting point in one of the world’s most progressive cities and a key event of Dubai Design Week, Downtown Design is the leading platform in the Middle East for the region’s trade professionals and design enthusiasts to discover contemporary design from established global brands as well as regional design talent; this year the fair will unite design weeks from across the region, including Amman, Beirut and Casablanca, bringing some of the Middle East’s brightest design talent to Dubai.
Visitors can obtain their complimentary fast-track entry to the fair by either registering online or downloading the Dubai Design Week app.
2018 Fair Highlights
Key brands including Bernhardt, Bomma, cc-tapis, Herman Miller, Marset, Matteo Brioni, Meridiani, Moroso, and THG Paris will return to present their new ranges at the fair’s biggest showcase to date.
Latest works and collections will be brought to the fair by brands exhibiting for the first time; ALSHAYA Enterprises, Arper, Artemide, Baxter, Cappelini, Cassina, Diesel Living, Frato, Gandia Blasco, Leyla Uluhanli, Manfredi Style, Normann Copenhagen, Puiforcat, and Villeroy + Boch.
Inspired by the ever-shifting desert dunes, The Foundry by UAE design studio Tinkah will present their ‘Ramel’ collection, using a material consisting of sand and ceramics. Sharjah-based 1971 Design Space will present a contemporary Arabian pop-up majlis designed by Alia Mazrooei, who took her inspiration by the shapes found in the UAE deserts.
Albal Design Studio will unveil a floating light installation titled ‘Flow’, inspired by the importance of water and the reflection of the sun, in collaboration with Lasvit.
Dubai-based design incubator Tashkeel will unveil the new range of the designer programme Tanween, providing emerging UAE-based designers with the opportunity to develop, produce and retail a range of limited-edition pieces made with materials sourced and manufactured in the UAE.
For the first time, designer Giovanni Barbieri and tile manufacturer Arto will present their handmade 3D mosaic tiles, forming infinitely versatile patterns from square to irregular shapes.
Winner of the Red Dot ‘Best of the Best 2018’ award, the interactive lighting installation ‘Breath of Light’ by Preciosa will make its regional debut at the fair.
New fair features include a multi-functional indoor recreational garden space designed by the UAE-based landscape design studio desert INK, alongside creative pop-up cafes and retail concepts.
For the first time, the fair will activate the outdoor waterfront terrace, where visitors can experience a bespoke creation by sculptor David Harber and a reinterpretation of the renowned installation ‘Le Refuge’ by designer Marc Ange, with the backdrop of Dubai Creek and the city’s skyline.
The talks programme at ‘The Forum’ will present a dynamic series of industry talks and panel discussions, allowing visitors to gain valuable insight into the region’s rapidly evolving design industry, innovation in design and market changes.
Highlights include multifaceted international designer Marc Ange, award-winning designer Ini Archibong and renowned product designer Matthew McCormick, speaking in the Middle East for the first time, whilst celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard will reflect on why diversity and inclusion are key to the sustained growth of the design economy.
Exploring how design practices can better respond to the unique demands of emerging architecture and design markets are Dara Towhidi, Partner of Foster + Partners, Tariq Khayyat, Head of Middle East at Zaha Hadid Architects and Matthew Utley, Associate Principal at Grimshaw Architects, alongside a series of workshops featuring industry experts and trend analysts.