· Dubai Design Week, held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of Dubai Council, returns 9-14 November
- A diverse programme of 100+ events and activities including exhibitions, pop-ups, outdoor installations and a new retail initiative supporting Dubai’s artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs will be staged at Dubai Design District (d3)
- Alongside the physical programme in d3, the festival will offer new online elements accessible globally, including an online exhibition featuring the best social impact innovation projects by students from across the world, a digital fair for design brands and a series of virtual talks programmes
· Reinforcing Dubai as the region’s central hub for design and creativity, the event is the first major cultural event to return in physical form since the beginning of the pandemic
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of Dubai Council, and staged in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), Dubai Design Week 2020 will mark the first major cultural event in the region since the pandemic.
The festival, which is held with the support of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (DCAA) and A.R.M. Holding, will offer a diverse line-up of 100+ events and activities for visitors of all ages to explore including exhibitions, pop-ups and outdoor installations at Dubai Design District (d3) alongside new virtual elements including online exhibitions and a series of talks.
Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, said about Dubai Design Week in a recent statement on social media: “A testament of the resilience and the strength of the creative industry in Dubai, which managed to thrive and adapt, launch new initiatives and impactful projects throughout this challenging time, Dubai Design Week is one of the first cultural events to return in its physical format since the beginning of the pandemic. The event presents a great opportunity to share experiences and establish cross-cultural disciplinary collaborations by building meaningful connections between creative professionals, entrepreneurs, embassies, consulates and institutions. We are pleased to see the impact of the event in expanding the contributions of the creative sector both locally regionally and globally.“
Physical Programme at d3
Key highlights in d3 will include a new large scale outdoor retail initiative bringing together the best of Dubai’s artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs, The Dubai Design Week Marketplace, that is supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), who have offered grants for small businesses to take part; the conceptual design exhibition ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ featuring exploratory work and projects by a diverse group of Middle East based architects and interior designers, spotlighting progressive design thinking emerging from the region, and MENA Grad Show that will see 50 of the most exciting projects from the Middle East and North Africa, focusing on solutions to improve and transform lives.
Dubai Design Week 2020 will give centre stage to cultural and region-focused showcases shedding light on the local community and its creative scene, including the UAE Designer Exhibition presenting works of 20 locally based creatives and the 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.
An extensive line-up of 25 outdoor installations will be staged throughout Dubai Design District (d3), including; the Abwab 2020 commission ‘Fata Morgana’, the winning concept for Urban Commissions 2020, supported by A.R.M. Holding, awarded to Emirati and Saudi architects Reema Almheiri and Lujain Alatiq, will be unveiled at The Dubai Design Week Marketplace and the technology-led experience ‘Points in Common’ by Montreal-based Studio Iregular, will allow visitors to control and interact with a digital experience onsite together, yet apart.
The Makers’ Programme will offer a range of hands-on activities catering to all ages and levels of experience from leather crafting and embroidery to robotics and laser-cutting, giving participants a chance to explore innovative methods, techniques and an array of materials, from thread to wood. At Re: Urban Studio, professionals and academics in the field of design will be able to participate in masterclasses aimed to elevate practical and vocational skills of SMEs, self-employed and aspiring creatives.
The weekend programme will offer activities for all the family and children of all skill levels from the ages of 5+ can get creative with clay and join the potter’s wheel experience, learn the power of natural plant dyes and traditional weaving techniques, build their own architectural tower with Oli Oli, hone their photography skills with Gulf Photo Plus on a design walk or try out Ghaf seed planting.
All the activities will be conducted by independent designers, creatives and small businesses in the UAE and will adhere to strict COVID regulations, sanitisation and social distancing protocols.
Global Grad Show, the world’s most diverse programme for graduates working on social impact innovation is now in its sixth year. The online showcase focuses on the most commonly shared concerns amongst graduates from around the world, identified from the record 1,600+ applications received from 270 universities in 60 countries. Entries, up 30% on the previous year, range from leading institutions such as Imperial College and Harvard and with representation for the first time from countries such as Indonesia, El Salvador and Oman, the 202O exhibition will be the most diverse Global Grad Show to date.
Mindful of the challenges faced by the design industry,Downtown Design will offer architects, interior designers and enthusiasts the opportunity to reconnect with the thriving contemporary design scene digitally. Featuring the latest collections and products from leading international and regional brands, the new Downtown Design Digital Fair will offer inspiration and insight to navigate the new design landscape.
The Dubai Design Week’s talks programme also goes digital this year, hosting experts demonstrating leadership in their field to discuss subjects shedding light on the alternative emerging structures and solutions that creatives can adopt to navigate new realities that are reshaping societies, economies and communities globally. The d3 Architecture Festival Talks will run across the full week focusing on topics that play a key role in the industry today and Downtown Design’s virtual talks programme ‘The Forum’ will feature leading international and regional architects and designers including acclaimed designer Aline Asmar d’Amman, design journalist and opinion-maker Max Fraser, French product designer Sacha Walckhoff and leading Indian architect Nuru Karim amongst others, as they spotlight the new value system that has evolved as a response to the pandemic.