Dubai Design Week (DXBDW), now in its third year, is the Middle East’s most important, comprehensive and accessible celebration of design and creativity ever staged in the region. The 2017 Dubai Design Week (DXBDW) will see over 200 activities staged in locations across the city. The free to attend six-day event will attract designers, architects, thought leaders and creatives drawn to Dubai Design Week through a high calibre design programme. Taking place at Dubai Design District, it’s region’s biggest design event. Here are top 10 highlights of this mega design event starting from November 13-18, 2017.
- Downtown Design – Exhibition
When: 4 November | 6-9.30pm Trade and Public visitors
15-16 November | 1.30-6pm Trade visitors
15-16 November | 6-9.30pm Trade and Public visitors
17 November |1.30-9.30pm Trade and Public visitors
Where: d3 Waterfront, Dubai Design District (d3)
Downtown Design returns this November (14 – 17) for its fifth edition as the commercial centrepiece of Dubai Design Week. The fair takes a curatorial approach to the visitor experience with the regional buyer in mind, selecting a mix of leading, established brands that need a strategic gateway to the region, as well as high quality emerging brands exhibiting on an international platform for the first time. The fair brings together over 150 brands from 25 countries. Visitors will discover a rich diversity of contemporary design from iconic international brands through to unique pieces by designers featured for the very first time on the international design circuit.
- GLOBAL GRAD SHOW – Exhibition
When: 14-17 November | 10am – 9.30pm
18 November | 10am – 7pm
Where: d3 Waterfront, Dubai Design District (d3)
Global Grad Show is a first-of-its-kind exhibition of the most innovative projects from the world’s leading design schools. Comprised of more than 200 projects drawn from 91 universities in 40 countries, Global Grad Show provides an unprecedented overview of what the world’s emerging designers are working on and a first glimpse at the technologies that will shape our future. Almost every project included in the exhibition is represented by one of its creators, making Global Grad Show the largest student gathering ever assembled.
3. ABWAB – Exhibition
The Abwab exhibition (Abwab means ‘doors’ in Arabic) is a highlight of Dubai Design Week as it is the only initiative of its kind to offer a snapshot of regional design talent from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia. Abwab originally consisted of independent pavilions hosting six MENASA countries, but in 2017 the concept has evolved into a single pavilion in the heart of Dubai Design District (d3), exhibiting as many countries as possible. Over 250 designers were reached through an innovative peer-selection process; ‘designer dominos’ as a pay-it-forward mechanism to strengthen a community, whereby in order to be considered for selection, a designer is required to nominate the next designer to submit. The final showcase of contemporary design works was chosen by an international editorial board for being strong representations of ideas or production techniques rooted in these regions.
Curated by Salma Lahlou with research assistance by Omar Mrani. Casablanca was built upon 2 fundamental axes: commerce and immigration. When the French arrived in 1907, they found a simple town quite unlike the imperial cities of Fez, Meknes, Rabat or Marrakech with 20,000 inhabitants living in a small medina. The Casablanca “miracle” captivated a cosmopolitan population, primarily European but also Jewish and Moroccan, drawn to the promise of business and work opportunities. The city grew to 78,000 inhabitants in 1913, and in eight years, the European population mushroomed from 570 to 31,000. It was in Casablanca that the French term “bidonville”, or shantytown, was coined, as informal reed huts with corrugated metal roofs were cobbled together to respond to an urgent housing shortage.
5. SIR DAVID ADJAYE IN CONVERSATION WITH SULTAN AL QASSEMI – Keynote
Sir David Adjaye is regarded as one of the world’s most influential architects and designers. Often challenged with high profile and dynamic briefs, the practice’s commitment to embracing the social agenda behind architecture, and providing access to knowledge through his buildings gives him a unique insight into the power of architecture to reflect and enhance ethical pride in both public and private spaces.The conversation with Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi will begin by asking about the process in which Sir David approaches the projects he is commissioned to design; who does he communicate with beyond the client, what are his sources of inspiration on topics, how he approaches sites and the creative process of first imagining his buildings.
6. GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years and Beyond – Exhibition
Curated by Teal Triggs, Richard Doust, Jeff Willis, Adrian Shaughnessy. GraphicsRCA: Fifty Years and Beyond celebrates the milestone anniversary of a graphic design course at the RCA that marked the beginning of a break with commercial art, and heralded an era that saw graphic design emerge as a major force in business and culture. Over the past half century, the RCA has produced a range of innovative practices that celebrate the designer as theorist, author, researcher and collaborator. The exhibition features rarely seen works from the RCA archive, including designs by alumni who have gone on to become leading practitioners; Film Society Posters; stamps commissioned by the Royal Mail; the infamous student magazine Ark; typographic experiments; and early examples from pioneers of digital design. The exhibition opened in London in 2014, travelling to the National Museum of the Republic in Brasilia in 2015. This expanded exhibition features new works by recent graduates and over 120 designers with works ranging from printed posters and books to moving images and digital projection.
7. LET’S PLAY FOR CHANGE
IKEA is thrilled to present Let’s Play For Change, an exhibition designed to transport you to another world filled with wonder, delight, mystical illusions, and surprises. Captivatingly designed elements encourage kids, teenagers and grown-ups to engage in play, and the outdoors have been taken indoors to show creative ways of living sustainably. IKEA got rave reviews for its Life@Home exhibition in 2016 which observed how people live around the world and showcased the future of home design. This year, it intends to make room for imagination, highlighting new products and limited collections in never-before-seen arrangements, proving that anything is possible with IKEA. In October, IKEA launched a new collaboration with Danish design company HAY which ranges from sofas and coffee tables to smaller accessories including an updated version of the iconic blue IKEA bag. DELAKTIG is a platform for social living, co-created with designer Tom Dixon, which challenges traditional production methods and redefines the concept of comfort. It can be a bed, a sofa or a chaise longue, and you can add on components.
8. MAURO PORCINI – PEPSICO CHIEF DESIGN OFFICER
A compelling presentation of how design and design thinking is vital to any innovation and growth agenda. Mauro Porcini will explore how designers are working side-by-side within businesses to delight audiences and consumers by creating incredible experiences, sharing amazing stories and engaging them in exciting ways. Porcini joined PepsiCo in 2012 as its Chief Design Officer. In this newly created position, Mauro is infusing design thinking into PepsiCo’s culture and is leading a new approach to innovation by design that impacts the company’s product platforms and brands
9. ONCE UPON A DESIGN – Curated by Noor Aldabbagh
1971 Design Space presents ‘Once Upon Design: New Routes for Arabian Heritage’ curated by Noor Aldabbagh. This exhibit features six design installations resulting from Gulf-based designers collaborating across various design disciplines. It is the result of Banafsajeel’s research on ‘reinventing heritage’ in 2016.
10. PROLOGUE INSTALLATION – Designed by Fredrikson Stallard, presented by Swarovski
Patrik Fredrikson and Ian Stallard began working together in 1995 and are recognized today as leading exponents of avant-garde design. Swarovski and Fredrikson Stallard have been collaborating on spectacular crystal creations for the past ten years, presenting projects such as the mesmerizing eye-like installation Iris, the striking geometric ‘Armory’ jewelry collection for Atelier Swarovski, and the Eden Chamber of Wonder at Swarovski Kristallwelten in Wattens, which resembles a fairytale crystal forest. Prologue is a monumental, freestanding sculpture weighing 1.2 tons and holding over 8,000 amber-coloured Swarovski crystal droplets within its 4m-diameter, patinated steel frame. The luminous ring mimics the golden sun and its endless circle represents new beginnings, life and rebirth. The work was originally unveiled at Art Basel Hong Kong in 2014.