As Dubai Design Week (DDW) kicks off on October 26, the city is preparing to get stylish. Though this is Dubai's first design week, it is the third edition of Downtown Design Dubai, the centrepiece of DDW. Downtown Design Dubai is a trade event that will see 90 brands participate. Downtown Design Dubai has quickly become an important part of the international art and design calendar. For international companies in the field, Dubai has been a more than welcoming market. Germany's Hacker Kitchens and Rolf-Benz, opened their first doors in the region five years ago and in the last year these two brands have seen a 30% year on year growth. A clear indicator that Dubai is now becoming one of the design capitals of world. From Dubai's Nakkash Gallery as well as Italy's Kartell, Denmark's Georg Jenson will be part of the Downtown Design which takes place at D3 from October 27-30.
DDW is about promoting regional talent and also gives international designers a platform to become better acquainted with this market. While Downtown Design Dubai is more about the established players in the market, DDW also strongly focuses on new talents. The week has been curated under the patronage of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-Chairperson of the Board of Directors of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, and is also supported by both the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (DCAA), and the Dubai Design and Fashion Council (DDFC).
The "Destination" programme is a unique alliance with six international Design Weeks: Beijing, Helsinki, Istanbul, Melbourne, Mexico City and San Francisco. Each will present three of their most exciting emerging designers at DDW. Giving it more local perspective is the "Abwab" initiative. Meaning 'doors' in Arabic, "Abwab" will showcase emerging and established talent from the region within individual pavilions under a central theme. For 2015, the theme will be "Games: The Element of Play in Culture" and six countries have been invited to participate: Jordan, Kuwait, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the UAE.
DDW has been planned to ensure that even the man on the street can experience good design. You don't need to be a design expert to enjoy DDW. Ensuring that Dubai comes alive with design, a special "Around the City" is a programme that extends beyond the dates of Design Week. You may find one of these shows is actually taking part at your own doorstep.
1971 Design Space: DE.FASH.STRUCTION
This is a show that looks at the UAE's rich cultural heritage through the medium of contemporary fashion, employing techniques of deconstruction in their newly commissioned projects for this exhibition. Garments call attention to the mechanics of their production, which in turn, becomes a process of analytic creation. (Running till December 26, The Flag Island, Sharjah)
Galaries Lafayette: Kartell: An Exhibition of Iconic Pieces
Kartell, a historical and renowned Italian brand in the field of product and industrial design, will be exhibiting a showcase of iconic pieces from its private collection in Galaries Lafayette, exclusively throughout Dubai Design Week. The items will also be available for sale. (October 26-31, The Dubai Mall, Galaries Lafayette, 2nd floor)
Nakkash Gallery: Tribute to Origami
Tribute to Origami is an installation focusing on the art of transformation. Origami is believed to have emerged during the 6th century. (October 26-31, Nakkash Gallery showroom, Sheikh Zayed Road)
The Design Shop by S*uce
The Design Shop by s*uce will curate a mobile design shopping experience at d3, featuring a carefully edited selection of design pieces from a host of regional and international designers, as well as an exclusive collaboration with LA based installation artist, Paige Smith. (October 27-30, The Design Shop by S*uce at D3)
American University in Dubai: "Swedish wood meets Arabia"
The American University in Dubai (AUD) and Swedish Wood aims to create a link between Scandinavian wood culture and Arabic design. AUD students were tasked to exchange ideas, design, and develop a piece of furniture or decoration made of Swedish softwood and adapted to Arab traditions and culture. The students' work and winning design will be shown in an exhibition at the AUD campus.(October 26-29, Dubai Media City, Al Sufouh Road, Building A, School of Architecture, Art and Design)