Create an identity – Dutch Collective at Downtown Design 2023

Create an identity with Dutch Collective

Oyster floor lamp from SandcastleOyster floor lamp from Sandcastle

Create an identity campaign is all about the story of the brands. Their design aesthetics, creative approach, and overall contribution to the industry. This year identity magazine in collaboration with Downtown Design brings you the story behind some of the collectives featured at the milestone event.

We spoke to the curator/in charge for the collective: Margriet Vollenberg of Organisation in Design to know more about the exhibits

Is this the first time the collective is coming together at Downtown Design/Dubai Design Week?

For the first time in Dubai, the Dutch Collective is making a remarkable debut at Downtown Design as part of Dubai Design Week. This unique initiative brings together five distinguished Dutch designers under a shared banner, uniting their creative talents to showcase their work in city of Dubai. While each of these designers has individually garnered acclaim in the world of interior design, this marks their inaugural collective presentation in the Middle East.

 What can we expect from this edition of the Downtown Design’s exhibit?

Dutch Collective at Downtown Design promises to be a captivating showcase of innovative design concepts, featuring a diverse range of styles, materials, and creative perspectives. Besides that, we can expect a lot of colours. Visitors can look forward to an inspiring mix of furniture, art and home accessories, all curated to provide a unique and enriching experience.

 What criteria were used to shortlist designers for this segment? How extensive was the selection process?

The selection process focused on design innovation, craftsmanship, and the potential to bring fresh perspectives to interior design. As the curator of the Dutch Collective, I personally handpicked three of the five exhibitors during my role as curator at the Ras al Khaimah Fine Arts Festival earlier this year. The positive feedback and invaluable experience from exhibiting in the region served as a compelling reason to return to Dubai’s dynamic design scene. 

 Was there any specific sector you saw more participation from? (furniture/art/accessories)?

Rather than a specific sector, I notice that designers are clearly delving into the realm of vibrant and imaginative colour palettes, materials, and craftsmanship. This exploration reflects a contemporary and dynamic approach to design, emphasizing the importance of colour, material innovation, and modern craftsmanship as key focal points. 

What does the collective aim to achieve with this edition of the fair? Any plans after the event gets done (opening of showroom, partnering up with local dealers, more exhibits, etc)?

The Dutch Collective has a clear objective with their participation in this edition of the fair: to introduce their work to a new audience in Dubai and create an impact. Beyond this event, we have a forward-looking approach, and we are open to a range of possibilities, such as collaborations with local dealers, and the exploration of opportunities for future exhibits and partnerships in the region. We are excited to build bridges and embrace new prospects that the future may hold in this vibrant market.

 Which primary materials stand out in the showcased designs?

Visitors can expect to encounter a rich palette of materials, including familiar elements like textile and glass, but what truly sets these designs apart is the combinations of materials. You’ll discover unique pairings such as cord with metal, vintage glass seamlessly combined with mouth-blown glass, and even the unexpected fusion of sand with bronze. These material compositions bring a fresh and captivating dimension to the designs, reflecting the Dutch Collective’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of design possibilities.

 Are there any notable pieces you’d like to highlight? And any hints about the exhibition’s key showcases?

Among the talented designers featured in the Dutch Collective, I’m particularly impressed by the accomplishments of FEMM Amsterdam, whose design studio is just three years old. Her work boldly embraces vibrant colors and seamlessly combines different functions in her designs. Additionally, we can’t overlook the outstanding contributions of Milla Novo, pushing the boundaries of handmade craftsmanship with her custom-made wall hangings. Studio Kalff, on the other hand, captures attention with delicate yet eye-catching light fixtures. Timothy van Oorschot brings a bold, distinctive touch through his site-specific creations, reflecting his unique design voice. And Atelier Ruben van Megen provides a glimpse of outstanding craftsmanship, infused with a passion for materials, which he skillfully transforms into furniture, light objects, and complete interiors. Together, these designers offer a wide spectrum of creativity that’s sure to captivate visitors with their innovative and multifunctional designs.

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