Downtown Design opened yesterday (12 November), welcoming visitors to the largest edition yet of the region’s leading design trade fair.
Part of Dubai Design Week, Downtown Design is hosting brands from more than 30 countries and – in anticipation of Expo 2020 Dubai, country pavilions from more countries than ever before, including France and Spain.
The fair’s organisers say this year’s edition will be the most varied yet, with increased participation from international brands – including 100 new brands that will be displayed alongside returning exhibitors.
Downtown Editions forms an important part of Downtown Design; with a focus on the next generation of regional talent, it is again showcasing bespoke and limited-edition design and presenting designers, studios and collectives.
A key aim of Downtown Design is to unite international brands with the regional design community. As part of Downtown Editions, the Guest Curator of Dubai Design Week, designer Ghassan Salameh is placing the spotlight on regional design with ‘MADAR’ – a platform for the exchange of design knowledge and research. MADAR is supported by d3 (Dubai Design District) – where Downtown Design is now housed within a bespoke structure overlooking the d3 Waterfront.
Downtown Design’s Trade Programme continues to address the needs of the competitive design industry, helping members raise their profile and forge industry relationships. Featuring a series of networking events and privileges, designed to help design professionals make the most of the fair’s platform, it facilitates opportunities for architects and interior designers to connect with peers, brands and industry influencers.
Installations feature throughout the fair, highlighting design creativity from around the world: Preciosa is presenting its large-scale interactive installation, ‘Carousel of Light’; technology artist Anthony James has brought his dynamic glass and LED sculpture, ‘Icosahedron’; and global architecture practice LWK+ Partners is presenting an interactive space that reflects both the heritage and modernity of the studio’s home base in China.
Key brands return to the fair including Arper and Atelier Swarovski, while the brands showcasing their designs to the Middle East for the first time include Vicalvi, Pedrali from Italy, Czech luxury crystal manufacturer Moser and North American brand Skram.
In honour of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, bespoke rug studio Hands will unveil a piece inspired by children’s artworks. The proceeds will benefit ‘Senses’, a charity of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai.
Public visitors to Downtown Design can gain complimentary access through the Dubai Design Week app.