One of the biggest design festivals— Dubai Design Week will be held between November 9-14, 2020 at Dubai Design District (d3) and here’s what we can witness this year. Held under the patronage of Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of Dubai Council, this year the Dubai Design Week will host more than 100 events and activities. CovetED brings you everything you can’t miss in this years fair.
The diverse programmes include exhibitions, pop-ups, outdoor installations and a new retail initiative supporting Dubai’s artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs who 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.
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 the Dubai Design District (d3).
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.
Global Grad Show, the world’s most diverse programme for graduates working on social impact innovation is now in its sixth year. It focuses on the most commonly shared concerns among graduates from around the world. Entries are up 30 per cent compared to the previous year. They range from institutions such as Imperial College, Harvard. For the first time, there is a representation from Indonesia, El Salvador and Oman.
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. The d3 Architecture Festival Talks will run across the full week focusing on topics that play a key role in the industry today.
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 among others, as they spotlight the new value system that has evolved as a response to the pandemic.
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