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Dubai Design Week to celebrate creativity

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Dubai / Emirates Business

The design community in Dubai is ready to stage the largest celebration of design and creativity in the Middle East, collectively underlining Dubai’s rich and multi-faceted design landscape. When Dubai Design Week kicks off on October 24, design professionals, residents and visitors will be able to engage in more than 150 events over six days in Dubai Design District (d3) and across the city.
Local retailers, design brands, galleries, universities and institutions will all independently stage events, exhibitions or installations throughout Dubai to invite visitors to discover design by exploring new neighbourhoods and reconnecting with the more familiar. Uncover the creative heart of industrial Dubai through DRAK at Ras-Al-Khor; watch artisans at work and push the door to open studios in d3; wander through Alserkal Avenue and Al Quoz stopping off for chocolate tours, gemology seminars, machine building and more; and, shop cutting-edge design in Jumeriah’s concept stores. For the first time in Dubai, The Royal College of Art (RCA), voted again in 2016 as the world’s leading Art and Design University, will host a series of three design workshops, subsidized by Dubai Design Week, in partnership with d3.
“The RCA’s workshops are a fantastic opportunity for Dubai’s developing creative sector. Dubai Design Week is a truly global event bringing in the best international educators, with the city of Dubai at its heart,” said Cyril Zammit of Dubai Design Week.
Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, Chief Operations Officer of d3, said: “d3 is again delighted to be partnering with Dubai Design Week to bring the city of Dubai a wide array of design exhibitions, installations, talks and seminars for everyone to enjoy. At d3, our vision is to become a global design destination and a thriving community for the region’s growing collective of creatives, artists and designers, where they can collaborate, create and inspire. Our partnership with Dubai Design Week is key to achieving this vision and supporting Dubai’s wider city vision of being a knowledge-based economy.”

One of Design Week’s missions is to promote international design to the MENASA region. Artemide Showroom celebrates the history of contemporary design with pieces by Norman Foster, Naoto Fukasawa, Jean Nouvel and many more. La Galerie Nationale is transformed into a typical French apartment with 140 pieces of original art and design from the 20th and 21st century at their Inside Decorative Art exhibition and Custot Gallery Dubai showcases French artist Bernar Venet’s steel sculptures, works on paper and paintings inspired by maths and science. Spanish design takes centre-stage at The Odd Piece with a collection of furniture and lighting by Dalí and Gaudí; Superstudio displays accessories and select furniture pieces by the UK’s leading designer Tom Dixon; and Athath focuses on Danish homeware with a pop-up from HAY. Super Future Design teams up with Moroso with an ephemeral botanical installation JUNGLEMANIA inspired by Africa by renowned designers including Tord Boontje, Patricia Urquiola and Sebastian Herkner, and NAKKASH Gallery reinvents luxury outdoor living with an innovative, open-air installation featuring designs by DEDON.

Bookstore Dar Al Hikma is stocking up on design titles for young creatives of all ages for its d3 pop up, Ripe Design Market returns with a range of educational design toys and Superstudio invites children to give Thomas Heatherwick’s Magis Spun chairs a whirl. IKEA celebrates 25 years in the UAE with an exhibition which explores life at home in the Emirates, and the Museum of the Future hosts Machinic Life, a pop-up exhibition that shows how artificial intelligence, human augmentation, and caring robotics could be integrated into our everyday lives.
Chocolatier Mirzam open the doors to its newly-opened factory inviting Dubai Design Week visitors of all ages to watch its Monsters & Maps bars being made and packaged up in Emirati designer Sheikha Wafa Hasher Al Maktoum’s flamboyant, illustrated wrapping featuring celestial galaxies, monsters and maps.

A number of events on and off campus teach the essential skills needed to thrive in the design profession. Sharabassy Built Environment Studio will run a certified Creativity Enhancement Workshop which shows how creative disciplines like architecture and music, and interior design and virtual reality can work in harmony. S2 Interiors and FN Design Gallery join forces for ArtxDesign: Blurred Lines, to teach young designers how to work with boutique interior design studios, architects, developers and local authorities. Orikami Lab continues this theme with Tie In, which shows how to simplify problems through collaborative design solutions. The Center for Architectural Discourse demonstrates how to create narratives related to the built environment by responding to spaces along E11, the road that weaves through the UAE from the Saudi to the Omani border.

Honing business and creative skills, Pallavi Dean hosts Powerhouse Public Speaking for Design Gurus, demonstrating how to effectively present, pitch and promote design ideas, and Eight Inc. will share case studies at Design Human Experience closing with a Q&A session. Insights into specific sectors are peppered throughout the week; Serviceplan Middle East hosts an inspiring talk entitled Digital Retail: experience the future of the shop floor which covers developments in ecommerce to create seamless online and offline shopping experience.
A number of events focus on specific, high-spec materials. Pallavi Dean and Christina Morgan discuss environmentally friendly porcelain and stoneware used in their recent Mirage Project Point project, and Zumtobel Group’s Façade workshop explores exterior lighting techniques. The Gracious F examines colour psychology and harmonising objects in a natural environment in a series of Interior Objects workshops, and 360° Decoro demonstrates how natural materials like grass, moss, wood or stone can be duplicated in Fake or Real. D-Town Enterprises presents a fascinating talk on Materials from the future, showcasing the latest innovations and how they will impact our lives in the immediate future.

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