Buro 24/7 Middle East Guide: Downtown Design
Dubai's design daze
Taking place between October 28 and October 31 at the foot of the Burj Khalifa, Downtown Design is the must-attend design fair for global and regional talent in the sector of interior design. With a myriad of renowned architects, collectors, designers and enthusiasts gathering in Dubai, Downtown Design will feature the world's most respected and up-and-coming brands in furniture and interiors as well as host an extensive programme of design talks by key players in the industry.
Now in its second year, Buro 24/7 Middle East highlights the best talks and brands to look out for whilst scoping out the newest innovations in the field of design:
THE INTERNATIONAL BRANDS
Opening its doors for the second time, the fair will see a wide variety of famous exhibitors in segments that include furniture, lighting, kitchens, bathrooms, carpets and flooring, wall coverings, accessories and new technologies. A few of the new designs which we can not wait to see will be from De Vecchi Milano (silver homeware), Gaggenau (home appliances), Theodore Alexander (furniture), Preciosa (lighting), and Seletti (accessories).
THE REGIONAL TALENT
Among the variety of world-renowned brands, Downtown Design will also be showcasing some of the Middle East's most talented Arab designers in a special exhibition dedicated to designs from the region. The Musk and Amber and Harper's Bazaar International Regional Design Exhibition, will be curated by Lamia Bousnina Ben Ayed, President of Musk & Amber Heritage and co-owner of Musk and Amber Gallery in Tunisia, and is set to feature a magnificent collection of pieces that are exhibited in the same space the very first time.
Designers present will be hailing from Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Lebanon, Iran and Tunisia – presenting their personal reinterpretations of Arabic aesthetics, juxtaposing traditional motifs with contemporary design. Among the four emerging Arab talents, Lebanese designer Nayef Francis, and Kuwait's Nanu Al-Hamad will be the ones to look out for, with their unique takes on classical furniture.
This year at Downtown Design, innovation will take centre stage as the Royal College of Art (RCA), will bring the top three student projects that are among today's most promising technological breakthroughs to the UAE for the first time.
Set to showcase the latest in home automation, the RCA will present Silk Leaf, the first man-made leaf that turns light and water into oxygen, Stay Plastic, a study for recycled-plastic 3D-printed housing, and Gravity Sketch, a fascinating sketch pad for the design world.
Downtown Design will also host the 'Home of Tomorrow', a futuristic, interactive showcase of the smartest technologies that are changing the way we live.
THE DESIGN TALKS
Alongside the 4-day fair, Downtown Design will feature a talk series named 'Original Talks' held in partnership with Dubai Design District. With over 20 different talks that range from panel discussions to brand perspectives, journalists, designers, curators and more will be speaking their mind on today's world of design. A few of the talks that can't be missed are 'A Golden Veil: Poetry and Technique for the Arts of Islam', which will see distinguished architect and designer Mario Bellini talk about the creative process behind his new Islamic wing at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
For those who want to learn about iconic products, Michele Merella, Sales Manager of De Vecchi Milano, will be discussing the evolution of silverware design in the history of the iconic Italian brand. While Musk & Amber and Harper's Bazaar Interiors Exhibition will receive a special spotlight with an innovative discussion led by Richard Dean, host of the Business Breakfast on Dubai Eye, with Rue Kothari, Editor of Harper's Bazaar Interiors magazine, Lamia Bousnina Ben Ayed, and Beirut-based designer Nada Debs.
Timings: Brand Perspectives - De Vecchi Milano 1935 will take place on October 28 at 3:10pm, A Golden Veil: Poetry and Technique for the Arts of Islam will take place on October 28 at 6:45 pm, and Musk & Amber and Harper’s Bazaar Interiors Exhibition talk will take place on October 30 at 2:00pm.