Reinforcing Dubai’s position as the region’s central hub for design and creativity, the seventh edition of Dubai Design Week presents its most extensive and diverse programme of events to date. Here are some highlights.
This year the fair hosts five national collective showcases from Austria, France, Hungary, Italy and Spain, while Downtown Editions, the fair’s boutique section dedicated to limited-edition and bespoke design, uncovers the latest in design by individual designers, studios and creative collaborations with a spotlight on the region such as the works of four designers selected for the 2021 “Tanween Programme” by Tashkeel, unveiled at the fair.
Dubai Design Week has invited a range of designers and design brands based in Lebanon to take part in the region’s largest creative festival, in order to provide much needed support to the Lebanese creative community. A key element of this support initiative id The Beirut Concept Store that showcases a collective of Lebanese design talent within the Downtown Design fair.
Tanween by Tashkeel 2021
Six participants of Tashkeel’s Tanween programme from 2020 and 2021 take part in Downtown Design from 8-12 November, four of whom are making their commercial debut. ‘Tanween by Tashkeel’ nurtures the UAE design aesthetic through a range of commercially available, limited-edition pieces inspired by, designed and manufactured in the UAE. These furniture and lighting pieces integrate traditional crafts and contemporary design practice, often using innovative applications of traditional materials and techniques that are integral to the UAE identity.
Visitors to Downtown Design can experience design pieces including the The Kapok Series by Tasim Tinawi, Taht Al Ghaf lights by Khawla Al Balooshi, the Sehra cabinet by Eman Shafiq, the SEEDS series ottoman/table and bag by Nuhayr Zein, as well as Yereed by Lina Ghalib, Liminal series table by Hala Al Ani and Katta by Yara Habib.
The Beirut Concept Store
As part of Dubai Design Week’s focus on supporting the Lebanese creative community this year, The Beirut Concept Store is a celebration of Lebanese design, showcasing emerging and established design talent based in Lebanon, within the Downtown Design fair. Curated by Mariana Wehbe, The Beirut Concept Store is a collective design effort to bring the spirit of the Lebanese design scene to the centre stage, providing visibility and commercial opportunity, set within a scenography imagined and executed by the multi-talented designer and artist Rumi Dalle.
Making their official debut at the store, the newly established product design incubator, Exil Collective, is bringing 20+ emerging and established product designers. Adopting a synergistic approach, The Beirut Concept Store carries a diverse collection of pieces, ranging from ceramics and furniture to product and collectible design, to books and small gift items.
Alongside the emerging creatives, the long roster of talent includes established names such as Post Industrial Crafts and Studio Manda. The store incorporates as well works of master ceramists such as Hala Matta, Nathalie Khayyat, Souraya Haddad and Lina Shamma, all credited with the maturity of the Lebanese ceramics scene.
Larger furniture pieces are also present at The Beirut Concept Store; such as a 4-metre table by architect Samer Bou Rjeily, which serves as the Concept Store’s centerpiece, alongside contributions from renowned names including as Mary-Lynn & Carlo, Studio Caramel, Maria Halios and Adrian PéPe.
MENA Grad Show
Showcasing social impact innovation projects in the fields of science, design, technology and architecture by students from universities in the region, MENA Grad Show returns in its second edition, featuring 60 ideas and solutions by 78 students from 29 universities across 10 countries from the region. This year’s projects include a solar powered robot built to plant seeds in desert areas, a device to produce organic super-food at home, an app to organize the routine of dementia patients and magnetic skin to allow people with quadriplegia to control their surroundings. MENA Grad Show is part of Global Grad Show, the leading international platform supporting social impact innovators in universities across the world.
Throughout the festival’s main hub in Dubai Design District (d3), visitors can explore 15 installations and public interventions in the open-air setting. This year’s Urban Commissions, an annually themed Dubai Design Week initiative supported by A.R.M. Holding, has been awarded to Beirut-based architecture and research firm, Bits to Atoms, for an interactive urban intervention titled ‘Yowalah’, a modular 3D printed public space installation aiming to safely reinstate social relations and increase the levels of happiness for users.
Responding to the theme of regenerative design and restorative architecture, the Abwab 2021 commission has been awarded to Dubai-based architect Ahmed El-Sharabassy for his proposal ‘Nature in Motion’, an undulating design concept that references the Dubai desert’s constant motion, emulating the city’s continual evolution. The architectural pavilion will host an exhibition titled ‘Pulp Fusion’ around the topic of the human impact on the planet, curated and produced by Bits to Atoms.
Around the city, an array of events will be held in conjunction with Dubai Design Week; from the opening of Dubai’s first collectible design gallery, COLLECTIONAL by H&H, launching with an exhibition titled ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ and showcasing an exclusively commissioned collection by internationally acclaimed designer Sabine Marcelis, to a host of dynamic showcases at the Jameel Arts Centre and Alserkal Avenue, amongst others.
The info is extracted from the press release.
Images are courtesy of Dubai Design Week 2021.