Dubai Design Week Highlights: Adapting To Covid Ramifications
Dubai Design Week Aerial View
Image courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

Commencing on November 9th and lasting up till November 14th, Dubai Design Week proudly features exquisite creations of Middle Eastern designers. Strengthening Dubai as UAE’s central focus for design and creativity, the event is the first significant event to physically return since the start of the pandemic. The Dubai design district (d3) is situated as the heart of the event; it successfully integrates international design-enthusiasts with regional artisans’ inspiring creations.

Dubai Design Week is the region’s largest creative and cultural event, demonstrating Dubai’s lead as the Middle East’s design capital. The weeklong festival’s diverse program includes design-related events, exhibitions, installations, competitions, talks and workshops across multiple artistic arenas.

How DDW 20 Has Managed To Thrive And Adapt

Acknowledging and respectively taking action towards the present reality of travel restrictions and physical distancing, the festival will offer numerous opportunities. Especially to the Middle East’s creative community, making it catered specifically towards local and regional talent and demonstrating designers’ role. The main focus being: the redefinition of the way of life in a COVID-19 impacted world.

Dubai Design Week Aerial View
Image courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

Situated across the open-air, pedestrian setting of Dubai Design District (d3), outdoor installations and public interventions aim to respond to the fast-paced changes. Challenges are occurring in our urban environment, and the ones are arising from the need to physically distance require specific solutions. The installations include; regionally-acclaimed Emirati designers Khalid Shafar, Aljoud Lootah and Hamad Khoory, who have created convertible seating solutions designed for UAE’s rapidly adapting urban environments.

Simultaneously, Jumanah Rizk and Delta Light will present an intricate installation. The installation was founded on a contextual discovery of material that cultivates the local, natural resources in response to COVID-19.

Dubai Design Week Aerial View
Image courtesy of Dubai Design Week.

Featuring more than 100 other events in this multifaceted festival, some specific exhibitions and installations absolutely must be visited!

1. Global Grad Show, a year-round programme aimed at graduate students globally, works on social impact innovation.

2. MENA Grad Show is created by the foundations of the already established Global Grad Show platform. It is a world-first exhibition of the best social impact innovation projects from the region in STEM fields of science, technology and design. The inaugural edition attained over 200 submissions from over 35 universities based in the Middle East and North Africa subcontinent.

3. Abwab, the annually remodelled, interactive platform for creative talent from various locations in the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia; alongside substantial, hybrid talks and workshop programmes.

4. The Dubai Design Week Marketplace is a recently introduced outdoor retail initiative and one of the main elements of the Middle East’s largest creative festival. It will take place in Dubai Design District (d3) during the final days of the festival (13th-14th November), where over 60 vendors will present a systemized mixture of the best of Dubai’s artisans. Consequently, providing visitors with a unique retail experience. The marketplace offers primarily sourced original goods, which were created locally. These products cover various fields, including fashion, jewellery, homeware, beauty, lifestyle and food.

5. Downtown Design
The event will present recently introduced online elements globally accessible, simultaneously alongside the physical programme in d3. This is inclusive of an online exhibition featuring the best social impact innovation projects created by students worldwide. A digital fair for design brands and a series of virtual talk programmes will also represent skilled artisans’ creations.

6. D3 Architecture Festival
The programme marks Dubai’s first architecture festival’s inauguration to display landmark regional architectural projects using the theme’ Identity, Context and Placemaking in the Gulf’. Created by Juan Roldan, Associate Professor in the College of Architecture, Art & Design at the American University of Sharjah, the d3 Architecture Festival 2020 will accommodate an exhibition showcasing the accomplishments of architecture companies in d3.

These companies are mainly based in UAE and the wider GCC region, and other designs of the growing local companies and graduating students are showcased. The exhibitions will take place alongside various talks to direct the Middle East towards a more sustainably developed future.

A must go for all; design enthusiasts and curious visitors with no background in art or design are welcomed to this inclusive festival where there is something for everyone!


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