Dubai Design Week (DDW) is set to make a return on Nov. 8 to 13 in Dubai Design District (d3) to shine a spotlight on the best of the region’s design scene. Now in its eighth edition, the celebration of décor, lighting, furniture, and architecture is the ultimate destination for those eager to explore the region’s wealth of design heritage. Below, some of the must-see installations and exhibitions at the six-day-event that you don’t want to miss.
Bokja’s Installation ‘Lets Talk about the Weather’
The immersive installation by the Lebanese surface fabrication studio takes the shape of a boxing ring equipped with a punching bag and onlooking cushions. The interactive project invites visitors and guests to enter the ring and confront pressing issues, be it the environment, heartbreaks, and loss. For a more personal experience, participants will receive strips of ribbon to write down urgent topics of their choice in response to the question: “What anguish drives your anger?”
Terminal-G by Iwan Maktabi
Iwan Maktabi is the leading destination for rare antique carpets and designer rugs, as well as modern and designer carpets. For the eighth edition of Dubai Design Week, the third-generation Lebanese textile label is presenting an exhibition, titled Terminal-G, to celebrate homegrown creatives from five countries of the Gulf region. The brand commissioned artists and designers from Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and the UAE to dream up specially-made carpets and textile designs. Curated by Samer Yamani, who was handpicked to build a narrative of a design collection that represents the Gulf through a contemporary lens, the show will feature Kuwaiti Aseel AlYaqou’s “Water Memory” collection; Saudi artist Sultan bin Fahad will present his “Delights” collection; and Afra and Sheikha Bin Dhaher from the UAE are exhibiting “Taghrouda”; among others. “Iwan Maktabi has always had its roots firmly planted in the region and ‘Terminal-G’ was an intrinsic concept to highlight current Khaliji creative expressions through the art of weaving carpets from local artists. Exploring topics and regional beliefs that have not been truly presented in a contemporary way, while challenging the status quo. A mission that reflects our commitment to contribute to the cultural dialogue by creating a platform to continuously shed light on contemporary design in the region,” said Mohamed Maktabi, CEO and Co-founder of Iwan Maktabi.
‘Shamal. Sand, Stone, Stars’ by Polimoda
Based in Florence, Italy, Polimoda is ranked amongst the top ten fashion institutes in the world. The Italian establishment will be participating in Dubai Design Week for the first time, showcasing a never-before-seen installation titled “Shamal. Sand Stone Stars.” The site-specific environmental project by Lisa Mara Batacchi, an established visual artist and former Polimoda student, aims to be a hub for thoughtful exchange during the six-day-long event, offering the opportunity for an intimate and reflective moment to imagine future life on Earth through open dialogue. Drawing inspiration from the Zoroastrian architecture, inside the installation are two precious tapestries, “Meditating on Earth” and “The World is so far Reversed,” which were manually woven by the artist who has used only raw and naturally dyed yarns (coffee, artichoke, tea), including some lacquer silks dating back to the 1930’s.
Downtown Editions offers an exciting platform for brands, design galleries ,and collectives from the region and beyond to present their work and interact with buyers and the press attending the fair. This year, Egyptian design studio R’KAN will be showcasing a specially-curated selection of pieces (R’Kan Edition) made in collaboration with various artists and artisans, seeks to create a dialogue between art and everyday objects to utilize design as a gateway to creativity.
Rania Fahmy, Founder of R’KAN said: “We are very honored to be part of this year’s Dubai Design Week, one of the region’s most significant cultural occasions. Through this platform, we would like to engage with likeminded leading design professionals and industry decision makers, as well as introduce our global artists’ exclusive line up of curated pieces to the region’s finest clientele.”
“R’KAN Edition’s pieces are specially curated to bring harmony between art and the run-of-the-mill day to day objects, turning them into must-have designs. Today, R’KAN is considered one of the leading furniture and design studios in Egypt, and we’re excited to continue our beautiful journey in the region through showcasing our collection at Downtown Design,” she added.
‘Once Upon a Forest’ by OBMI
Designed by US architecture firm OBMI, “Once Upon a Forest” is a pavilion that plays with the perspective of the UAE’s natural heritage and resilient ecology, seeking inspiration from the mangroves forests, which comprise so much of the landscape of the UAE. “OBMI’s mission is always to leave the communities we serve better than we found them, designing for the best long-term outcomes for the land and communities. Our collective passion and this year’s event theme inspired OBMI to realize ‘Once Upon a Forest’ with a hope that individuals will become immersed in the beauty and importance of the region’s most valuable natural treasure, supporting the preservation of mangroves toward a more sustainable future,” said Tareq El Zayat, Managing Director of OBMI.
‘How Much Does Your Debris Weigh?’ by Quartz Architects
Derived from the idea of an inverted wave, UAE’s Quartz Architects’ latest installation “How Much Does Your Debris Weigh?” is a harrowing exploration of how our future will look like if we keep up our current waste practices. The installation displays cascading demolished materials in their raw state. By exploring the condition of different materials in the architectural construction process, the installation invites visitors to rethink and redesign our surroundings.