7 favourites at the Middle East’s leading design platform – Dubai Design Week 2023
From shedding light on traditional practices to sustainability and technology – Dubai Design Week is a nurturing hub for creative talents from across the globe
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of the Dubai Council, in strategic partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), a member of TECOM Group PJSC and supported by Dubai Culture – Dubai Design Week 2023 took place in d3 from 7-12 November.
Exchanging one-of-a-kind ideas, inspiring audiences and presenting the possibilities of what can be achieved through design – this platform brings together established and emerging designers from the region.
With more than 500 designers, architects and creative practitioners participating, Dubai Design Week explored topics from sustainability and technology to design-led social impact solutions.
The groundbreaking event brought to the design community an immersive experience featuring thought-provoking large-scale outdoor installations, eclectic pop-ups, commissioned projects, exhibitions, panel discussions, talks and hands-on workshops. Downtown Design, Dubai Design Week’s anchor event and the leading fair for contemporary and high-quality design additionally marked its 10th edition.
“Building on the UAE’s Year of Sustainability, this year’s Dubai Design Week has evolved into the most innovative edition of the festival to date. Our programme has been developed in partnership with d3 for both the design community and the general public alike.
We aim to foster a dialogue around sustainability through engaging and thought provoking initiatives and focus attention on how different practices can converge to look at sustainability, which we see as pivotal for the future of the design industry!” shares Natasha Carella, Programming Director Dubai Design Week.
A place where concept meets function and design defines experience (read also our interview with Mette Degn-Christensen, Director of Downtown Design Fair) – come explore some innovative projects at Dubai Design Week 2023!
Downtown Design 2023 – Our 7 favorite projects:
Art Deco by Diana Hawatmeh & Sheika Al Serkal
In collaboration with Alfombra Carpets, design duo Diana Hawatmeh & Sheika Al Serkal presented a series of artworks utilizing rugs as an expressive form. This piece boldly embraces the theme and its irregular shapes and vibrant hues are reminiscent of the geometric designs of the Art Deco movement along with it infusing together a playful and contemporary flair.
Endless techniques have been used to fabricate this design – the triangles are made up of small hand-knotted stitches, while the lines are created utilizing a sharp edge pile cut technique. The use of neutral colors helps to highlight the bold colors of the triangles.
The Shen by Aya Moug
Aya Moug showcased The Shen – inspired by the Egyptian hieroglyphics and covered by Byblos plant-based sustainable biomaterial.
Transforms papyrus plants located along the Nile shores in Egypt into a hard and soft sustainable biomaterial – Byblos is a natural local material alternative resource such as wood and marble. The process of extracting and transforming the plant into a sustainable biomaterial is relatively inexpensive compared with other materials of this nature and has proven to be one of the most efficient and economical pollution filters, as well as the cheapest method for water waste.
Moruna Double-Sided by Don Tanani
Moruna Double-Sided is crafted in solid teak by Don Tanani – a refreshingly new furniture concept, a combination bench and sofa. This design features a sofa and bench sharing the same backrest where one can sit on opposite sides. The sofa side has a more upright seating position whilst the bench’s increased depth allows for more relaxed lounging.
A unique selection of fabrics from Dedar have been chosen to resemble the traditional striped fabrics found on feluccas and to simulate the colors and textures of the Nile and Egyptian desert. A selection of locally made or custom fabrics suitable for use indoors and outdoors are an option for this product too.
Dash by Yet Design Studio (Part of Anatolia by Isola)
Inspired by the bold spirit of Constructivism, Dash by Yet Design Studio reimagines the hanger as a work of art – it’s a steel hanger that transcends its utilitarian purpose to become a masterpiece of deconstructed design. Each line, meticulously placed, orchestrates an impeccable grid as a canvas of daring possibilities.
It emerges as the epitome of organized chaos. Born from the pure simplicity of basic lines, it defies expectations, creating a new narrative for everyday objects. Coats, hats, umbrellas – they find presence upon its contours. It makes an exquisite cutout for one’s keys and subtly reminds one that art is in the details.
Elements of Anatolia by OD Art & Design (Part of Anatolia by Isola)
Elements of Anatolia series by OD Art & Design comes to life in distinctive shapes. Each layer reveals a spectrum of stoneware clay, handcrafted in different shades and created with meticulous care. All pieces in this series are rare and peerless, just like mother nature and the moments in our lives.
This collection celebrates the seamless blend of Anatolian culture and art. Just as Anatolia’s sociological tapestry weaves together a rich array of colors and layers, it is a testament to harmonious diversity.
Cosmic Bloom by Form (Part of FAME collective)
Drawn from the cosmic palette, the Cosmic Bloom series by Form comprising the Roseum, Jade and Aloe mirror boasts a kaleidoscope of hues, intertwining the celestial and the earthly realms. Inspired by the bright colors of the botanical environment, the collection captures the essence of wildflowers in full bloom.
Each and every piece by the studio are meant to be conversation starters; they’re personal interpretations of how furniture serves as sculptural elements of a space. Each collection embodies a new topic and concept that pushes the boundaries of design.
Sandscape by Home Figures (Part of FAME collective)
Characterized by a harmonious blend of sleek curvy lines, bold shades as well as stacked shapes creating functional products – Home Figures is focused on customization in different sizes, materials and colors.
Their Sandscape collection is influenced by the Arabic desert dunes and sands. The sands of the desert are more than just a geographical feature; they are a testament to the patience of time. This series encapsulates the essence of these timeless dunes, their ever-shifting beauty, and the serenity they exude. One can find repetition, organic shapes and granular materials coming together to create timeless furniture pieces.