Dubai Design Week’s milestone 10th edition announces key programming - GulfToday

Dubai Design Week’s milestone 10th edition announces key programming


A model of Museum of the Future displayed at DDW 2023.

Muhammad Yusuf, Features Writer

Dubai Design Week (DDW), the Middle East’s leading design festival, is returning for its milestone 10th edition in November 5 - 10 this year. Curated in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3), a member of TECOM Group PJSC, and supported by Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the milestone edition will provide over 500 internationally acclaimed and emerging designers with a platform to showcase their design experience and thinking in the form of installations, exhibitions and overall experiential mediums.  The annual festival’s programming line-up highlights Dubai’s commitment to design excellence. Taking place at its home in d3, a global creative ecosystem across design, fashion, architecture and art, DDW 2024 will focus on designing for a sustainable future. The theme will be integrated across the week’s programme of activities in a range of disciplines, including architecture, product design and interiors. “Collaborative creativity can design a brighter future for the world. This milestone 10th anniversary of Dubai Design Week will showcase the very best of global design, as is evident in the level of expertise and ingenuity on display as well as the calibre of conversations taking place this year,” said Khadija Al Bastaki, Senior Vice President of Dubai Design District.

DDW 1 A display shines brightly at DDW 2023.

Key DDW programming includes the Trade Show, which will have a list of leading international speakers, designers and brands taking part for the first time; the Installations programme, which features a series of installations and pavilions open to practitioners from the Southwest Asia and North Africa (SWANA) region. The theme focuses on vernacular architecture and how it can inform regenerative design. In 2023, DDW commissioned Emirati architect Abdalla Almulla, whose pavilion ‘Of Palm’ was one of the winners of the Monocle Design Awards; Urban Commissions, where DDW’s annual competition invites designers and architects to develop outdoor furniture for public spaces. Titled ‘Tawila’, this year’s competition examines the table as a facilitator of exchange, tradition, and communal experiences; Exhibitions & Activations hosted by cultural organisations, educational institutions, and design-driven brands, among others, will showcase various design themes that spotlight talent as well as foster cultural discourse and knowledge-sharing; Workshops, where a programme of over 50 workshops and masterclasses designed to inspire and elevate skills across all design disciplines will cater to professionals and aspiring creatives of all ages, interests, and experience levels; Marketplace, a curated retail experience featuring designers, producers, and homegrown businesses from the region which will feature a range of products including homeware, jewellery, fashion and lifestyle as well as food experiences, children’s activities and live performances; and Talks, where The Forum at Downtown Design hosts leading international and regional experts within the design industry to discuss the latest trends and innovations in regional and international design.

DDW 3  A scene from Dubai Design Week 2023.

Dubai Design District (d3) is dedicated to design, fashion, architecture and art. In line with Dubai’s position as the leading business destination for the region and beyond, it is an industry-pioneering concept that enables people and businesses to grow and co-create, while simultaneously providing a platform for creativity. Strategically located in the heart of Dubai, d3 is one of the city’s lifestyle and business district that challenges people to “rethink the regular.” Reinforcing Dubai’s status as a UNESCO Creative City of Design, it offers a variety of multi-brand boutiques, fashion brands, art galleries and showrooms. In addition, it is home to leading companies and talent including architects, interior designers, photography studios, product and fashion designers.

Some of the region’s most popular events take place in d3 and attract international artists and audiences to cultural and fashion exhibitions and gatherings such as DDW, Arab Fashion Week and Sole DXB. The district also regularly hosts a roster of industry talks, workshops and educational programming, accessible to people of all ages. d3 is home to TECOM Group PJSC’s business incubator – in5 – that aims to support the fashion and design industries by offering students and entrepreneurs the opportunity to transform their ideas into successful commercial ventures. The ecosystem is also supported by the Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), the region’s only university exclusively dedicated to design and innovation, which offers a curriculum crafted with the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and The New School’s Parsons School of Design.

DDW 4 An installation during Dubai Design Week 2023.

The district also features the city’s first canal side recreational development, The Block. The open-air destination offers a range of different outdoor and leisure areas including a basketball and volleyball court, a skate park, outdoor gym and climbing wall. Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) is the custodian of Dubai’s cultural and creative sector and helps define it at the local and global level. Under the leadership of Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, the Authority is committed to enriching Dubai’s cultural scene based on the UAE’s heritage; it builds dialogue between various cultures to enhance Dubai’s position as a global centre for heritage, an incubator for creativity, and a hub for talent.

It has various cultural and heritage assets under its remit, including the management of 6 historical destinations, 6 museums, Al Jalila Cultural Centre for Children and 8 Dubai Public Libraries. Dubai Culture is developing regulatory frameworks for Dubai’s cultural and creative sectors based on the priorities of its strategic roadmap 2020 – 2025.

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