• A platform that builds bridges of communication between creators and the public and that strengthens Dubai’s position as the design capital.
• A tour of the MENA Global Grad Show, Down Town Design, exhibitions, outdoor installations and international participation.
Hala Badri, Director General of Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, visited the sixth edition of Dubai Design Week, which is being held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of Dubai Culture, in Dubai Design District. Taking place from 9 to 14 November, the event is considered the largest creative festival in the Middle East due to its dynamic activities and innovative exhibitions that celebrate the design creations of a group of local, regional and international talents.
Dubai Design Week is a major component of the cultural scene in Dubai, and the creative movement in the United Arab Emirates in general, providing a creative platform that aims to attract design professionals from around the world to display their creative world. Art enthusiasts, who would be seeking to fulfil their passion, would be invited to exchange and share their visions and ideas with the creative people and the community, contributing to building bridges of communication that would enrich the thriving creative environment in the emirate and consolidate its position as a design capital.
Hala Badri toured the exhibition, which offers more than 100 events, activities, pop-up stores, and creative installations as well as virtual activities, such as online exhibitions; discussion sessions; the MENA Global Grad Show, which embraces projects with a social impact in the region by innovative university graduates; and the new UAE Designer Exhibition that features works from 20 local creatives, varying in theme between home accessories, jewellery and home furnishings, addressing themes of sustainability, physical experimentation and handicrafts.
The Director General of Dubai Culture also visited ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ exhibition from Downtown Design, which sheds light on a group of future concepts in the fields of design and architecture, as well as a group of distinguished events organised by international entities, including the Swiss Embassy and the French Institute in the UAE, where she met with the French ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.
Hala Badri continued her tour, visiting the ‘Urban Commissions,’ where she was briefed on ‘Basta,’ the innovative, open-air shopping experience created by Emirati architect Reema Muhairy and Saudi architect Lujain Alatiq, both of whom were awarded for the project. The Urban Commissions event invited architects and designers from across the Middle East and North Africa to design an innovative and mixed-use shopping destination to be adopted as part of a new shopping experience. The ‘Basta’ project was selected based on the criteria that were set by the jury.
After that, Badri got acquainted with a group of outdoor installations, including the Abwab 2020 exhibition, which Iraqi designer Hozan Zankana won a grant to produce his proposed project entitled ‘The Morgana Boy,’ which is a conceptual framework for an open plan that includes a set of basic columns each symbolising an emirate from the seven emirates. In addition, Hala Badri witnessed the creative artistic compositions of three well-known Emirati designers, Khaled Shafar, Al-Joud Lootah and Hamad Khoury, who were commissioned by the American Board of Exporting Hardwoods to devise solutions for adjustable seats, in line with the ongoing efforts of the UAE to adopt urban environments.
The artistic installations also included a work of art under the name ‘Paris,’ presented by Mishary Al-Nasser Studio and the global roofing company Cosentino, as well as an abstract installation by the artist Jumana Rizk in cooperation with the Delta Light brand, another installation entitled ‘The Inevitable Path’ by artist Iman Ibrahim and artist Mahmoud Diaa, and the inspiring installation created by Kart Design Group, titled ‘The Leader.’
After that, Hala Badri toured Architecture Festival 2020, the first of its kind in Dubai, and saw a number of the most prominent regional architectural projects under the title ‘Identity, Context and Design of Public Facilities in the Arabian Gulf.’ Architecture Festival 2020 is being held in the Dubai Design District under the supervision of Juan Roldan, assistant professor in the School of Architecture, Art and Design at the American University of Sharjah, in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects in the Arabian Gulf, and with the support of the Principal Institute in London.
In addition, the Director General of Dubai Culture was briefed on the designs of a group of graduates of the Tanween 2020 programme that the Tashkeel centre displays, which were designed and manufactured locally. Then she toured the Dubai Design Week Marketplace, a new initiative of its kind for outdoor shopping that showcased products from 70 handicrafts specialists, innovators, entrepreneurs and small companies. Dubai Culture supported some small companies to participate in this distinctive market.