The three day event is the region’s only fair dedicated to original and high-quality design and will be showcasing more than 175 international, and 40 local brands, making it the largest curation of Middle Eastern talent. This year’s edition is predicted to be the biggest and most diverse yet.
2018’s design extravaganza takes on innovative creative direction in its set up with indoor botanical gardens, pop-up shops, edgy café concepts and a variety of contemporary design installations, featuring some of the design industries most renowned names. The event’s plan is devised by Dubai-based architects, H+A and has a theme of “liveable cities” which will be bought to life via landscape interventions by the award-winning firm Desert Ink.
Aljoud Lootah Designs DDF 2018
A trailblazing selection of home-grown designers and brands will be showcasing their limited edition and innovative works, including Emirati designer Aljoud Lootah who will be paying homage to the region’s perfumery culture through her inventive works. Dubai based arts incubator will be presenting work by their newest resident designers of the Tanween programme, as well as Rejo, a Riyadh based design studio, who will also be launching their latest collection.
Shamsa DDF 2018
Jewellery designer, Shamsa Allabar, will be presenting her collection which explores a contemporary take on tradition and Arabic calligraphy whilst Moroccan designer, Sophia Chraibi takes a sustainable stance with her customizable furniture that can be altered and modified to suit various lifestyles – just to name a few homegrown talents that will be present at the fair.
Normann DDF 2018
Alongside regional Arab designers will be leading Scandinavian design house, Normann Copenhagen who will be presenting for the first time at Downtown Design. Not only that, Czech super-brand, Preciosa Lighting, will be showcasing an absolute showstopper; creative directors of the brand, Michael Vasku and Andreas King, have created a sensory installation composed of hundreds of opaque and translucent orbs in a cloud-like formation. Entitled “Breath of Light”, the installation calls for audiences to immerse themselves and interact with it. The display responds to the intensity of breath when the glass orbs are blown into, “manifesting the external stimuli through a dance of light.”
Preciosa DDF 2018
Preciosa’s collaboration with Studio MUT, also showcases a sculptural table lamp that construes the healing powers of colour and light. The design fair’s handpicked selection of lighting brands aim to present unique ideas that marry high quality craftsmanship with innovative technology.
With crystals going hand in hand with lighting, French crystal art specialists, St Louis will be showcasing their latest collection, as well as Bomma, whose collections explore sleek lines, geometric shapes and the galaxy.
If you’re into upgrading your furniture, then you’d be in for a real treat at this year’s event. Since furniture making is an art that also requires much science and precision, many of the brands presenting their work are renowned for their immaculate design capabilities that have the ability to stand the test of time. Italian furniture experts, Cassina, Cappellini and Poltrona Frau will be presenting their portfolios of new designs as well as elevated classic icons that they are known for. Also representing Italy are Moroso, Baxter and Foscarinin.
Baxter DDF 2018
Dubai’s Downtown Design Fair isn’t just focused on installations and pieces of furniture meant for interiors, it’s most definitely going beyond haute design. The most influential names in architecture, Foster+Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects and Grimshaw Architects, amongst others, will offer an insight into the cities of the future. Also new to the event, the workshops will offer an exclusive insight into the latest trends and design philosophies.
De Gournay DDF 2018
25 globally renowned designers will be at Downtown Design to share their journeys, hosting a fascinating line up of talks that aim to inspire. Speaking for the first time in the Middle East are the award-winning darlings of design, Ini Archibong and Matthew McCormick.