Dubai Design Week 2021 blinds with opulence and futurism in equal measure
JAN 17, 2022 | By Twinkle Tolani
The seventh edition of the Dubai Design Week took place at the d3 district of Dubai from 8th to 12th November 2021. With its ardent display and unrivalled design quality, the event was the newest addition to the franchise’s successful lineage.
Widely known for high-end designs that define luxury, the Dubai Design Week aspired to bring avant-garde perceptions to the surface in this volume. Right off the hook, from the d3 district’s meandering pathways, installations perk the visitors up before they set foot into the main exhibition centres.
Smack in the middle of the pedestrian pathway, ‘Context Reflections’ by ANARCHITECT in collaboration with Cosentino, was a surprise wrapped in a big orange box. Inside, a play of penetrated light created via a naturally occurring optical phenomenon inspired visitors to see something as basic as light with an innovative lens. The low-tech, self-operating installation was built using the first carbon-neutral surface collection from Cosentino.
Another installation doused in monotones, ‘Athenaeum’, by Ana Carreras for Mirage/Lever served as a prequel and bait to the 2040: d3 Architecture Exhibition. The exhibition was a multimedia showcase featuring five architectural firms presenting concepts of the probable infrastructural future of Dubai in 20 years. The installation’s main objective was to subtly reinforce confidence by highlighting the recent findings of the extraordinary architecture of the 3000-year-old city—Mleiha.
At the d3 waterfront, the Downtown Design fair showcased more than 150 international and regional designers with interactive discussions with spokespersons and industry experts. The Beirut Concept was a lively exhibit featuring fifty established designers and emerging creative talent based in Lebanon like Zenobie, Maria Halios and David Pepe.
Curated by Mariana Wehbe, the Beirut Concept bravely shows off the scenography designed by Rumi Dalle. Pillows stuffed under the display tables give the context of the Lebanese state of affairs. The citizens’ dream of beauty in the wake of the gruesome events and economic conditions, symbolised by the chaotic setting. The pillows were sold on the last day of the exhibition, in the allegory of bidding adieu to the hardships and of hope that the next exhibit will not require such a melancholy undertone.
Pure opulence was the primary attendee at the fair. Furniture from LEMA, Minotti, Giorgetti and Vitra, textiles from ILLulian, Kvadrat and Verdi, kitchen and bathrooms brands such as Grohe, Villeroy & Boch, Laboratorio Mattoni and RAK Ceramics as well as lighting brands including Lasvit from the Czech Republic, Baranska Design from Poland and Shakdff from the USA flaunted their latest designs and products at the premise.
Jaipur Rugs, Hands Carpets, and Aadyam Handwoven brought the Indian panache and poise to the fair. While Jaipur Rugs’ globally awarded collections Unstring, Chaos Theory and Aakar were at the pavilion, the one-of-a-kind ‘Manchaha’ Collection proved to be the hero.
Hands carpets displayed the stunning One Love collection—a resultant of collaborating with nine designers from nine countries, along with launching their latest ‘L’ornement’ and ‘Urbane II’ collections. Aadyam Handwoven, on the other hand, came to propagate the narrative of creating a self-sustaining ecosystem for the Indian artisans.
As hosts of the 2020 Expo, which has a futuristic theme, the city and citizens of Dubai beam with ideas for the future. Consequently, it is reflected, clear as the day, throughout the Dubai Design Week. If talks of the future are to commence, the drivers of the future must not be absent from the discussion.
The MENA Grad Show featured the work of bright young minds coming out of the region’s leading universities, addressing issues ranging from desertification and accessibility to child nutrition and waste management. Experiencing the thoughtful innovations and unending motivation of the youth is the greatest bring back from the event.