From fake rain to bespoke chandeliers, what not to miss at Dubai Design Week 2018

From fake rain to bespoke chandeliers, what not to miss at Dubai Design Week 2018

The desert sands are once again whipping up a design storm in Dubai. As collectors, commentators, movers and sheiks return for the third iteration of the city’s own Design Week, which runs until November 17, it is apparent that the ambition which this festival began in 2015 is paying off.

Now by a long way the biggest creative festival in the Middle East the show, dubbed DXBDW, attracts architects, designers, creatives and graduates from all over the world to talk about their ideas and showcase innovations at over 200 events. From a rain storm to an ultra luxury new florist, here’s what not to miss:

Downtown Design, and its new showcase dedicated to limited-edition design, Downtown Editions, is the place to spot both new and established Middle Eastern talent alongside the best of international design. Visitors are also able to commission bespoke pieces. Six large-scale installations this year including works by Marc Ange, David Harber and Preciosa, a pop-up retail experience and landscaped indoor gardens.

Downtown Design at dxb CREDIT: DOWNTOWN DESIGN

The Global Grad Show is a one-of-a-kind exhibition that brings together works from 100 of the most innovative universities across the world, including Harvard, MIT and RCA. New to the programme this year is the inaugural innovation conference titled ‘Belief in AI’, and the Dubai Evolution Challenge, overseen by the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN).

A family of stools designed by Mowo, a brand set up by Central Saint Martins graduate Lisa Stolz, as featured at The Global Grad Show in Dubai

Real Rain is Kohler Design’s installation, recreating the build up of a summer rainstorm in what must be the world’s largest ever shower head. Two 5m long overhead panels are designed as water reservoirs, spilling water into a shower-head with over 775 nozzles and drops start to fall. Unlike standing in a power shower, the droplets are not uniform in size or weight, using gravity to recreate realistic rain fall – and create a tropical area in the middle of the Design District.

Real Rain installation by Kohler

Circadian Light Synthesis is an installation of light by ANARCHITECT, designed to highlight the ways in which the movements of the sun and moon affect our body clocks. Including a southern ‘Exposed’ Pavilion – cleverly harnessing the natural sunlight — and a northern ‘Enclosed’ Pavilion, lit up with Delta Light’s ‘artificial sun’ which is charged purely by solar power, the installation provides a place for rest and contemplation at the entrance to the d3 fair.

Circadian Light Synthesis is an installation of light by ANARCHITECT CREDIT: CIRCADIAN LIGHT SYNTHESIS

Sa’af is the ancient Bedouin craft of weaving date palm leaves. Asda Moazzam from ard ارض will be demonstrating the traditional Emirati technique in order to highlight their work with social initiative Sougha alongside DesignAware. Sougha is supported by the Khalifa Fund for Enterprise Development to support Emirati artisans in preserving the region’s heritage and to foster sustainable entrepreneurship.

Asda Moazzam from ard ارض demonstrating the traditional Emirati weaving technique CREDIT: JANDRI ANGELO AGUILOR

Fine Blooms, aka the florists Hattie Fox and Amaia Chaplin, are on a mission to shake off the bouquet clichés and bring innovative contemporary floral design to Dubai. As well as curated displays at the new Box Park boutique, the pair will host workshops in bouquet-making at d3 during the week where attendees can learn the practicalities and the creative processes behind some serious flower power.

A floral arrangement by Fine Blooms.