Downtown Design 2013

Downtown Design is a new international design fair that will take place in Dubai from 29th October till 1st November 2013. The fair is a trade event open to professionals from the design industry, but it is also trageting design enthusiasts and will be open to the public between 5pm - 8pm from Tuesday 29th to Thursday, 31st October and between 12pm-6pm on Friday, 1st November. 

Exhibitors at Downtown Design will include some of Italy’s leading furniture makers like Poltrona FrauCassina and Cappellini as well as the timeless US chair manufacturers Emeco and contemporary Turkish design brand Gaia & Gino. In addition to the international exhibitors, there will be regional and local exhibitors including environmentally-friendly Abu Dhabi firm Al Khaznah Tannery who will be presenting its new specially commissioned camel leather furniture. The full line up of exhibitors can be found here

The fair will showcase some of the very best in furniture, lighting, accessories, textiles and new technologies, trends and concepts never-before seen in the region. 

But besides showcasing products to sell, Downtown Design also aims to promote an appreciation and respect to craftmanship and showcase the process that leads to the final results. So many people just focus on the final product, what it looks like, its value and not really have an understanding of the process that leads to the final product, especially when it comes to design. This will be done through a series of talks that will offer a rare opportunity to discover the stories behind the products being exhibited, and to gain an understanding of the region’s increasing development in the design world. The full line up of talks can be found here.

Additionally, I think the Special Projects section of Downtown Design will be another part of the fair that will interest the public. The Special Projects section includes the following:

Craftsmanship at The Workshop

Craftsmanship at The Workshop will feature two Danish Master Craftsmen, flown in from Denmark where—via their own factories—they have been creating furniture design classics for decades, including Arne Jacobsen’s Egg Chair and Hans Wegner’s Wishbone Chair.

These craftsmen will showcase their respective skills and craftsmanship by making chairs from brands, such as Carl Hansen & SønRepublic of Fritz Hansen  and Louis Poulsen, live on the stand in a workshop environment with material samples (fabrics and leathers) and tools.

I love the sound of this. Check out these short clips to give you an idea of what to expect.

Nouvelle Vague Volume II

In 2011, the first Nouvelle Vague exhibition took place when five emerging designers were presented at the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, Milan. These designers were subsequently rewarded with multiple awards, in addition to having their creations produced in various countries. A continuation of this travelling exhibition that has visited the likes of New York and Toronto, Nouvelle Vague II will bring to Dubai five new faces with fresh statements and ideas to discover.

Presenting their projects for the first time at Downtown Design, the five designers are: Pauline DeltourGuillaume DelvigneFrancois DumasVictoria Wilmotte and Dan Yeffet. Also joining the exhibition will be the unique objects of Emirati designer, Khalid Shafar, which have been specially created for the event.

Temporary Museum for New Design

For the last six years in Milan, the Temporary Museum for New Design has been a destination and an institution. Located at Superstudio Più—the largest cultural and expositive private centre of the city—in the renowned Tortona area, the “Temporary Museum” is an innovative and unprecedented event, arising one week per year, during the Design Week in April.

Attracting more than 100,000 professional visitors from around the world and presenting the latest production of research design through the revolutionary format “less fair and more museum”, the Temporary Museum for New Design does not consist of product exhibition booths, but rather includes artistic, technological and interactive installations.

Downtown Dubai brings to Dubai the idea of the “Temporary Museum” as a container of excellence and creativity, as a place to bring together industrial design and contemporary art where designers, architects, producers, distributors and other professionals of the sector can meet in a mutual business and cultural exchange.

Brands to be featured in this exhibition space include: 

Astrini Design;CrjosFlavio Lucchini Art;LandorMaletti;Melogranoblu;Slide;Slide Art;TaginaandZava

This edition of the Temporary Museum for new design will be curated by the Creative Director and CEO of the Superstudio Group, Gisella Borioli, and Giulio Capellini. I looked up all the brands and fell in love with this light installtion by Melogranoblu. 

If your eyes are yearning to see beautiful objects, then don't miss this.

Event details

Dates: Tuesday, 29th October - Friday, 1st November 2013 (Open to the public between 5pm to 8pm from 29th-31st October and between 12pm-6pm on 1st November.) 

Venue:  Custom-built marquee at ‘The Venue’ on Mohammed Bin Rashid Boulevard in Emaar's Downtown Dubai

Tickets: 50 AED for general public (4-day pass)