BSBG Senior Interior Designer Alia Soufan paid a visit last week to Dubai Design District (d3), for the 2018 Dubai Design Week. Featuring exhibitions, installations, workshops and talks, Dubai Design Week was first held just four years ago, but has since grown to feature more than 200 events across the disciplines of architecture, product, furniture, interior and graphic design.
For Alia, Dubai Design Week represents a great opportunity to gain exposure to the latest regional interior design trends and products. Now incorporated as part of the design week is Downtown Design, a trade fair that brings together the Middle East’s top contemporary design brands, positioning them alongside international design stalwarts. As part of the fair, leading designers such as Matthew McCormick, Marc Ange and Ini Archibong each held talks where sustainability, design processes and the importance of embracing diversity in design were all discussed.Of particular note at the fair were the large-scale installations on display, with Preciosa’s “Breath of Light” undoubtedly stealing the show. “The Preciosa installation is fantastic and drew in the crowds, all looking for that Instagram moment,” remarked Alia. “But also ‘Aeon’ by David Harber and Marc Ange’s ‘Le Refuge’ were both remarkable sculptures which captured the attention of attendees.”
The fair also represents a good meet-up opportunity for the leading regional designers and key players. Indeed, as we walked around the event, we could walk no more than 10 metres in any direction before Alia ran into somebody that knew her. The design community in Dubai is certainly close knit, and judging from the amount of people meandering through the stands and installations, it’s also thriving. “We (designers) all know each other and we’re all aware of each other’s projects,” Alia says. “But here it’s predominantly the suppliers I’ve worked with for many years that I run in to. An event such as this gives them an opportunity to showcase their newest designs and product ranges to me with a view to perhaps incorporating the standout pieces into my interior projects.”
BSBG Head of Design Armin Buchbinder also visited Dubai Design Week at the weekend, and he told us this: “I went on Friday with some designer friends to walk through for inspiration and have a coffee there afterwards. I liked many of the handcrafted elements, such as the mosaics and the bespoke light installations. I also enjoyed testing the movable, modular, glazed instant meeting box which was on display. A great and very interactive event!”Another successful Dubai Design Week, which, from the bustling vibe throughout d3, may well have exceeded the attendance of 60,000 achieved across last year’s event. “Dubai Design Week is one of the highlights of the Dubai event calendar for the design industry,” Alia tells us. “Each year the standard of contemporary creativity on display here is quite remarkable, and you can’t help but come away feeling energised and inspired.”