Design Days Dubai 2017, the world’s most diverse design fair dedicated to collectable design returns for its sixth edition in a new location at Dubai Design District.
Design Days Dubai 2017 is the Middle East and South Asia’s only annual fair dedicated to collectible modern and contemporary design works.
Settled as a fair of experimentation and with a main focus on contemporary design, the fair format provides an international platform for the region’s emerging design studios and solo designers to debut their furniture, lightings and design objects, featuring them alongside a diverse mix of the world’s design galleries. Design Days Dubai is well-known for its eclectic global selection of design and range of price points (from below US $500 through to upwards of $75,000). It claims to the aspiring next generation of collector and seasoned collector alike and is proud to retain a loyal following amongst visitors, exhibitors and the international design community.
“Reflecting Dubai’s unique position as a global meeting point, Design Days Dubai showcases design from around the world and we keep design diversity as one of our main features this year. There is exciting, and often experimental, work being produced by designers who aren’t necessarily represented by galleries and the fair offers an opportunity for solo designers and independent studios to exhibit at an international level. For design enthusiasts, Design Days Dubai is an annual fixture to meet designers from all over the world and acquire collectible design not seen anywhere else,” said Rawan Kashkoush, Head of Programming.
As a notable indication of the growth and maturation of the design panorama in the UAE and beyond, additional strong regional representation can be seen through the high number of returning exhibitors, including: Aljoud Lootah, Cities, Fatima Bint Mohamed Initiative, MB&F M.A.D. Gallery and Nakkash Gallery (all from UAE); Nisreen and Nermaan Abu Dail of Naqsh Collective (Jordan). Iwan Maktabi and Vick Vanlian (both Lebanon), Coalesce (Pakistan); and Aisha Al-Sowaidi (Qatar).
The sense of increasing design appreciation is felt amongst returning international exhibitors too: “Over the last 5 years we have introduced more than 40 British designers to the Middle East, and the results have been very encouraging. Many British designers continue to work with clients in the region, and others have received new commissions of work…The Crafts Council has worked hard to show how bespoke, hand made contemporary craft has a valid place within the interior design and architecture sector. We are seeing a developing appreciation for the value of the hand made object,” said Barbara Gunter-Jones, Exhibition Manager of The Craft Council.
Design Days Dubai 2017 sees the return of Coletivo Amor de Madre (Brazil) with award-winning multidisciplinary Atelier Marko Brajovic; The Crafts Council (UK), bringing eleven UK-based contemporary makers; and Dutch Creative Industry, the benchmark for design from the Netherlands; whilst welcoming newcomers Todd Merrill Studio (NYC), a leading voice in contemporary collectible design; Paris- and Los Angeles-based concept store|gallery L’Eclaireur; and, Territoire(s) (Paris) at the cross section of art and design.
The fair remains a catalyst to the development of the design community in the UAE and the wider region and is a well-known launch pad for nascent designers. In previous years, UAE-based designers have been spotted at Design Days Dubai by international museums. In 2015, Aljoud Lootah had two items from her debut collection acquired for the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Victoria (Melbourne); and, in 2016, two of Amar Kalo’s pieces were acquired by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in New York. Other designers that achieved international press and industry acclaim through Design Days Dubai include david/nicholas from Lebanon, Studio Swine from the UK, and Art Factum (now Joy Mardini Gallery) from Lebanon, which after launching the fair has gone on to exhibit worldwide.
Design Days Dubai also manages and supports initiatives that focus on a brand new generation of UAE-based designers. These include partnerships with Van Cleef& Arpels (the fifth edition of Van Cleef & Arpel’s Middle East Emergent Designer Prize), Audi (Audi Innovation Award), art and design organisaton Tashkeel (the fourth season of Tashkeel’s successful design programme, Tanween), and Dubai Culture and d3 (the third Urban Commissions competition).
Turbine Chandelier designed by Nader Gammas
Bethan Gray, Shamsian Nizwa Cabinet, designed by Bethan Gray & Mohamad Reza Shamsian
Wave City Coffee Table designed by Stelios Mousarris
Body Chair BYYU 30.1 fabric designed by Kas Oosterhuis
Species Chaise designed by Fredrikson Stallard
Design Days Dubai is owned and managed by Art Dubai Group and is held under Art Week, an umbrella initiative bringing together the UAE’s arts and culture-centered happenings in the month of March with the aim of promoting the cultural activities of the region to both residents and visitors.
Design Days Dubai is presented under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and is held in partnership with the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, the Emirate’s dedicate Authority for culture, arts and heritage; with the Ladies Preview under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa Bint Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.
A pillar event of Art Week, Design Days Dubai this year moves to a new location, Dubai Design District (d3), the home for the region’s design and creative industries. As part of the new move, the fair has commissioned the Dubai-based architecture practice a hypothetical office to add a series of new features to the venue including a new face and floor plan. Design Days Dubai has the continued support of returning sponsors since its 2012 launch edition, including the strategic partnership of Dubai Culture & Arts Authority; Van Cleef & Arpels; and Audi.