Downtown Design brings the best of contemporary design to Dubai design district

October 31, 2018

The Middle East’s only trade fair dedicated to original, high-quality design returns to its home at the d3 waterfront during Dubai Design Week 2018 from 13-16 November.

For its sixth edition, Downtown Design will present its most diverse and ambitious showcase to date, featuring over 175 exhibiting brands, including 40 regional designers - the largest curation of Middle Eastern talent.

The fair's theme of 'Liveable Cities' reflects in its new blueprint and creative direction, featuring bespoke café concepts, a pop-up retail destination, indoor landscaped gardens, large-scale installations and activations on the waterfront terrace.


Six large-scale installations will bring some of the brightest design talents together at the fair.

These include a bespoke creation by sculptor David Harber and a new reinterpretation of the renowned installation ‘Le Refuge’ by designer Marc Ange that will debut at d3 with the backdrop of Dubai Creek and the city’s skyline.


Based in LA, international designer Marc Ange will unveil a new iteration of his renowned installation exclusively at Downtown Design.

Known for creations that often address the invisible gap between real and unreal, Marc’s first presentation of ‘Le Refuge’, unveiled at the Wallpaper* Handmade exhibition in Milan last year, was a sanctuary from the hustle of Milan Design Week.

Stepping away from millennial pink and embracing the region’s appreciation for noble materiality, a new version of the installation will debut at the waterfront terrace of Downtown Design featuring large gold-plated leaves and sitting on a green marble base, against the backdrop of Dubai Creek and the city’s skyline.

The installation hones in on the award-winning designer’s eye for imaginative use of geometry and reiterates his mastery at taking moments from his memory to transform them into larger-than-life works for the public to engage with. A fantastical shelter, the slats inside the stylised leaves of ‘Le Refuge’ mirror the shadows cast by the spiked branches of palm fronds that cast their shade across the desert sands.

With the pink version recognized as the most Instagrammed image from Milan Design Week 2017, this new version of ‘Le Refuge’ will present a dazzling show of light and shadow playing out in front of Dubai’s iconic skyline.

The designer will also present a collection of large-scale home accessories under his furniture label, LJ Edition


Featuring industry experts, analysts and strategists, the inaugural series of workshops have been developed to empower design professionals with tools, skills and information to help them future-proof their proposals, and enhance their offerings, both commercially and creatively.

Carolina Calzada-Oliveira, co-founder of the UK-based colour strategists Calzada Fox consults for some of the leading design brands around the world; she will present colour trends for 2020.

CEO and Founder of the international luxury design firm Taylor Howes and well-respected mentor to design entrepreneurs, Karen Howes brings her famous ‘Business of Design’ seminar to the fair. Alongside, Marcus Butler, LinkedIn’s Territory Director for the UAE, will guide design businesses on how to better their brand awareness and attract top talent in our competitive landscape.

With her finger on the pulse of hospitality design, Molly Dolan, the Content Manager at Sleeper Magazine will discuss the emerging industry trends, while Oliver Baxter, the Insight Programme Manager from Herman Miller will share the future of workplace design.

On Friday 16 November, the programming will expand to include public visitors, with workshops focused on the application of human centred design and its influence on everyday life.

Marina Ojan, the Master School Director at IED Barcelona and LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® facilitator, will use the element of play in two sessions focused on team building and communication.

Between them, social media strategist Ashley Cadzow and the UAE-based designer Nisrine El Lababidi Moghraby have over 60,000 followers on Instagram. They will guide design professionals and enthusiasts on how to build their social media presence.

Dubai Design Week is the region’s largest creative festival, reflecting Dubai’s position as design capital of the Middle East. The six-day programme is made up of +200 events covering design across a range of disciplines including architecture, product, furniture, interior and graphic design.

Dubai Design Week's first app offers users an interactive and customizable experience of the festival at their fingertips.

Public visitors can download the app to avail complimentary access to Downtown Design. Trade Professionals may register online to access fair benefits including the Trade Programme.


October 31, 2018
34 days ago

47-million-year-old python fossils discovered in Germany

36 days ago

Top spy novelist John le Carré dies at 89

41 days ago

Regional duo Dar Disku reimagine 80s discotheque with new music release