Design comes to Dubai

I recently worked on an amazing design fair called Downtown Design. At first, I wasn’t going to blog about it because it was work and a client etc…..but the fair is over now so it can’t be seen as biased!

Organised by the same team behind Design Days and the popular (and uber-successul) Art Dubai, Downtown Design took place for the first time ever at the end of October in Downtown Dubai.

Downtown Design

Working on the project months before the fair itself was great as you get to watch and contribute to the process over the weeks and really see it all come together. Something which you truly appreciate on opening day!

With Dubai often accused of lacking in culture and creativity, exhibitions like Downtown Design really prove those critics wrong – if only they would venture out of their hotels to actually explore!

Downtown Design

4 days, 40 exhibitors, 3 special installations, 2 chairs crafted live for all to watch and 1,000s of visitors – a huge success for the first ever fair I think.

With a focus on quality and craftsmanship, the fair was selective in terms of exhibitors  and drew in designers who shared this ethos.

Obviously promoting the fair, I had to remain unbiased and tell the press and media about all of the features and exhibits but now that’s it’s all over I can safely reveal my personal highlights from the four days:

Cratfsmanship at The Workshop: This was the first thing that really took my fancy when I saw the programme. Featuring three Danish designers and focusing on the quality of products and skill in craftsmanship, there were two chairs that were worked on over the course of the fair. The iconic egg chair and the wishbone chair (my favourite). It was an honour to see these pieces worked on and the stand definitely drew an impressive crowd of visitors each day. Exhibits like this really made you think about the items of furniture that you use each day and the skill that goes into make things functional, comfortable, visually-appealing and that will last.

Craftsmanship at The Workshop

Hossein Rezvani: Possibly some of the most beautiful carpets I have ever seen, I went back to the stand each day to look at one in particular that hung on the wall like a work of art. In gorgeous tones of teal, turquoise and light grey, the carpet is woven with a distinctive pattern and style – almost to look like it’s worn or used.

Hossein Rezvani

Lisa Corti: If you like a pop of bright colour then you’ll love Lisa Corti’s textiles. The cushions and throws really drew your eye as you walked through the fair and they were so distinctive, just one piece would make a big difference to any room.

Lisa Corti

By now there are plenty of fair reviews online so if you fancy finding out more just Google Downtown Design and they all come up – or visit for the official news and updates on next year’s fair – yes, it’s coming back to Dubai in October 2014!


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