Finally found time to talk about my favorite(est) place in Dubai. I’ve had quite a few people ask me when I’m going to write about this super cool event I attended a few weeks ago, so first things first, here’s my explanation and apology for the delay:
Thanks to my sudden and unplanned trip to home-by-birth from home-by-choice Dubai, I’ve had to delay writing this blog by a bit more than 2 weeks! Why you ask? Because a place like Dubai Design District and an event like ‘Dubai Design week’ deserves not only an elaborated post but also a lot of hand-picking the best things there to talk about. Trust me, everything there is THAT cool! It took me more time to plan this blog than to write this blog. yep.
Dubai Design District
Anyone who knows me (or has been following me) knows how much I love this place in Dubai called the Dubai Design District(D3).
D3 is that uber-cool design community in Dubai that brings fashion, brands, art, creative entrepreneurs and all sorts of creative thinkers together. Through exhibitions, Events, art markets, brand installations and workshops, D3 makes art and design accessible to the local and global audience.
Dubai Design Week
Of the many events of D3 that I have attended, I’d have to say Dubai Design Week is the most happening event not only at d3 but maybe also anywhere in Dubai.
(The reason I say ‘maybe’ is because not everyone has a taste for art, but for those who do, its SURELY the best).
I have attended the Dubai Design Week in 2016 as well as 2017 and both the years, they had the best of design on display. Happening since last 3 years, this event always has mesmerizing designs on display, thanks to all those huge brands and amazing artists that make it possible for audience to enjoy the visual treats.
While DDW 2017 had a lot of workshops, brand activations, artwork and exhibitions going on over the 6 days of the event, let me share with you my favorite few. (Told you I hand-picked)
The place was filled with design installations displayed on every nook and corner of d3. While they all were so beautiful, here are a few that got me (and majority of the the crowd) to stop and stare. And ofcourse click photographs.
Placed right in the center of D3, this installation by Swarovski, made with 8000 amber-colored stones, had literally everyone stop and admire it. It was so blingy and so beautiful to look at, I wish pictures did justice to it. But here’s me posing away with it anyway!
Quick-info: Prologue is a monumental, freestanding sculpture weighing 1.2 tons and holding over 8,000 amber-coloured Swarovski crystal droplets within its 4m-diameter, patinated steel frame. The luminous ring mimics the golden sun and its endless circle represents new beginnings, life and rebirth.
Magic Spun Chairs
Thomas Heatherwick’s Magis Spun Chair is a stool, a chair, a sculptural object and a spinning top in one. This design combines a seat, back and armrests in a single profile. Initially, I was a bit scared of going back on it but once you take the leap of faith, it gets so much fun and becomes so addictive! No wonder the kids did not want to come off it!
Simply called Dubai, this installation at d3 is more of a D3 landmark. It can also be seen at the location on days that there are no events. As obvious, this one serves the purpose of taking catchy photography with and promoting #MyDubai in the process.
Quick-info about the design: These layers on the alphabets are extruded into the third dimension through stringent parametric design formulae, and then composed by hand to represent the ripples on the surface of a sand dune.
The exhibition that probably the largest number of audience would had been attracted to was undoubtedly ABWAB.
The Abwab exhibition (Abwab means ‘doors’ in Arabic) is a highlight of Dubai Design Week as it is the only initiative of its kind to offer a snapshot of regional design talent from the Middle East, North Africa and South Asia.
It had a lot on display inside. This pebbled chair and the illuminated jellyfish were just 2 of the many. Certain items displayed were also for sale!
IKEA: Let’s Play For Change
Among the many brands that participated was Ikea. This exhibition has to be my favorite of all. Given my brand loyalty to Ikea and the fun vibes inside this exhibition got me to spend the longest time in there!
This exhibition was designed to transport you to another world filled with wonder, delight, mystical illusions, and surprises. Captivatingly designed elements encouraged kids, teenagers and grown-ups to engage in play, and the outdoors have been taken indoors to show creative ways of living sustainably. Have a look at it yourself.
Design Ripe Market
Finally coming down yet another major element of the event that engaged almost everyone that visited d3. The Design Ripe Market.
This pop-up market that was there for the last 2 days of the DDW17 brought together the region’s finest local start-ups, small businesses comprising of designers, trend-setters, taste-makers and culinary artisans.
In all honesty, I stopped at all of those many stalls because they all had something so creative and thoughtful to offer, but let me share with you a few favorites of mine!
LOBO by Siddharthanni Lobo
This stall displayed super colorful, super bright mug coasters, trays and cushion covers. The designs are not just really catchy but also connect to the local culture of UAE depicted through images on them.
We actually got those coasters for our home, but honestly they’re so pretty I wouldn’t want to place a mug on them and hide that design even for a second. It’s decided, I am going to use them for decoration and buy a few more to place around my home. They literally add life to my dining table!
The first thing that caught my attention was their name. So simple yet so catchy, isn’t it? The second thing was of course the artist herself. She had this beeming smile on that was sure to attract customers. And once you get closer, you see what she’s selling. These really crafty earrings/ear-leaves. She also makes other accessories for women that are bound to turn heads with creativity.
Here’s a link to their Facebook page where you can view all those items.
This brand here had everything cool that superhero and comic-con fans could imagine having at home. Pop-art print cushions, vintage posters, bean bags and a lot lot more. We are surely ordering stuff from them once we begin re-decorating our apartment.
Here’s the link to their Facebook Page.
FLEUR VAN RHYN-BEHM photography
First off, I am so mad at myself for not getting this lovely photographer’s picture right. My camera probably clicked after she moved. Talk about being a bad photographer. BUT given this woman is no less than a magician behind a camera. She had pictures that spoke to viewers. Pictures that left you wondering ‘how?’.
Here’s their website. Do have a look at it for major art attack.
That’s it for this super long blog-post. Now you see what took me so long? hah! Iz okay, things I do for the love of art and blogging and my followers.
Now I’m going to go give my eyes some rest, please leave your feedback in the comment and do not forget to share the post if you find it interesting!
Here’s more information on Dubai Design District and their upcoming events! This place is a lot cooler than it may even seem in pictures. Free for all, it is a must-visit during their events. Go grab some food for soul, eyes and mind there sometime y’all!