Downtown Design returns to showcase the best established and emerging talent from the Middle East

All photography courtesy of Downtown Design

Downtown Design returns for its sixth edition next month, in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3) and as part of Dubai Design Week.

Running from 13-16 November, it will also see the introduction of Downtown Editions, a new section showcasing limited-edition and bespoke design by individual studios, brands and designers from the Middle East and beyond.

Key brands to return include Bernhardt, Bomma, cc-tapis, Herman Miller, Marset, Matteo Brioni, Meridiani, Moroso, and THG Paris while Arper, Artemide, Baxter, Cappelini, Cassina, Diesel Living, Frato, Gandia Blasco, Leyla Uluhanli, Manfredi Style, Normann Copenhagen, Puiforcat, and Villeroy + Boch will exhibit for the first time.

Inspired by the ever-shifting desert dunes, The Foundry by UAE design studio Tinkah will present their ‘Ramel’ collection, using a material consisting of sand and ceramics. Sharjah-based 1971 Design Space, meanwhile, will present a contemporary Arabian pop-up majlis designed by Alia Mazrooei, who took her inspiration by the shapes found in the UAE deserts.

Albal Design Studio will unveil a floating light installation titled ‘Flow’, inspired by the importance of water and the reflection of the sun, in collaboration with Lasvit.

Dubai-based design incubator Tashkeel will showcase the new range of the designer programme Tanween, providing emerging UAE-based designers with the opportunity to develop, produce and retail a range of limited-edition pieces made with materials sourced and manufactured in the UAE.

For the first time, designer Giovanni Barbieri and tile manufacturer Arto will present their handmade 3D mosaic tiles, forming infinitely versatile patterns from square to irregular shapes.

Winner of the Red Dot ‘Best of the Best 2018’ award, the interactive lighting installation ‘Breath of Light’ by Preciosa will also make its regional debut at the fair.

New fair features include a multi-functional indoor recreational garden space designed by the UAE-based landscape design studio desert INK, alongside creative pop-up cafes and retail concepts. And there'll be an outdoor waterfront terrace, where visitors can experience a bespoke creation by sculptor David Harber and a reinterpretation of the renowned installation ‘Le Refuge’ by designer Marc Ange, with the backdrop of Dubai Creek and the city’s skyline.

The programme at ‘The Forum’ will present a dynamic series of industry talks and panel discussions, allowing visitors to gain valuable insight into the region's rapidly evolving design industry, innovation in design and market changes.

Highlights include multifaceted international designer Marc Ange, award-winning designer Ini Archibong and renowned product designer Matthew McCormick, speaking in the Middle East for the first time, whilst celebrity interior designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard will reflect on why diversity and inclusion are key to the sustained growth of the design economy.

Exploring how design practices can better respond to the unique demands of emerging architecture and design markets are Dara Towhidi, Partner of Foster + Partners, Tariq Khayyat, Head of Middle East at Zaha Hadid Architects and Matthew Utley, Associate Principal at Grimshaw Architects, alongside a series of workshops featuring industry experts and trend analysts.

For more details and the full exhibitor list, please visit

Baxter at Downtown Design

Baxter at Downtown Design

Alpi, Xilo 2.0 by Piero Lissoni

Alpi, Xilo 2.0 by Piero Lissoni

Arch coffee table, designed by Front

Arch coffee table, designed by Front