Established designers, high quality products from around the world, installations, exhibitions, and workshops – they’re all part of Dubai Design Week. From November 8 through 13, the United Arab Emirates city came to life for the eighth edition of one of the most important international events dedicated to art, design, fashion, and architecture. At a time when newspapers are dominated by climate change, melting glaciers, floods, and droughts, the focus of 2022’s event was sustainability and achieving it through an interdisciplinary approach. Thanks to close collaboration with the Dubai Design District (d3), everything connected to the event reflected this theme, from works of art and design, to talks and presentations by up-and-coming talent. One example among the many was the installation series Design with Impact.
“Design with Impact includes a number of short design stories on sustainability,” explained Kate Barry, director of Dubai Design Week. “We have engaged with regional and international designers and architects, asking them to showcase exclusive work that has a positive effect on the environment. Impact can be driven through the innovation of new materials, recycling, and/or upcycling. Design with Impact expresses different facets of how we can design a better future.”
The materials used for the installations were intended to stimulate discussion on the future of the planet and sustainability. An example is Once Upon a Forest by OBMI. A pavilion that focused on the natural heritage of the United Arab Emirates, its organic appearance was inspired by the local mangrove forests, bringing them into sharp focus for the 21st century design community. Other installations included Grounded in Hope by Grounded Design, KIN by Fadaa Space, and many others. Like the exhibitions, the installations were hosted within the Dubai Design District, where visitors could also witness at first hand the contribution of the metaverse to expanding the boundaries of architecture and design.
Just as Milano Design Week has a program of events held around Milan under the banner Fuorisalone, so Dubai Design Week has Downtown, the only event in the Middle East where industry professionals can discover high quality designer products from all over the world. Showcasing furniture, lighting, bathrooms, kitchens, textiles, and accessories, the event aims to promote communication, networking, and business opportunities.
Participating companies included RAK Ceramics, which showcased its new collections of surfaces, bathroom designs, and new technologies.
After the successful launch of the ELIE SAAB bathroom and surface collections last year, RAK Ceramics was in Dubai with numerous products, including a new range of exclusive surfaces dubbed Glamor, Liquid Metal, Royal, Soft Lux, Travertinum, Boiserie, and Reflex. Also featured were mirrors and washbasins with elegant curves designed for creating an oasis of comfort in the home. The mirrors in particular push the envelope with their selection of different depths, light, and glare reduction.
The bathroom furniture collections on display included RAK-Cloud, with its many faces of total-black, designed by Giuseppe Maurizio Scutellà; RAK-Des, a tribute to the minimalist style of the Bauhaus school; and RAK-Valet, a bathroom collection that combines exclusive visions, designs, shapes, and pacy rhythms to create unexpected solutions.