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Design Diary: Meet d3 is back

UAE’s purpose-built hub for all things design will present over 50 activations, installations and performances from art, design, fashion, music and food, from December 8 to 10

  • Shrumen Lumen, a installation of gigantic interactive mushrooms will light the venue.Image Credit: Supplied photo
  • Everything is a musical instrument in Ototo Playable Room.Image Credit: Supplied photo

From December 8 to 10, Dubai Design District, the UAE’s purpose-built hub for all things design will present an innovative celebration of the creative spirit, bringing together over 50 activations, installations and performances from across the worlds of art, design, fashion, music and food.

“Within a brief timespan, d3 has become a thriving community which fosters the creative aspirations of design talents from the region and abroad,” says Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, chief operating officer of d3. “Meet d3 enables us to share our journey with the wider community, along with d3’s residents and participants, to create memorable experiences for families and audiences of all ages.”

Shrumen Lumen, a garden of gigantic origami-inspired kinetic and interactive mushrooms that change colours and shape in response to your movement will be planted at the venue. Designed by FoldHaus, a group of designers and engineers, the installation sets the tone of experimentation, education, innovation, creativity and fun. For me, Ototo’s Playable Room – a creative space where every object can be played like a musical instrument and visitors can make music by simply touching and moving things around – is infinitely more enthralling than the event’s line up of concerts.

Khaleej 2016

Emirati curator and artist Rami Farook will team up with Kuwaiti artist and designer Nanu Al-Hamad to bring together a group of emerging creatives from throughout the GCC for an exhibition that reflects the future of creativity in the region. The title Khaleej 2016 seeks to insure that this creativity is not only upcoming, but very much already present. In showcasing the contemporary, the curators focus on highlighting work that positively affects us physically, experientially and emotionally.

Gif paradise

Responding to an open call by Meet d3, hometown heroes, Satwa 3000 will bring gif paradise to the event. Building on their unique take on pop subcultures, they present a four-room experiential space where visitors can star in their own animated gif and receive a copy to share online with friends.

Light sowers

A digital artist based in Montreal, Mathieu Le Sourd (Maotik) focuses his work on the creation of immersive multimedia environments and generative visuals. His works have recently been presented at various festivals around the world, such as Live Cinema in Rio, the Plums Festival in Moscow, Visiones in Lima, Mutek Festival (Montreal, Mexico city, Barcelona and Bogota) and the British Film Institute in London. Always in search of new challenges, Le Sourd designs his own visual tools by generating animations from algorithms and creating 3D worlds to transform perceptions of space. Collaborating with musicians, sound artists and scientists, his works are regarded as a bridge between art, science and technology. With Light Sowers, the artist brings poetry in design to Meet d3. Visitors will be able to create their own audiovisual show inspired by the frail beauty of fireflies.


Founded in 2003 by Mathias Gmachl and Rachel Wingfield, is a London based spatial laboratory experimenting in design, architecture and the sciences. The studio will unveils the Osmo, which was first inflated in 2014 below the A13 flyover in London. Billed as a beginners guide to the construction of the cosmos, Osmo is essentially a bubble made of reflective silver mylar – a NASA space material. Visitors are welcome to step into the silver sphere and behold projections of a starry night sky. For many inhabitants living in dense urban areas, the chance to gaze upon the night sky is near impossible with tall buildings and light pollution obscuring the view. Osmo can change that if only for a moment. Using constellation maps, the projection screens nearly 3,000 stars and planets within the bubble to recreate the cosmos.

Design for kids

This year, Meet d3 is set to be a playground of design-led experiences for children. The Japanese studio TeamLab brings the award-winning Sketch Aquarium, a digital aquarium where sea creatures that are drawn and coloured by children magically come to life and swim freely in a virtual sea.

Eric Lennartson presents TapeScape, a fun and surreal exhibit that uses packing tape in the most unexpected and thought-provoking manner to create a playground for children to nurture their sense of curiosity and exploration. Audi hosts a rack-track for kids under eight and for the photography inclined, a competition organised with HIPA (Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Awards) offers kids a chance to submit photos using a specific hashtag with a chance to win.

Don’t miss it

Meet d3 is open to the public at Dubai Design District. For more, visit

- Pratyush Sarup is design manager at one of the UAE’s premium interiors firms