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Downtown Design: Meet the design leaders coming to Dubai

Ahead of the annual Dubai Design Week, here are some top names you should look forward to

Tabloid

Save the date for Downtown Design as the region’s leading design fair brings some of the most influential names in the industry to the UAE.

Exploring the culture of collaboration, innovation in design and cities of the future, Downtown Design is set to inspire both professionals and enthusiasts with a stellar schedule of talks.

With more than 175 contemporary brands showcasing alongside 40 regional brands, the largest ever curation of Middle Eastern talent, the fair’s mission to give a platform to diverse voices and perspectives reflects in their considered choice of speakers and topics.

Ini Archibong

One of the most prolific designers of his generation, this Switzerland-based, American-Nigerian designer’s deft understanding of world cultures, as well as lifelong passions for philosophy and a deep interest in craftsmanship reflect in the integrity with which he approaches his chosen materials. From furniture and lighting to design objects and installations, his works express a creative code-share: between cultures, making — artisanal and high-tech, and a cross-pollination of creative DNA as he partners with some of the leading design brands on one-of-a-kind collections.

Marc Ange

From designing luxury cars and iconic works for brands like Jean Paul Gaultier, Prada, Louis Vuitton and more, to his own furniture brand, LJ Edition, the LA-based designer Marc Ange is the undisputed master of reinvention. Emotion and memory feature heavily as muses as he revitalises spaces via his micro and macro interventions. In addition to debuting a new iteration of Le Refuge, the last year’s most Instagrammed project from the Milanese design season, Ange will talk about the endless possibilities that arise when the lines between art and design, fantasy and function are blurred.

Matthew McCormick

The Vancouver-based lighting designer’s work recently landed on Rossana Orlandi’s list of 20 all-time favourite designs. Receiving such high accolade from someone who is often considered the first lady of contemporary design came by way of McCormick following his instincts. The former graphic designer shut his computer and took charge of a blow-torch, applying his training to create in the 3D. Delivering nuanced collections that honour a purity of form and purpose, while expressing individuality, his work is coveted the world over for his interpretations of personal stories and memories into avant-garde design objects.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard

He has designed homes for Cher, Alessandra Ambrosio, Tommy Hilfiger and a whole bunch of Kardashian-Jenners, among others. Simply put, he is Hollywood’s go-to for uber luxurious, super-chic interiors. The man behind the global brand that encompasses book deals, TV shows and interior collections is known for the eclectic mix of interior elements that make his projects stand out. Speaking at Downtown Design, he will make a case for diversity and inclusion in the design industry.

The panels

The region’s leading design firms and developers will tackle topics critical to the architecture and interior design industries.

Known for their astute commitment to sustainable design, Tariq Khayyat (Zaha Hadid Architects), Matthew Utley (Grimshaw Architects), David Lessard (H+A) and Baharash Bagherian (SEE Nexus) are at the helm of pioneering projects that will change the way we live and interact with our environment. They will share their experiences in the quest for building more resilient communities.

From design stars and decision makers, to leaders of global design firms, women in design are telling new stories and bringing diverse perspectives. Chetana Andary (UAP), Nadia H. Bakhurji (NB Architects), Sumaya Dabbagh (Dabbagh Architects) and Pallavi Dean (Roar) will discuss a more equitable world and what it means to be a woman in design circa 2018.

Mohit Gurjal, the acclaimed Indian architect and CEO of India’s leading premium real estate developer DLF, joins Dara Towhidi (Foster + Partners), Janus Rostock (AECOM) and Ewa Juszczyk (Benoy) to explore how design practices can better respond to the unique demands of emerging design; creatively, culturally and commercially.

The details

Downtown Design takes place from November 13-16 during Dubai Design Week 2018. Design professionals can avail fast-track access by registering online. Public visitors can avail complimentary access by downloading the Dubai Design Week app.

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