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Christian Louboutin Image Credit:

Marcus Fairs, the most important design journalist in the world, Christian Louboutin, one of the most celebrated creative forces of our time and Tomas Alonso, one of the brightest stars of the current contemporary design scene — these are just some of mega-watt names that will share their insights with the Middle East’s design lovers at Downtown Design from November 12 to 15.

With themes that highlight the intersection of creativity with commerce and the human experience, this year’s talks are a must-attend for design professionals, design entrepreneurs and those in love with design.


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Christian Louboutin

The beloved designer’s creative universe is informed by his passion for the arts, music, culture and travel. From shoes to beauty and decadent boutiques, Louboutin’s distinct design identity is evident in all that he does.

Ahead of the launch of a major exhibition in February 2020 at the Palais de La Porte Doree in Paris, which will reference a selection of the most precious works from his personal collection as well as collaborations with artists who are important to him, the internationally renowned designer will offer a glimpse into his rich artistic universe. To inspire designers looking to establish their own creative language, this talk will touch on how the Master has honed his own creative language.



The founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen is often regarded as one of the most influential names in the design industry.

With an astute understanding of the power of design — both in term of building careers and fuelling the economy, and as an agent of change and community, his opinion is coveted by designers, manufacturers, developers, non-profit organisations and policymakers.

Fairs’ presence at Dubai comes as Downtown Design’s talks focus on creative entrepreneurship and the design industry’s impact on society. He will chair two panel discussions that explore how a sense community and an eye for business are integral to the sustained growth of the design industry.


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Atelier Swarovski Home Studio portraits: Ron Arad Fredrikson Stallard Zaha Hadid Aldo Bakker Raw Edges Tomas Alonso Tord Boontje Kim Thome Image Credit: © Mark Cocksedge

A winner of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award, the Spain-born, London-based designer has carved a niche for himself with his elegant, linear and poetic objects.

Working with global brands including Hay and collectible design galleries such as the Carpenters Workshop Gallery, Alonso has quietly built a reputation as one of the most exciting names on the design scene. At Downtown Design he will speak about how collaboration, visibility and engagement are the fuel for emerging designers.


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Lina Ghotmeh, architecte, dans son agence, dans le 11e arrondissement de Paris Image Credit: Nicolas Krief

Born in Beirut in 1980s, Lina Ghotmeh grew up in this ancient cosmopolitan city marked by the scars of the Lebanese civil war. Although she wanted to become an archaeologist, Ghotmeh carried out her architectural studies at the American University of Beirut, where she looked at the notions of memory, space and landscape through her own methodology entitled ‘Archaeology of the Future’.

Best described as a ‘humanist’ architect, all of the Beirut and Paris-based designer’s projects bring together pertinence and subtlety with an unyielding commitment to the communities they are planted in.


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Greg Natale is a tailored and precise aesthetic. The masterly use of pattern and colour permeates all that he does: from designing celebrity homes around the world to product collaborations with brands such as Designer Rugs, Bisazza and Grange that have seen him bring his unique aesthetic to ranges of rugs, carpets, wallpaper, tiles, furniture and homeware.

From a small studio in Sydney to international recognition and A-list clients, his career is a masterclass on the perfect balance between creativity and business savvy. Speaking for the first time in the Middle East, the Sydney-based multi-faceted designer will share his inspiring path to success that has seen him put on many caps: designer to the A-list and a best-selling author.

For the full programme of talks and workshops visit