Words by Aneesha Rai

Design Days Dubai 2016 kicked off it's fifth edition at The Venue, Downtown Dubai right next to the Burj Khalifa. This design fair which kicks off Art Season in Dubai has some interesting features to look out for. We did the rounds at the preview to tell you why Design Days Dubai is so special, and what you should know and look out for before heading to the fair:

1) Free workshops 

The fair attendance costs AED 50 per person, but visitors can avail of a free-to-attend public programme which comprises a series of 25 talks, workshops and screenings offering insight into the world’s most iconic objects and design processes. Not just this, they also have free one-to-one mentoring sessions during the fair, so design students and enthusiasts can get feedback on their work. You can view the schedule of events here.

Quentine Carnaille of MB&F M.A.D. Gallery will create an art piece live at one of the workshops.

2) Discover local talent

A latest addition for Design Days is 'WASL’ – the largest retrospective of UAE design to date. Supported by Dubai Design District (d3) and Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, 'WASL’ will feature design pieces by emerging and established Emirati and UAE-based designers and makers. All pieces on display have been designed or produced in the UAE over the past 5 or so years; since the launch of Design Days Dubai in 2012. This is an exciting way to discover new local and Emirati design talent.

IBDAA Design presents Emiraty Shelf, out of the WASL exhibit

3) Check out the winner of ‘The Middle East Emergent Designer Prize’

This year's Van & Clef Arpel's winner is Ranim Orouk for the piece entitled 'Glow.' Orouk’s winning design which responded to the theme of Nature for the 2016 instalment of the Prize, was inspired by the effervescence of a school of jellyfish. With a dual function as a ceiling chandelier, or floor lamp, the piece Glow, takes the form and function from the sea creature combining the production methods of traditional glassblowing and advanced digital fabrication of 3D printing. Spheres made of 3D printed glass are fused using curved acrylic rods that mimic the form of jellyfish legs. Once lit, the transmission of light throughout the piece emphasizes the radiance emitted from a bloom of jellyfish. Check out the piece to be truly amazed.

4) Ogle at the latest d3 addition

View the amazing 'Bike d3,' the winner of this year's Urban Commissions competition. As Dubai is trying to get its citizens on the go, it was only natural that the new project would reflect that. The winner, Hinjal Kumar, is an architecture student at the American University of Sharjah and the only student in the 10 shortlisted finalists!  ‘Bike d3’ is a design promoting lifestyle improvement as much as a response to the brief of shelter. The shelter, a spiral twist to a slatted bicycle storage system, provides shade and an intimate space, whilst at the same time offering an alternative mode of commuting and moving around the new design district.

5) Experience the most diverse design fair in the world

Yes, you read that right. Design Days Dubai is the world’s most diverse design fair dedicated to collectable design with over 45 exhibitors from 20 countries. The fair features over 750 works from over 180 designers this year. 

Design Days Dubai 2016 is open to the public from 15th to the 18th of March 2016. For more information, please click here.

Article published on 16 Mar 2016

Article tagged with Downtown Dubai, Dubai, Furniture