This year Downtown Design will present its largest number of country-specific initiatives looking to showcase the diversity of their design scene to the Middle East.
A gateway to the regional design industry, Downtown Design connects international and regional brands, studios, and collectives with the Middle East’s design professionals and design-savvy audience.
Over the past four years, international design territories have presented group showcases at the fair, bringing both established and yet-to-be-discovered brands that underscore the values of their native design industries.
In 2016, after having held independent exhibitions to promote Italian brands in the Middle East since 2010, the Italian Trade Commission (ICE) moved their annual exhibition to Downtown Design. Complimenting their exhibition with talks and workshops, ICE continues to raise the profile of their artisanal finishes and furnishings studios in a dedicated concept space at the fair.
‘Downtown Design is the right place to showcase the best of ‘Made in Italy’, to the MENASA region,’ says Gianpaolo Bruno Italian Trade Commissioner to the UAE, Oman and Pakistan. ‘The fair helps our industries to build bridges with designers, architects, developers and local distributors.’
Over the years, the number of country-specific pavilions at Downtown Design has grown with Poland and Malaysia returning year-on-year. This year, they will be joined by collective showcases from Portugal, Spain and France – all bringing their unique flair to the region.
Demonstrating advancement in indigenous crafts, the Sarawak Timber Industry Development Corporation from Malaysia will explore the responsible application of wood in contemporary design. Working with a new generation of Malaysian designers, they will present furniture pieces that combine traditional styles with new means of material manipulation.
Artisanship and technical innovation will be the cornerstones of the French and Portuguese pavilions. For their debut at Downtown Design ‘Interiors from Spain’ will celebrate the Spanish people’s love for life with a selection of established and emerging Spanish brands that demonstrate the vibrancy of the country’s design industry.
‘Spanish design companies have been exhibiting at Downtown Design individually since the beginning of the show,’ says Erik Rovina, Economic & Commercial Counsellor of the Embassy of Spain in UAE. ‘With a new group showcase, ICEX Spain Trade & Investment wants to take the opportunity to convey our love and commitment to beauty, passion, design, durability and community.’
Downtown Design takes place 12-15 November at the d3 Waterfront, to learn more please click here.
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