Downtown Editions, a dedicated section for limited-edition and bespoke design within Downtown Design – the Middle East's largest trade fair – returns after its acclaimed inaugural showcase in 2018.
Highlighting established and emerging designers to a design-savvy audience—including design professionals and enthusiasts from the region and beyond, Downtown Editions offers visitors a broad spectrum of design.
The first event featured brand debuts, collection launches and capsule presentations, catapulting designers, collectives and individual studios onto the next phase of growth and visibility, spurring regional architects and interior designers to further tap into their creative universe and explore product design outside the constraints of their project requirement.
This year, Downtown Editions will see many new names including Jennie Binchy, the founder of the award-winning Dubai-based practice, Binchy and Binchy who will make her debut as a product designer with a sustainably inclined collection. She will be joined by emerging Kuwaiti designer Meshary Alnassar who will make his introductory design fair appearance. Adding international flavour to this year’s showcase are LA, Paris based collectable design gallery Manfredi Style amongst other brands.
Empowering designers and promoting them to a diverse audience, the last segment introduced Iraqi designer Layth Mahdi who presented his first collection at Downtown Editions. Featuring robot-chiselled marble vases and furniture; the collection was acquired by leading lifestyle boutiques in the UAE and earned Mahdi the Best Emerging Designer trophy at the Harper's Bazaar Interiors Awards 2018.
Sakina Kara-Sabur and Alicia Spoljar, winners of Design 100, a competition organized by Dubai Design District (d3) as part of their ‘Design for Good’ initiative unveiled their winning design, the ‘Reading Bench’. Held together by seven interlocking points, the bench was a symbol of the unity of the seven Emirates of the UAE.
Saudi-based design studio Rejo introduced their new collection celebrating the beauty and strength in diversity with three pieces inspired by Yemen, India and Ndebele in South Africa, while Lebanese studios Saccal Design House and Kray Studio explored the country’s social-political narrative through their products. Known for exclusive tapestries woven to musical notes, UK-based BeatWoven made its regional debut at the fair, alongside Puiforcat, the French masters of fine, contemporary silverwork.
Abdalla Almulla, another breakout designer, presented the Shak’l bench last year – a commission by Dubai Culture and Arts Authority – and will return to Downtown Editions 2019 as part of Tashkeel’s Tanween Design Programme which will also feature works by interior designers Alia Mazrooei, Lana El Samman and graphic designer Yara Habib.
To know more about how Downtown Editions could help you unlock creative and commercial opportunity in the Middle East, please click here.
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