For the 2018 edition, Dubai Design Week partnered with social networking giant Facebook through a real-world activation set within the heart of Dubai Design District (d3). Customized workshops and knowledge sharing activities had been specially devised to celebrate the Arab creative community.

When technology meets art and design, the possibilities are endless. As part of Facebook’s six-day activation at Dubai Design Week, an initiative of bringing people together and celebrating art and design of the region, ‘Blank Canvas’ was a wall of constantly changing and user-generated art was on show for the duration of the festival. A space where visitors and participants of workshops could paint on canvas-covered cubes as a form of artistic expression, Blank Canvas aimed to bring together elements of culture, design, history, and individuality.

The idea was to allow the community to express their relationship with Facebook, which has becoming so much part of daily life across the world. In the name of networking and creativity, Blank Canvas were also encouraging people to let loose in special two-hour workshops where participants would paint on the same large piece of canvas to live music and periodically moved seats so as to build upon one another's artwork.

UAE-based social enterprise 81 Designs conducted free interactive workshops in the art of traditional Palestinian embroidery, also known as Tatreez. Taking place every afternoon of Dubai Design Week, the activity is a kind of cross stitching but with deep historical significance, where every pattern and shape can signify something different. The materials provided to the participants at the workshops had been collated and prepared by Palestinian refugee women, making the event not only fascinating but socially conscious too.

MNDBAR, an independent collective space that uses emerging technologies and design thinking tools to shift mindsets, offered workshop attendees the opportunity to learn basic principles of innovative problem solving through sessions focussing on “mind fitness”; a practice based in neuroscience that works on sharpening the brain’s emotional response mechanism resulting in being able to shift perspective, identify opportunities for improvement and transform problem-solving capacity. Visitors of Tasmeem Facebook also had access to 'The Lab'; a technological laboratory designed to help guests learn more about how to effectively use various tools of Facebook.