Continuing to engage with global audiences and create a dialogue among the international, regional and local design community, this year’s talks programme goes virtual.

Hosting experts demonstrating leadership in their field to discuss subjects shedding light on the alternative emerging structures and solutions that creatives can adopt to navigate new realities that are reshaping societies, economies and communities globally, these online discussions dive into a board range of topics including the emerging cultural infrastructure in the Gulf, the environmental impact of design and the opportunity within circular design, and co-living in a post-covid world.

Complementing Downtown Design’ new digital fair and exploring the new creativity that is emerging as a response to the recent pandemic, ‘The Forum’ presents a programme of daily online industry talks, featuring leaders of the international and regional design scenes including acclaimed designer Aline Asmar d'Amman, design journalist and opinion-maker Max Fraser, French product designer Sacha Walckhoff and leading Indian architect Nuru Karim, amongst others.

The d3 Architecture Festival Talks presents a range of conversations across the full week focusing on topics that play a key role in the industry today, while Re: Urban Studio hosts a series of masterclasses aimed at professionals and academics in the field of design to elevate practical and vocational skills of SMEs, self-employed and aspiring creatives.

The Makers' Programme featured hands-on workshops that cater for all ages and levels of experience, where participants have the opportunity to develop and enhance practical and creative design skills through making and exploring. This year, the workshops are conducted exclusively by independent designers, makers and small businesses from the UAE in varying formats, including physical sessions with small gatherings on-site at d3.