Dubai Design Week’s talks programme this year sheds light on the alternative emerging structures and solutions, that designers and creatives can adapt and learn from, to navigate new realities, emerging from globally disruptive events, that affected societies, economies and industries.

The program takes a hybrid format, aiming at engaging its varied audiences of different creative backgrounds in knowledge-exchange and critical discussions throughout the festival.

Speakers with strong backgrounds in speculative and critical design approaches combined with field experience are invited to converse with local creatives and creative industry stakeholders, presenting concrete tools and solutions.

Each talk invites a selection of international and locally-based experts who are demonstrating leadership in their own field to discuss subjects relating to Speculative and Critical Design methodologies, Equal Representation in the design communities, Collective responses to Crises, Design Thinking in policymaking and the urban realm. Additionally, there will be a session dedicated to Dubai Design Week’s highlighting the importance of designer collaborations with the designers of Urban Commissions, Abwab Pavilion and 'Please sit Here' installations by AHEC.

Some of this year's speakers include; Chrissa Amuah (Founder of Africa by Design), Ibrahim Nehme (Founder of Outpost Magazine), Nihal Halimeh (Pragma Architects), Liyan Jabi (Arini Studio), Selim Aykut (Middle East Director at ATÖLYE), Simone Fehlinger, designer and research officer at the Cité du design, Scott Smith (Changeist), and others.

The session will be broadcasted on the Dubai Design Week website on a daily basis, offering a virtual tour of this year’s edition.

As part of Downtown Design’s recently announced new format, this year, their talks programme, The Forum, will be presented digitally. Complimenting Downtown Design’s exhibition of progressive design thinking, The Shape of Things to Come, the programme will feature leading international and regional architects and designers - 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 – as they Spotlight the new value system that has evolved as a response to the pandemic.