One of many talks during Dubai Design Week at the venue moderated by Mishaal Al-Gergawi with Nada Taryam, Salem Al-Qassimi, Ammar Kalo and Talin Hazbar. —Photos by Ben Garcia One of many talks during Dubai Design Week at the venue moderated by Mishaal Al-Gergawi with Nada Taryam, Salem Al-Qassimi, Ammar Kalo and Talin Hazbar. —Photos by Ben Garcia

DUBAI/KUWAIT: Design is central to any creative process, highlighting aesthetic character, structure and the identity of individuals, a community or even a country. Another milestone in the design world was achieved this week with the exhibition of the Dubai Design Week, a week-long event held in Dubai to celebrate creativity and design.

Dubai Design Week successfully achieved its goals/objectives to celebrate design with designers from 25 different countries and 90 well-known brands showcasing their work in pavilions installed throughout downtown Dubai.

Held under the patronage of HH Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice Chairman of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, DDW included seminars, workshops and displays of innovative products and designs paraded in the venues. Dubai Design District (D3) served as the epicenter of activities in which most of the events took place.

"Participants have doubled this time from visitors to the people who exhibited their innovative products companies. The event itself has started very strong. We are very happy about the turnout and as you witness the great effort put together here by many people. It is rewarding to see the many satisfied faces of both participants and visitors. This is another milestone for Dubai Design Week event," said Cyril Zammit, Head of Design at Art Dubai Group.

Visitors to DDW were treated with the mostly exciting and unique designs which they showcased in biggest exhibition facilities (many in D3) which have mixed of contemporary and iconic brand designs. But designs were also distributed in downtown areas Dubai, some of them were installed in the strategic locations such as public places across Dubai.

Each installation carried a sense of belonging and ownership of the place where it was located such as the historic village near the creek within Dubai's municipality. Some of the installations there were creation of local designers such as Ali-Shammaraie, Latifa Saeed and Talin Hazbar. There many other installations displayed near the Palms project and many other places.

Not to mention the amazing display of home and furniture designs at the 'Downtown Design Tent' where never seen design innovations were also showcased. There are works of students too from about ten universities around the world. They are displayed under Global Grad Show. The expo is a world-class exhibition of the most innovative projects of students as they are considered to be the next world's emerging designers. Interestingly, such display includes a heart reading apparatus which read and collects heart rate data and visualizes it at the help of the pen plotter. Another was a device to help Parkinson's patients' increases the independence and reduces burden to families.

Dubai creative design scene has been organically growing according to Noorah Al-Jumah, the representative of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. "We in the government sector oversee all the efforts being done and contributed by private entities. We always collaborate and support each other. I think that is the unique thing about us as compared to other countries in the world. We are still learning and we are young, but we are growing in many ways and this is the very step in the right direction. If you compare Dubai 15 years ago, it's completely different because every year there's something new in the neighborhood but it was carefully planned and place there precisely with proper planning and studying. Hosting this big event is another credentials as fast growing and creative deisgn capital in the world," she added.

In a statement Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, Vice Chairman Dubai Culture & Arts Authority said that the venue provides emerging talents the opportunity to meet and interact with international professional designers. 'This is rare opportunity to witness the leading designs creation and in return, discuss their work, which will serve as an inspiration for them to unlock their creative potential, hone their craft and develop their own design styles," she added.

Kuwait on its part participated in the design week through 'Abwab', concept to celebrate and showcase various designers in MENASA region. Besides Kuwait, this year's participating countries include Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates. Abwab designs showcased the never seen before design Games: The Element of Play Culture. Meanwhile, Kuwait has featured curator Waleed Shaalan, with his Team Designers Osama Hadeed, Liane Al-Ghussain and Abdulaziz Al-Khandari. (Read Waleed Shaalan exclusive interview on Friday Times).

By Ben Garcia