Kuwait Times spoke to Rawan Kashkoush, Head of programming at Dubai Design Week about the upcoming event which will take place on November 12 – 17, 2018. Hundreds of designers from all over the world participate every year to showcase their unique artistic designs, but this year Downtown Design has added a new element to the mix.

Kuwait Times: From which countries are the participants who will be introducing their designs and projects during Dubai Design Week?
Rawan Kashkoush: Global Grad Show is the world’s largest exhibition of graduate students’ design from over 100 universities from all over the world. Downtown Design hosts over 100 brands and designers from the region and beyond including the Portugese, Italian and the Polish Pavilions. Design weeks from the region, including Amman, Beirut and Casablanca, will unite within Downtown Editions, a new element introduced this year within Downtown Design.
Abwab, a showcase of design from the Middle East will host explorations of design in 5 individual pavilions design by UAE-based architects; the pavilions are from Amman, Beirut, Dubai, KSA and Kuwait City. Le French Design is an exhibition from France, Vitra is a Swiss company showing the works of design classics from the US and Europe. d3 Design Stories will naturally showcase a local design force, and UAE Modern will host a sustainability conference including speakers from Italy, Taiwan, Lebanon, and Australia, amongst many more. The diversity of designers is a reflection of the essence of Dubai, a gateway city that belongs to everyone.

KT: Is the registration still open for potential participants?
Kashkoush: Our deadline for submissions was on August 1, 2018; Dubai Design Week invites all those interested to visit the event between November 12 – 17, 2018 in order to experience the full program and plan ways to participate for the 2019 edition. The platform is for all interested designers, with a focus on regional creative innovation.

KT: Are there certain conditions and rules to accept the participation or their projects?
Kashkoush: None at all, all ideas are welcome as long as they are original. Dubai Design Week’s program team will receive all ideas however young or fully formed they are. We do request that participants always be mindful of how they plan to cover the costs of manufacturing their product, installation, or covering flights and accommodation should they want to participate in a talk or workshop.

KT: What is the expected number of visitors for this year?
Kashkoush: Considering our annual growth, the last attendance recorded at 60,000, we expect to see this number grow by 25 percent this year.

KT: What’s the percentage of GCC visitors out of the total number?
Kashkoush: 35 percent with a majority from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait City and some from Bahrain.

KT: Are the activities free of charge?
Kashkoush: Yes, almost all activities are free to attend. Certain workshops may require a small fee to cover the material costs. The entrance ticket for Downtown Design, our commercial furniture and product trade show, is AED 55 at the door, however if you register online for a ticket, it is free of charge.

KT: Will all or some of the artworks and projects be for sale?
Kashkoush: Dubai Design Week is undoubtedly internationally recognized as a window to creative innovation from the region. Downtown Design, the Middle East’s leading design trade fair, including its’ new element Downtown Editions, offers products and furniture that visitors can purchase. The objects vary from furniture created for wider consumption, and a selection of limited edition and specially crafted. The trade show is especially devised to promote design as a purchasable commodity. Ripe Market, which takes place on the weekend, also smaller objects to take home.

KT: In which location will the Dubai Design week be held?
Kashkoush: Dubai Design District (d3) is the hub of activity for major exhibitions of Dubai Design Week such as Global Grad Show, Downtown Design and Downtown Editions, and Abwab, amongst a diverse array of participants who will build temporary exhibits in the outdoor spaces of the district, however Dubai Design Week is a city-wide event, with activities taking place at Alserkal Avenue, and even at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park; the Solar Decathalon.