Last week this awesome city welcomed it’s inaugural Dubai Design Week, held in partnership with Dubai Design District (d3). For a city that always feels alive with possibilities, last week was particularly exciting with design related events, activities and installations seen across the city. Dubai has changed so much in the ten years that I’ve now lived here – it just keeps getting better!
For me, the highlight of Dubai Design Week was without a doubt the Downtown Design trade show – a little slice of heaven for design and interiors fans.
It’s always great to discover new brands at these shows, and I certainly did that, but I also enjoyed seeing some of the favourites I’m already a fan of. I love that first impression brands deliver in an exhibition environment – it can challenge perceptions you’ve already formed and that was the case with two industry suppliers that I know well, who really impressed me at this event.
Here’s a roundup of what caught my eye.
Jotun presented three beautifully styled spaces which showcased their 2016 Colour Trends. You can see why this collection is being so well received. The colours are gorgeous and their paint techniques add a sense of depth and texture.
HACKER & ROLF BENZ
Always eye-catching, Hacker Kitchens and Rolf Benz Furniture demonstrated the level of professionalism that their German heritage is known for, and not surprisingly, this was a very busy section of the show. Rolf Benz is launching a new sofa range this month, which I am really excited to see. Watch this space for more info on that later in the month.
This Danish brand of furniture and homewares had my full attention and is one of my favourite new discoveries. Just take a look at their website and you’ll see why. It’s amazeballs.
I noticed that lighting products played a key role in this exhibition. There were plenty of stunning designs and the Christopher Boots range from Australia was no exception. The Asterix light and other similar styles were on display at the show and I found myself repeatedly drawn to them. They’re really unique as the light they omit is from an LED source embedded into the outside edge of the frame, so you have a pendant with no visible bulb but a warmly lit frame that glows on the outside. Genius.
Another brand that caught my eye was Australia-based Ben-Tovin Design – an industrial design consultancy with an in-house range of lighting and furniture. Love, love, love these lights. So simple and stylish.
Nikari Oy, founded in 1967 and based in Finland, is a manufacturer of sustainable wood design products of exquisite quality. I cannot get enough of these December chairs. I am officially obsessed with them.
The Lumio lamp is a quirky and brilliant invention – it’s a multi-functional light that disguises itself as a hard-cover book, making it easy to take anywhere and ideal for interior styling requirements and events. Take a look at the video on their website.
My takeaway thoughts from this year’s event are (1) that I can’t wait to have a Hacker kitchen, (2) that I have a thing about lighting and (3) Aussie designers are the ones to watch.
Big credit to the organisers of Downtown Design, this event is going to become a prominent fixture on the international design scene. I’m looking forward to what 2016 will bring.