The second edition of Design Days Dubai took place this month from the 18th March to the 21st March 2013. The fair, which is the first of its kind in the Middle East and South Asia dedicated to collectible and limited edition furniture and design objects, delivered a strong lineup of events with an exciting display of high quality design objects.
The event, which was held under the Patronage of H.H. Sheikh Hamdan Bin Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai, and sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels, Emaar, Audi and the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, took place at a custom built location called ‘The Venue, Downtown Dubai,’ at the base of Burj Khalifa.
This year's edition showcased a diverse collection of modern and contemporary works by more than 135 international designers, some showing their work exclusively at Design Days Dubai. Among the participants are 29 local and international galleries who presented functional and artistic design pieces from countries like Spain, South Korea, Italy, Mexico, India, South Africa, and of course the UAE.
Among the outstanding works of art created especially for the design fair fair, were works by Humans Since 1982, Andrea Mancuso and Emilia Serra, and Jihoon Ha.
In addition to the exhibited works, designers Khalid Shafar, Jens Praet, and UK’s Studio Swine created live installations in which they created works under the given the theme of ‘Sustainable Design.’ The designers used recycled material, industrial waste, and other materials to create a sustainable design.
"The caliber of works on offer at Design Days Dubai, supported by our extensive programme of events and the access we deliver to the leading lights of the regional and international design landscape, qualify our 2013 event as a must attend event for anyone who loves design," said Cyril Zammit, director of Design Days Dubai.
Since its inception last year, Design Days Dubai made it a mission to become a leading international design fair that provides an art platform that appeals to regional and international design enthusiasts. By integrating an educational programme, it aims to instill a better understanding for design by involving a series of events including more than 20 discussion panels, lectures, installations and workshops, such as Dubai Culture’s Design Road Professional programme.
During the fair, which coincides with Dubai's Art Week, there were awards honoring emerging talent in the region including the V&A Jameel Prize 2013 and the Van Cleef & Arpels and Tashkeel art competition.
The winning design of the Van Cleef & Arpels and Tashkeel competition was revealed on March 17th and was displayed throughout Design Days Dubai at the Van Cleef & Arpels pavilion alongside the jeweler's limited edition creations.
This year, Design Days Dubai brought forth design professionals who were there purely for the purpose of catering to design buffs, buyers and collectors, giving them private complimentary tours of the fair.
"Design Days Dubai has played an integral role in strengthening the position of Dubai’s design scene internationally," said Khalil Abdulwahid, Manager of Visual Arts, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority, adding, "The fair serves as an unmatched meeting ground for established designers and industry professionals and as a springboard for Emirati and UAE based designers, who at the start of their career to further their skills in design and gain wider acclaim.”
A melting pot of cultures, ideologies, and values, Dubai has also become a vibrant blend of artistic talent, showcasing the best emerging talent from the region, as well as international talent, and cementing itself as the art capital of the Gulf.
– Sam Khoury
Photography by Aysha Al Houli