10 lesser known things to do during Dubai Design Week

Dubai Design Week is just around the corner, from 24-29 October focusing on international, regional and local design.

Initiatives and events such as Abwab, the Iconic City exhibition which this year focuses on Cairo, the Global Grad Show, as well as Downtown Design and Design Ras Al Khor (DRAK) seems to be on everyone’s to-do list, but there are other, slightly more off-the-radar things to during Dubai Design Week so see our guide below to fill up your week with interesting installations, talks and exhibitions.

1.#EMO_DCI, designed by Maja Kozel, Teun Verbeek and Juliette Wermenbol

The #EMO_DCI installation focuses on the experience of combining sound, scent and imagery. These three sensory experiences will take place inside a spatial design and create an awareness of how we experience a space. The installation includes three stages: Nostalgia, Change and Future, which will evoke different emotions. The installation is supported by the Dutch Creative Industry (DCI).

Where? Building 6, Retail Unit 1, d3.

2. IKEA: 25 years of life at home in the UAE 

Swedish brand Ikea will celebrate its 25th year anniversary in the UAE, and as part of the celebration it will showcase an exhibition focusing on life at home that will be split into three sections combining customer stories, co-worker stories and 25 years of the Ikea catalog.

Where? Building 7, Atrium, d3.

3. Restoring the world’s oldest library: Key note by Aziza Chaouni

Architect and engineer Aziza Chaouni will deliver a keynote speech on restoring the world’s oldest library in Fez, Morocco. The Qaraweyeen Library was built in the year 859 by Fatima al-Fihri, the daughter of the wealthy Tunisian merchant from Kairoun.

Where? Building 4, The Atrium, d3

When? October 24, 7-8pm

4. 20 Icons of French Design 

From Philippe Starck to Jean Prouvé, from Pierre Paulin to the Bouroullec brothers, 20 icons of French design presents the most influential French creations. The exhibition will display famous productions of French designers, since the late 1920s until the 21st century.


Where? Building 7, Retail Unit 1, d3.

5. Machinic Life: A Pop-Up Exhibition from Museum of the Future

Machinic Life is a popup exhibition exploring artificial intelligence, human augmentation and caring robotics in the home. It builds on over a year of custom research into cutting edge technologies shaping our future, and shows how they might be integrated into our everyday lives. The exhibit was debuted at the Government Summit in Dubai in 2016 and partially remounted in Jumeirah Emirates Towers Boulevard as a preview of permanent exhibitions to come.

Where? The Boulevard at Jumeirah Emirates Towers, DIFC 

6. Takki w Hakki, designed by Think Tank Co. 

The interactive installation by Think Tank Co. brings people together in a unified playful experience of music and movement across time. The seats feature Sadu print cushions and are shaped like camel saddles, evoking ancient Bedouin transportation methods across the Arabian Peninsula. They are repurposed as swing seats in a circular formation and matched with headsets all playing the same upbeat track.

Takki W Hakki layers various routes, temporalities and elements of nostalgia to create a powerful sensory experience.

Where? Rove Hotel, Downtown Dubai

7. Ideas for the Open City: An exploration of connectivity within a city 

Image courtesy of ScottWhitbyStudio

A panel discussion explores the theme of Connectivity Mobility and Accessibility as adopted for Expo 2020 and Dubai’s ambition to be one of world’s most disabled-friendly cities by 2020.

On display during the entire week will be an exhibition of the Unlimited Doha Prize: The Open City an initiative by RIBA, in collaboration with The British Council and Department for International Trade. Focused on mobility, and in particular improving the experience of movement within Doha the residency brings together 20 designers based in either the UK or the Gulf. Participants developed and exchanged ideas in order to pioneer new approaches and innovative design solutions that can contribute to the future development of Qatar and beyond.

Where? Building 3, Retail Unit 4, d3.

When? Panel discussion: 24 October, 7-8. Exhibition: 24-29

8. Junglemania

Super Future Design will hold its official launch of its new office during Dubai Design Week. To mark this occasion, SFD* have chosen to collaborate with Moroso and create an ephemeral botanical installation with the Moroso’s M’Afrique Collection. This unique and colourful collection is designed by renowned names such as Tord Boontje, Patricia Urquiola, Sebastian Herkner and many more. Stunning pieces with an African inspiration that brightens indoor spaces and complement an outdoor setting.

Where? Building 8, Office 210, d3.

9. Design Meets Art: How to give function to art

For the launch of the Dali and Gaudi furniture and lighting collection, The Odd Piece are hosting a talk with Jordi Arnau, general manager of BD Barcelona, who will explain about how they transformed art pieces by famous artists such as Antoni Gaudi and Salvador Dali into beautiful functional pieces for the home.

Where? The Odd Piece, Unit 65, Al Serkaal Avenue, Street 8, Al Quoz

When? 26 October 11 am

10. Tom Dixon Pop-Up Store

For the first time in the Middle East, Tom Dixon is presenting an exclusive retail pop up store.

The store is a place to experience and purchase the Tom Dixon’s collection of accessories and lighting as well as a selection of furniture pieces. Through the pop up concept, superstudio is bringing Tom Dixon’s products to a waider and more local audience and is a precursor to Tom Dixon’s first monobrand store and café to open soon in Dubai.