Show preview: Design Days Dubai 2017

Show preview: Design Days Dubai 2017

Collectible design, Design Days Dubai, Furniture, Installations, Lighting

Returning for its sixth edition, Design Days Dubai, the Middle East’s fair dedicated to purchasable collectible design works, will take place from March 14-17, 2017 at a new location – Dubai Design District (d3).

Positioned as a fair of discovery, this edition will feature a curated selection of the world’s leading and emerging design galleries and studios, along with an insightful and inspiring public programme of special projects, talks, workshops and guided tours.

“That change in location brings with it a fresh approach, and we’ve worked with a UAE-based hypothetical office to rework the layout of the fair, so visitors will certainly notice the difference not just in navigation but ambience also,” Rawan Kashkoush, head of programming, tells designMENA. “Regarding exhibitor line-up, we’ve maintained diversity and achieved a balance of international design with design from the region, celebrating not just the greatest number of total exhibitors at the fair to date but also the strongest representation from the UAE.”Here is our selection

Here is our selection of what not to miss during the exhibition.

Local newcomers

The 2017 edition will welcome an increasing number of regional talents making it a unique point of convergence for design enthusiasts interested to discover new talent from the Middle East.

Tower Tall by Nader Gammas (L) and Coriolis by Micheal Rice (R).

Local newcomers include Nader Gammas who will present his lighting made from local Emirati marble and Lebanese brass. Dubai-based Irish designer Michael  Rice, who is also an  Associate  Professor of  Studio  Art in the  Visual  Communication Department of the American University in Dubai, will present an organic form glass and ceramic work. Territore(s) debuts with a collection of limited-edition French collectables such as ‘Flying Chair’ from sculptress Geraldine Gonzales.

Nakkash Gallery

Dubai-based Nakkash Gallery will have on display an array of collectible yet affordable limited edition art pieces, furniture and accessories, including: Nippon bookcase by Alberto Nason; Mosaico console by Nikita Bettoni; Saccal Design House’s Suspend, a re-interpretation of the classic French table combined with a lamp, and Placas, a collection of coffee tables made of black sheet, iron and brass and designed by Lucidi Pevere.

Mosaico console by Nikita Bettoni (L) and Nippon bookcase by Alberto Nason (R).

The Sanctuary

Ayah Al Bitar’s latest collection The Sanctuary is a concept built on meditation, as well as aid storage solutions for the act of Islamic praying.

The Sanctuary was born as a result of aiding situations in day-to-day lives; specifically developed to facilitate the pre-prayer routine. The Sanctuary is a storage structure to place all necessary items during prayer, while being usable on the go and conveniently portable.

Aperçu Designs

Founded by architects Farah Kayyal and Tarek Hreish, Aperçu Designs is a promising interior and furniture design studio based in Amman. Aperçu’s work ranges from furniture to lighting design, from complex concepts to intricate details, from mass production to experimenting with limited editions. All designs are produced at the in-house workshop.


The Cities exhibit at Design Days Dubai is sharing the work of several talented designers. From Cyprus, The Wave City table by Stelios Mousarris depicts the city skyline transformed into a functional design, created with the use of 3D printing technology.

The Wave City table by Stelios Mousarris

To accentuate this forward-thinking creation, Cities is also exhibiting lighting from Lebanese designer Tarek El Kassouf. His Intersect, Lean, and Fracture lighting designs all take inspiration from the urban environment, while their construction from materials such as brass and steel reinforce their industrial, futuristic style.

Ayka Design

Ayka Design is the brainchild of Michelle Evans, an award-winning interior designer who won the Best Interior Designer of 2013 at the CID Awards. Her studio specialises in hand knotted bespoke rugs, and Evans now has several collections to her name and has exhibited them worldwide in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Venice, Germany and Dubai.  Her passion for bold modern design and abstract textures is evident in her latest collections and inspired by her concept of movement with 3D design surfaces.

MCML Studio

MCML Studio is the gallery in Dubai dedicated to high-end original Mid-Century modern antiques. Located in the Dubai Design District, it prides itself on bringing to Dubai some of the greatest designs of this creative and stunning post-war period. That includes furniture, lighting, ceramics, glass, textiles amongst others. It is a space that showcases classic designs as well as little-seen rarities of the 1950s to the 1970s, and unusual “objets d’art”.

The regional debut of Todd Merrill Studio

Todd Merill Studio, a New York-based gallery and leading voice in contemporary design, debuts at Design Days Dubai with Niamh Barry’s sculptural LED lighting installations. Barry has created numerous hanging sculptures, each expressing her unique vision.

As her private and public commissions have become greater and more challenging, she has responded and grown with every new piece at an amazing pace. Her new work focuses on angles, sharp lines, and vessel-shaped reflectors, with every iteration topping the last. Todd Merrill will also be showcasing works of other designers including Sophie Coryndon, Markus Haase, Molly Hatch, Karl Springer Ltd, Jake Phipps and Erin Sullivan.

L’Eclaireur presents Pierre Bonnefille

For Design Days Dubai, Paris and Los Angeles-based gallery Leclaireur focuses on the works of pioneering French designer Pierre Bonnefille. Maître d’Art (The title of Master of Art, created by the French Ministry of Culture, is awarded for life to select professionals in the art trades for the excellency of their skills). Pierre Bonnefille’s work has been shown across the world, including New York, Shanghai and Paris, with commissions from prestige Cartier and Christie. Leclaireur presents a series of cabinets, consoles, and tables with raw, clean edges made from a diverse and opulent collection of materials.

Britain Takes Shape

Tying into the UK-UAE Year of Creative Collaboration, Dubai Culture will host an exhibition of British contemporary design. Under the title “Britain Takes Shape”, Design Days Dubai will show the work of 10 pioneers of British design, including Max Lamb, Kim Thome, Fredrikson Stallard, Brodie Neill and Bethan Gray. All of the designs on display have been produced in the UK as one-off pieces or in batch production and are shown for the first time in the UAE.

Kim Thome.


Following their success in 2016, Pakistan design studio Coalesce will be returning to Design Days with a new collection of design products. Partnering with Antidote, a Dubai-based art and design platform, Coalesce will showcase several products including new versions of the iconic ‘Lattoo’ stools, tables in different materials, seating options and wall mirrors. Local crafts and culture is a consistent and integral part of Coalesce’s design as an attempt to revive dying crafts and showcasing its significance in a contemporary style.

Apical Reform debuts Sonuslexica installation

India-based Apical Reform design studio debuts at this year’s Design Days Dubai with its Sonuslexica installation. Described by the design team as an ode to Dubai and “its meteoric rise on the world stage”, Sonuslexica marks studio’s latest exploration into Sound Wave technology. A composition of the wooden totems created by sound wave technology forms the base of the installation. The installation is composed of three sections – the root, the sky and the sea – representing the soul of a city that respects its resources and continually aims for greater heights.

Dutch Creative Industry (DCI)

Dutch Creative Industry (DCI) is a strategic three years partnership of several Dutch creative industry companies with the Dutch government, commissioned by the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Dutch embassies focusing upon the UAE and Lebanon. Being a platform representing the Netherlands, the Dutch Creative Industry aims to show their unique and collaborative way of working. During Design Days DCI will present three versions of the Body Chair designed by Kas Oosterhuis, and two MyMondrian Jacquard woven tapestries designed by Ilona Lénárd.

Body Chair designed by Kas Oosterhuis.

AHEC launches “Seed to Seat” project

The American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC) is collaborating with seven UAE-based designers for its ‘Seed to Seat’ project that will be unveiled at the 2017 Design Days Dubai. The designers have been given an open brief and asked to design ‘something to sit on’. The piece will be made from a selection of four American hardwood species: American cherry, tulipwood, soft maple or red oak.

The designers involved include Anna Szonyi, Bruce Paget (Heriot-Watt University Dubai), Fadi Sarieddine, George Kahler, Pallavi Dean, Hana Akram and Tarik Zaharna.

With Seed to Seat, AHEC aims to identify the true environmental impact of design and build on its extensive work with Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). During the manufacturing process and incorporating data from AHEC’s LCA research for 19 American hardwood species, all materials, energy usage, transport and wastage will be recorded to assess the full environmental impact of each finished piece.

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