Earlier this month, I was asked to participate in a panel discussion at Design Days Dubai. As moderator, it was my responsibility to manage the conversation and ensure that a fair amount was said by each of the four panel members.
Others involved in the panel discussion included Lindsay Miller, managing director of Dubai Design District (D3); Cristina Romelli Gervasoni, fair director, Downtown Design; Viktor Udzenija, architect and interior designer; and Sarah Alagroobi, a multi-faceted Emirati artist and designer.
We questioned the future of design in Dubai with developments like D3 and Expo 2020 rounding everyone’s horizon.
While many of the panel members agreed that the design industry in Dubai is showing signs of maturity, many wondered how fast it would take before we would see the full potential of the region’s sector.
In addition, many of the audience members were curious about D3, and while CID promises to follow up on the details of the development in a later issue, one question in particular stood out.
Miller was asked how D3 was going to help local designers develop, when it had sounded like D3 was a development that aimed at assisting Dubai establish a more international platform.
Miller eloquently insisted that D3 was a project that was worked on not only by expat professionals, but Emirati experts as well; therefore the conceptual foundation of D3 was inherently sensitive to locals’ dreams and goals for the popular emirate.
While D3 promises to be a creative hub where fashion, art and design oriented companies and individuals can gather together while also serving as a platform for international companies to establish bases, the concern for where it leaves Emirati designers is a legitimate one.
Alagroobi had made a sound point in response though, stating that Dubai wouldn’t be where it is today without either the expats or the locals, so working together would continue to be of paramount importance.