With the close of the Dubai Design Week 2018, D3 has reverted to its former quiet self, except for a few installations left behind, but the team at Yellow definitely has the Dubai Design week withdrawals.

The Dubai Design Week is a place for designers of all levels and backgrounds to come together to celebrate the trade of design. In its fourth edition, the festival encompassed exhibitions, commissioned installations, awards and competitions, talks and workshops and the team at Yellow took full advantage of the event!

It’s hard for us to pick favorites, but here’s Yellow’s list of some key highlights from Dubai Design Week.

The Space Between: The Virtual Reality Pavilion

This was a collaboration between XBD Collective and Pandre Special Architecture.

VR technology can be a little confusing or faddy, but if done right, it can be fun and work as a great educational tool, especially for students. Seeing something in the flesh, well…virtually, makes remembering information easy.

As architects, it would be amazing for clients to see a live mockup of what the design is supposed to be in real life as opposed to a 2D/3D rendering. Taking this dimension further, The Space Between uses VR in terms of design. Using a store in La Mer as an example, you can virtually walk around and through the store. Clients can see what materials have been used, light fixtures, interiors, etc.

The Space between
Collaboration between XBD Collective and Pandre Special Architecture. Source: www.dubaidesignweek.ae

Waterlicht

“…an immersive outdoor dream landscape by Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde exploring the power and poetry of water.”

We thought Waterlicht was a visually stunning and calming piece. The lovely weather on the Jaddaf Waterfront, also elevated this blue mystical piece. It was a simple open air installation using laser beams and mist. But the thought process behind it was incredible. Water, a key element in terms of connectivity and mobility in the UAE, in this installation, personifies Dubai’s ever-growing ambitions and it’s path to being a powerful, futuristic city.

Furthermore, there were a number of installations at the Jameel Arts Centre. And the theme for most of it revolved around the ups and downs of the oil culture of UAE.

Waterlicht by Daan Roosegaard
Waterlicht by Daan Roosegaard, at the Jaddaf Waterfront

Departure

This was one of Ash’s (designer at Yellow) favorite installation of DDW, by Chiharu Shiota. It is an installation made with an abra and red wool. Lots and lots of blood red wool. Shiota was inspired by Dubai’s waterways and maritime history. Her use of the web of blood red wool is a symbol of physical interactions and the intensity of connections holding people together across time and space.

Departure by Chiharu Shiota
Departure by Chiharu Shiota, at Jameel Arts Centre during Dubai Design Week

Downtown Design

An amazing collection of products, installations and interiors. A visual treat for architects and interior designers.

We believe the highlight of Downtown Design was Preciosa’s award winning installation – Breath of Light. A playful, yet sophisticated and breathtaking sound and light installation. This was an interactive piece which requires the user to breathe into a sensor which lights up the whole installation.

Some other incredible finds there were skyline chess sets (skylines of various cities made into chess pieces), amazing light fixtures by Serip and interesting home décor by Cities and Hose of Folly.

Preciosa breath of light
Preciosa – Breath of Light at Downtown Design 2018

Workshops & Talks

The workshop and talks at d3 were quite impressive with local and global artists and speakers, and a variety of options to choose from in terms of various design disciplines. The workshop that Amreen (designer at Yellow) and Mamta (Digital Director at Yellow) truly enjoyed was the 8 fold zine workshop hosted by Jaffat El Aqlam. Zine is a small-circulation self-published work of original or appropriated texts and images, usually reproduced via photocopier. Every participant had to pick a topic/idea for their zine, Amreen’s was about the team at Yellow.

zine by Amreen
Amreen’s zine from her workshop

The other talk that Amreen enjoyed was Super Sonic Branding, which was about the importance of sound in the branding process. Every brand has a voice, which has to match the persona of the brand to be relevant to it’s audience, this talk was about highlighting the importance of sound across different brand touchpoints.

Noteworthy mentions:

Ash also loved the soundscapes from The Sound of the East Coast and Amman – duwar which is a series of LED lit vignettes in a dark circular room, transporting you to various landscapes across the middle East (both part of Abwab). And SuperStudio’s rocking chairs which cost a whopping AED 8,000 (wish we could steal them, well at least Mamta got to pose for her picture on them before they were gone from D3)

On the whole, we loved the event. But Dubai Design Week definitely leans more towards product, space and interior design. What we would definitely love to see next year is a lot more illustration, animation and graphic design. Cannot wait to see what 2019 has in store for us!

What was your favorite piece from Dubai Design Week? Let us know in the comments below.

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