Exposing the breadth and diversity of brands in the Middle East, Downtown Design recognizes the importance of locality in regional interior design. With the development of new hotels, commercial and public buildings, there comes a need for interior design to reflect the region’s graphic language, design narrative and love of colour. Downtown Design’s exhibitors present a truly broad range of unique solutions to creating a distinctly local, contemporary space.
Apical Reform (UAE/India)
Apical reform returnsto Downtown Design for the second year in a row. Founded in 2011, Apical Reform is a collaborative design studio dedicated to creating immersive experiences led by art and innovation in production technology. In six short years, the studio has worked on a vast scale of projects. From designing collectible furniture and bespoke design-art pieces, the experience offered Apical Reform the opportunity to not only establish its presence, but more importantly, define its creative voice.
Ayka Design (UAE)
Ayka Design is the brainchild of award winning interior designer, K. Michelle Evans – who won the award Best Interior Designer in 2013 at the Commercial Interior Design Awards held in Dubai. The judges highlighted that what sets Evans apart is her ability to create truly ‘experimental designs’. Her passion for bold modern design and abstract textures is evident not only in her latest collection but her most recent achievement- The Carpet Design Awards at Domotex 2017.
Cecilia Setterdahl (UAE)
Based in the Dubai Design District (d3), Canvas Carpets Cushions is a brand born from Cecilia Setterdahl’s passion for combinations of form and colour in art and design. As Cecilia produces only a limited edition of up to 10 carpets from each unique artwork, clients can be assured that they’re purchasing something truly special and unique.
Crafted from porcelain, each DESIGNEDBYHIND collection celebrates the best of UAE handicrafts. Sheikha Hind bint Majed Al Qasimi fuses traditional Emirati elements with contemporary designs to create heritage inspired works for the 21st century. At this year’s Downtown Design, DESIGNEDBYHIND present the Dots Collection (image below), which is influenced by the “Deewani script” from Arabic calligraphy.
Misk Nursery (UAE)
Luxury baby and child furniture brand MISK nursery is the home of handmade, sustainable and unique wood and acrylic cribs and accessories with mother of pearl inlay. It is the first company in the world to offer modern, curved edges with heritage-inspired mother of pearl embellishments that feature such things as whimsical hot air balloons, customised words, flying fish from Mykonos Greece, and even the moon and stars. This romantic mix of modern luxury and deep-rooted heritage personifies ‘MISK’ – meaning ‘musk’ in Arabic, considered to be an ancient gift of kings, and also ‘to hold.’ Each crib is handcrafted by third-generation Armenian woodworkers and Syrian mother of pearl artisans.
Handcrafted in the UAE with artisanal care, Mosaico cement tiles add a vibrant and colourful touch to any property. Founded in 2017, the company is known for its decorative tiles, which are manufactured via traditional methods in the picturesque northern emirate of Ras al-Khaimah. Mosaico offers incredible versatility in its design possibilities. Clients can choose anything from single-hue templates to intricate, multi-coloured patterns or order bespoke surfaces for individual projects.
SACD (Sonia Ashoor Cultural Design) is an interior design and advisory firm specializing in ‘culturally attuned’ experiences. The brand focus is on the region and promoting its cultural identity. What sets SACD apart is that with every project the brand builds on a unique storyline, seamlessly combining Islamic art, history and culture in creating relevant and serene ‘museum-like’ interiors.
Studio A (Lebanon)
“Studio A” by Ahmad Bazazo is a newly founded multidisciplinary design practice based in Beirut, Lebanon, a city which has played a key role in establishing a design hub for the Middle East. The Studio, which focuses on the creation of unique spaces and pieces, is highly influenced by the specificity of its locale, at the crossroads where east meets west. “Studio A” does not confine itself to a given stylistic approach, but rather is driven by an aim and principal of producing bespoke, made-to-measure objects that bring light and focus into the spaces that they encompass. Studio A will be making a global debut of their new collection at Downtown Design 2017.
Roudha Al Shamsi (UAE)
Designer of an artistic identity, Roudha Al Shamsi will be making a global debut of her first ever furniture collection at Downtown Design. The bespoke collection is a result of a close study of the local environment; Acacia trees. Roudha’s strong identity as an artist influences her designs. Each design is a work of art in the way it is created and presented.
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