Downtown Design's line-up of talks and workshops at The Forum brings together global industry leaders - acclaimed designers, brands, journalists, and strategists, offering crucial insights on the evolving design landscape.
Pushing the traditional boundaries of design thinking and bringing a fresh energy to storied design brands such as Aterlier Swarovski, Tomás Alonso’s work is deeply rooted in the spirit of collaboration.
Dara Huang is the founder of Design Haus Liberty; an international architecture, interiors and design practice established in London in 2013. In the company’s short time, Dara has evolved the studio from a start-up with one intern to one of the most in-demand practices in the world.
The acclaimed Australian designer has become known for his masterly use of pattern and colour, and his bold application of both in creating tailored, glamorous and sophisticated spaces.
With a multifaceted experience in digital marketing for creative businesses and a vision for helping designers realise their creative and commercial potential, he launched DesignWanted, a leading online design resource in 2015.
Marcus Fairs is founder and editor-in-chief of Dezeen. In January 2017, for his contribution to architecture, he was awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal Institute of British Architects, making him the first digital journalist to be bestowed with the honour.
From his love of art and design, to seeking inspiration from different cultures through his travels, Christian Louboutin’s creative expression references the worlds of pop culture, theatre, dance, literature and cinema.
Before design firms can contemplate the built environments of the future, they must rethink and reshape their tool-kits to better leverage emerging market opportunities.
Speakers: Ferdinand Cheung (LWK + PARTNERS), Philip Olmesdahl (SAOTA), Dr. Nasser B. Abdulhasan (AGi Architects), David Daniels (SSH), Elie Mrad ( ARADA)
They don’t teach client management in design school. Yet, the client-designer relationship is integral to a successful business.
Speakers: Ebba Thott (Sigmar)
Since the advent of e-commerce, retailers have tried just about everything to get people back into their shops.
Speakers: Rabih Geha (Rabih Geha Architects) , Doug Shaw (CallisonRTKL), Denise Neri (Aesop), Natalie Holland (Chalhoub Group)
Launching a design business is one thing. Building it into a brand that stands out is the ultimate goal, but the road is littered with upstarts that didn’t make it.
Speakers: Alessandro Minotti (Minotti) , Dara Huang (DH Liberty), Joakim De Rham (Swiss Bureau Interior Design), Cutu Mazuelos (Stone Designs)
Intersecting design, art and innovation with emotion, UX is the design currency of the time.
Speakers: Jonathan Chippindale (Holition), Samuel Chuffart (Icona), Michael Vasku (Preciosa)
From a small studio in Sydney to international recognition and A-list clients, Greg Natale's career is a masterclass on the perfect balance between creativity and business savvy
Speakers: Greg Natale (Greg Natale Design)
New interventions in the Middle East's urban landscape share a collective responsibility towards supporting the aspirations of the region.
Speakers: Ian Purser (Pace Architecture Engineering+ Planning), Amy Lam (ALAM Creative Design Studio), Sara Abdulla (Dust for Experience Design), Mohamad Al Dah (Dubai Land Department, Government of Dubai)
Backed by research and surveys conducted across the regional design scene, this session is curated to help design professionals future proof their businesses.
Speakers: Siddharth Peters (Love That Design)
When done right, digital marketing can deliver maximum impact for minimum cost.
Speakers: Patrick Abbattista (DesignWanted)
From the micro to the macro level, design impacts everything and everyone.
Speakers: Fernando Mastrangelo (Fernando Mastrangelo Studio), Lina Ghotmeh (Lina Ghotmeh Architecture), Ashiesh Shah (Ashiesh Shah Architecture + Design), Sanna Akerlund Gebeyehu (Frankly Aakerlund)
Linda Dekkers and Kathryn Hawkes have not only used Instagram to build deeper engagement for design brands, they are now part of the rarefied circle of influencers who have successfully transition into entrepreneurs.
Speakers: Linda Dekkers (Fronteriors), Kathryn Hawkes (Fronteriors)
With a growing demand for contemporary design and design-savvy clients calling the shots, goalposts for the premium residential design have shifted drastically.
Speakers: Ebba Thott (Sigmar), Laura Bielcki (Ellington), Fouad Qeblawi (Qeblawi Brooks), Ellen Sohoel (XBD Collective), Andrew Dull ( IMKAN), Cristina Jorge de Carvalho ( CJC Architecture & Interior Design)
Before one can inspire others and align them with the organization's vision, one must master a skill that often gets relegated to the background - Leading The Self.
Speakers: Archana Bhatia
A new generation of leisure consumer has overthrown the design rules established to cater to their predecessors, the Millennials.
Speakers: Adrian Battisby (LW), Pinar Calimano (Four Seasons), Patrick Waring (Silverfox Studio), Sean Clifton (Jestico+Whiles)
Dubai-based trends expert Toni Snyder is the go-to specialist for many leading design brands.
Speakers: Toni Snyder
Oo La Lab is a craft fragrance lab where perfume ingredients are stored in small batches and hand-poured to order.
Speakers: Terry Jacobson
A winner of the Swarovski Designers of the Future Award, the Spain-born, London-based designer has carved a niche for himself with his elegant, linear and poetic objects.
Speakers: Tomás Alonso
From running the region's top design firms to leaving mega studios and launching their own practices, our panelists have done it all.
Speakers: Carla Conte (Brand Creative) , David Lessard (H+A Global), Yullianna Porter (JLL), Kristina Zanic (Kristina Zanic Design Consultants)
Speakers: Christian Louboutin
Perspectives on regional design industries, shedding light on the current state of design ecosystem in the region.
Speakers: Carla Saliba (Infographic.Iy), Mohamed Elshahed (Writer & Curator)