The ninth edition of Downtown Design saw some of the most exciting collections and products, launched and unveiled by brands from around the world.
Visitors got a chance to discover and access much-anticipated debuts, launches as well as the unveiling of highly sought-after collaborative pieces and works all within the span of the fair. With over 200 brands from around the world present under the same roof, some of the highlighted products and collections showcased include major regional and international names, cross disciplinary collaborations and new brand launches as well as debut collections by emerging creatives and collectives.
The Italian-Lebanese outdoor homeware brand Jwana Hamdan launched in the Middle East with Purity, presenting ‘The Wandering Majlis’, for the very first time at the fair. The outdoor collection is designed to inspire freedom of expression and comfort, with furnishing elements with nomadic, functional and welcoming nuances, and large and barrier-free seats, as found in a traditional Majlis with the touch of fine Italian craftsmanship. Well-known on the international design scene, self-taught British designer Tom Dixon’s first-ever bathroom range, created in collaboration with renowned bathware company VitrA made its regional debut. Inspired by elements of pop art, Tom designed the bathroom range with his signature round-edged aesthetics and soft forms. Also debuting in the region at the fair was UK-based Joe Armitage's eponymous brand that presented its Armitage lamp collection inspired by the original floor lamp designed in 1952.
Presenting a new collection at Downtown Design 2022, as part of an exciting collaboration with Kuwaiti architect Jassim AlSaddah was regionally renowned carpets brand Samovar. The inspiration for the pieces forming the Mineral Collection was purely derived from minerals and crystal formations found in nature. Lebanese carpet-makers Iwan Maktabi unveiled the ‘Terminal G’ capsule collection inspired and designed by creatives from the Arabian Gulf.
Renowned carpets brand cc-tapis unveiled a never-before-seen wall-hanging designed by Duccio Maria Gambi in an exclusive world premiere at the fair. COURSE was presented by Iwan Maktabi and is part of Duccio’s Tempore collection for cc-tapis. Also premiering at the fair was LOVE (حب), a limited edition rug design by Emirati artist Mattar Bin Lahej for Illulian. Mattar’s fascination with the decorative essence of Arabic calligraphy and passion for interdisciplinary creativity converge in this romantic rug, which was formed by grafting inspirations from Japanese onto classic Arabic fonts. Illulian also presented its latest handmade rug collection; The Natural Field Collection made in collaboration with the award-winning Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA).
Returning to the 2022 fair, Syrian design studio ARE unveiled their striking new collection Season 01 featuring unexpected oddities — the alternating of colour, size, shape and position — is a nod toward a multitude of binaries. ARE artfully reconstructs the observer’s view by playing with the vanishing point and altering the spatial perception using these pieces. Exploring and utilising elements of colour, shape, and form of cosmology Egyptian design studio Form: launched The Cosmic Candy Collection at the fair.
Kuwait-based design consultancy firm ADANA has expanded with its first furniture collection introduced at Downtown Dubai 2022, titled Paradise - the furniture collection is based on simplified geometries combined into poetic compositions. Talented Syrian designer and founder, Dania Douaidari of Dania D Designs exclusively launched her new furniture and accessories collection created using a new mix of material including terrazzo, travertine marble, wood, glass, brass and other of pearl. Dubai-based Quarter Moon Studios showcased its new hand-moulded collection Irina conceived from materials like commercial paper waste, locally found clay soil, organic binders, eggshells and untreated natural wood.
Amongst the new names at Downtown Design, Indian brand Baaya collaborated with Italian designer Mario Gagliardi to launch the exquisite Collezione Marine Drive collection at the fair – while returning Lebanese homeware brand OFFGRID unveiled their new home accessories Confetti Collection. Homegrown brands such as Klekktic presented all-new collections alongside The Line Concept that unveiled INTERSEKT and Asateer with their Hajar collection.
Debuting their presence in Dubai, Spanish brand La Nena Home presented a collection of items that has been specifically created for the opening of its new local flagship store, first in the region. Brazilian brand Arneli presented a unique showcase in collaboration with C'est ici marking their regional debut at the fair. Gaar and Volume I by young talents; UK-based Nareg Krikorain and UAE-based Doodle and the Gang respectively showcased these works for the very first time in the UAE. Local brand launches at the fair included 1865 La Maison alongside Baytik.
A line-up of product launches ranging from limited-edition pieces to multi-functional design solutions were presented at the 2022 fair such as the modular bookshelf Shelly by Emirati, homegrown brand MODU, preserving traditional glass-making craft, Czech brand Moser unveiled the Pineapple vase, MB Design Studios presented the Polaris table showcased for the very first time at the fair - a spectacular marquetry with recycled glass inlays. Bahraini brand Zufa launched the Love Chairs representing their expert craftsmanship while Lebanese design studio Karina Sukar presented its Flower of Life table. Based in the Netherlands Halle Design launched its new double-sided wall hangings as part of its 'A Scandinavian Tale of 1001 Nights’ collection.
Collectives presenting never-before-seen works by various designers included Khawla Art and Design Foundation showcasing The Vase Project by four regional creatives – alongside Tanween by Tashkeel - the annual design programme, unveiling the works of the 2022 selected designers which included; Tibrah by Emirati architect Reema Al Mheiri – a floor lamp design inspired by Emirati poetry about a fleet of dhows sailing back to port, made of treated fish scales from Ajman Fish Market. Anamil (Fingertips) by Saudi Arabian designer Huda Al-Aithan – a suspended pendant light that celebrates the regional craft of ‘Safeefah’ (palm frond weaving). An unorthodox design produced in collaboration with Emirati craftswomen.
Kaseeriya كسيرية (Fractal) by South African designer Ebrahim Assur – an elegant bench using materials including Palmade biodegradable pallets, recycled cork and camel leather. SKin by Egyptian designer, Shaza Khalil – a ceiling mounted light inspired by the Plumeria (Frangipani) tree, featuring a natural material grown by bacteria during the fermentation process of Kombucha. Datecrete Console 0.1. by Sharjah-based Sara Abu Farha & Khaled Shalkha – a console developed by architect / urban planner and a chemical engineer, using the world’s first date seed-based cementitious material with no trace of concrete or resin.