By Catherine Belbin

Downtown Design, the region's leading fair for quality design, has appointed its first Advisory Board. Distinguished professionals from the local design scene have joined in the run-up to the exciting November 2021 show.

Complemented by the ideas and concepts of some of Dubai's most highly regarded personalities, Downtown Design 2021 is now poised to offer a highly stimulating and thought-provoking experience and generate new design outlooks.

The Downtown Design 2021 Advisory Board members include:

  • Jonathan Ashmore, Founder & Principal Architect, Anarchitect

  • Laura Bielecki, Group Design Director, Ellington Properties

  • Pallavi Dean, Founder & Creative Director, Roar

  • Abboud Malak, Founder & Lead Designer, Studio M

  • Isabel Pintado, SVP Design & Innovation, Four Seasons

  • Pratyush Sarup, Content Director, Architectural Digest Middle East

  • Andy Shaw, Managing Partner, AMA & Chair of RIBA Gulf Chapter

  • Diane Thorsen, Design Director, Gensler

Each comes with a wealth of design knowledge, and these professionals will lend their expertise to select aspects of the fair including help curate part of The Forum programme, steering design-related dialogue on today's most exciting issues and driving candid exchanges of new ideas, inspiration and future strategies.

The establishment of the Downtown Design Advisory Board will offer key community members the unique opportunity to unite and influence the direction of the sector. "This presents a great opportunity for the industry, for us to connect and share our visions to take design in the region forward. Design is a universal language… a powerful way to connect all people while celebrating our cultural differences. It takes time and commitment to develop a mature design culture, and Dubai has the pioneering spirit to stay the course.” Diane Thorsen enthuses

The board members are upbeat about Dubai's role as a regional design capital and the pivotal role that Downtown Design plays in bringing the local, regional and international design communities together every year. "By cultivating creative talent in all sectors, and creating environments that breed inspiration and innovation, we push the design community to question the ordinary and seek the exceptional," suggests Abboud Malak.

According to Jonathan Ashmore, Downtown Design is to this region what the major European shows are to Europe and the world. "Fairs like this ensure that Dubai remains a design hub for dialogue, networking and new product presentations," he says, adding, "Dubai is a platform from which the design industry can explore opportunities or even branch out into in markets [that are] far from the confines of the immediate region."

To register your place at the event, please click here