As the Middle East’s design scene evolves and matures, architects, interior designers and developers are looking for new design brands and studios to meet the needs of the region.
“Today’s clients are increasingly savvy. We are working to meet the aspirations of a generation that is well-travelled and design-conscious” says Laura Bielecki, Senior Manager, Interior Design at Ellington, a Dubai-based boutique developer. “As a result, the focus is on brands and studios that can bring creative and original concepts.”
Downtown Design 2019 responds to the region's design professionals with a fresh selection of international and regional brands and makers.
Presenting for the first time at the fair, Pedrali seeks to disrupt the regional furniture market with their expressive colourways and elegant forms. Offering a new perspective on furniture for the home and office, and collaborating with designers such as Marc Sadler, Patrick Nouget and Luca Casina amongst others, their pieces lend a playful character any contemporary design project.
Under the creative direction of Rodolfo Dordoni, Italian furniture brand Minotti has adopted a distinctly contemporary identity. For their presentation at Downtown Design in November, the brand will present their new collections designed by French designer Christophe Delcourt and the founders of Copenhagen based studio GamFratesi Design, Stine Gam and Enrico Fratesi.
For American designer A. Jacob Marks, aesthetic austerity and craft go hand in hand. His studio, Skram, has earned international recognition for their marriage of timelessness, with an uncompromising technical mastery and the use of natural materials like wood, leather, stone and metal. They will present a selection of furniture and accessories with an industrial edge, exemplifying the American studio’s DNA to the regional audience.
“Clients are always looking for something new, something cutting-edge, but with warmth,” says Sneha Divias, a Dubai-based designer specializing in premium residential design. “Brands that are investing on materiality and tailored solutions are in high demand.”
Bespoke kitchen maker Minacciolo fit the description perfectly; evoking classical design archetypes such as the first cast-iron wood-burning cooking stoves and countering it with natural materials and a sleek aesthetic, the brand is known for their elegant solutions that combine artisan culture with innovation and a rugged edge. They will make their debut at Downtown Design 2019 with their ‘cooking machine’ concept.
Alongside new brands, returning exhibitors such as Brokis, Hands, Kettal, Preciosa and St. Louis, amongst others, will present their latest collections exploring new concepts and fresh creative directions.
The full list of 2019 exhibitors will be announced in September.