Featuring the region’s leading architects and interior designers, Downtown Design’s exhibition will spotlight progressive design thinking that is emerging from the Middle East.

The recent pandemic challenged not only the way people connect with each other, but also how they experience and interact with their built environments. As part of the hybrid programme for 2020, Downtown Design invited the region’s architects and interior designers to conceptualise solutions for the residential, urban, commercial and hospitality sectors of tomorrow.

From an open call, entries were received from a wide group of design professionals – from home-grown boutique studios and individuals, to regionally-based international practices, together representing the diversity of the Middle East’s design talent as well as solutions that are rooted in our unique context.

Some of the shortlisted studios include: Saudi Arabia based Sibyl Design Studio who will explore how Middle Eastern cities can develop engaging, efficient and safe-distanced pedestrian networks using the infrastructure already present within neighborhoods; Lebanese architect Rabih Geha who will imagine nightclubs of the future and Kuwait based Studio Toggle who will explore the evolving restaurant culture.

UAE-based practices such as SSH, Bishop Design, Kristina Zanic as well as Binchy and Binchy Architects,  Consultants and Loci Architecture + Design, amongst others will showcase conceptual presentations that interpret our recent collective experiences with both irony and insight.

Complementing the physical showcase , Downtown Design’s digital talks programme, The Forum, will present daily industry talks featuring leaders of the international and regional design scenes, including celebrated designer Aline Asmar A'Amman, industry opinion leader Max Fraser, renowned architect Jonathan Ashmore and multi-hyphenate designer Asif Khan.


The full shortlist of designers to be featured in ‘The Shape of Things to Come’ will be announced soon.

Images provided by Binchy and Binchy Architects.