Industry leaders from around the world gather to discuss paradigm shifts in the design and architectural scene

Downtown Design offers a platform for dialogue, debate and cross-cultural exchange, all of which can be found again as part of the talks programme this year, at The Forum 2022, supported by Aritco.

Taking place each afternoon of the fair, The Forum, which hosts an annual series of live interviews and discussions between regional and international leaders in the design sector, key decision-makers alongside renowned architects, interior and product designers, will this year present some of the biggest names in the industry. These include Kelly Hoppen OBE who joins Downtown Design as the keynote speaker of the talks programme. Hoppen, one of the world’s most celebrated interior designers, will be in a conversation with Talib Choudhury, editor-in-chief of Architectural Digest Middle, in a talk titled ‘Building a Global Design Brand.’ Other pivotal speakers include Carl Gerges, the Lebanese musician, architect and interior designer. Gerges will discuss how he is developing culture-driven destinations throughout the Middle East.

Talks not to miss are ‘The Currency of Creative Storytelling’ featuring speakers, Duccio Maria Gambi; Jassim AlSaddah and Pallavi Dean; ‘State of Sustainability: Can Architecture Enter a Virtuous Cycle?’ with Islam El Mashtooly; Shahad Alsudais; Bisher Tabbaa and Arianna Bavuso and ‘Experiential Design Redefined!’ with Monica Arango; Raif Steinhauer; Pasquale Jr.; and Christiane Lemieux.

In parallel this year, the Dubai Design Week talks programme, also taking place at The Forum ,will be based on the theme ‘Source, Resource, Outsource’ presenting discussions that intend to communicate the paradigm shifts happening in the design industry, revolving around matters of material, sustainability, technology and culture and extending into the creative disciplines of luxury objects, fashion and automobiles. These include talks such as ‘Moving from Fast to Slow Fashion: The Textile Evolution’ with Massimiliano Giornetti from Polimoda; Maria Hibri and Huda Baroudi from Bokja Design and Bani Singh from Grounded Design.

Crucially, the program brings together industry leaders in design to showcase how design can be a catalyst in change.

View the full schedule here and register to attend.