ME Art Community

Some Brilliant Design Days Dubai 2017 Workshops

Design Days Dubai 2017

Staff Writer ME Art Community ,,,,,,

Design Days Dubai 2017 returns for its sixth year at a new venue – Dubai Design District (d3) from March 14 to 17, with a a series of free hands-on design workshops, panel discussions and live design demonstrations that offer insight into the world’s latest design processes and trends.

The fair, dedicated to collectible modern and contemporary design, is positioned as a fair of discovery. Running parallel to the exhibitor line-up is a diverse programme of talks, workshops, installations and live performance – free to all Design Days Dubai visitors.

The 2017 Public Programme, supported by Dubai Culture and d3, is the most extensive to date, curated to offer something for everyone – be they newcomers to design, students, design enthusiasts and professionals:

Panel Discussions & Keynotes

13 panel discussions and keynote conversations will consider the highlights of each day of the fair and will feature more than 22 speakers across 18 nationalities. P

anel members will candidly share insider views and thoughts with participants, with topics traversing the world of design.

Here are some that caught our eye at first glance from the extensive program:

  • “This Is My Job”: this panel discussion debates the question, “Should designers look after production themselves, or sell their ideas?”
    Moderated by Suzanne Trocmé , with prolific UK-based designers Brodie Neill,  Kim Thomé, Michael Wolfson and Sebastian Wrong.
  • In celebration of the UK/UAE Year of Creative Collaboration and as part of ‘Britain Takes Shape’, Dubai Culture and Arts Authority hosts two talks at the Etihad Museum one of which is Safeguarding Craft: A look at the way contemporary designers and industry agents seek to preserve heritage craft by breathing new life into the application through design. The panel discussion includes Emily Johnson of UK ceramics company 1882 ltd, UK designer duo Silo Studio and Emirati designer Khalid Shafar, and is moderated by Suzanne Trocmé.
  • In Session, a panel discussion with the seven UAE-based designers of American Hardwood Export Council’s ‘Seed to Seat’ initiative, moderated by Manuel Arnaut, Editor-in-Chief of Architectural Digest Middle East.
  • Sound Matters: Designing for Better Acoustics, an engaging discussion led by 21dB’s Fouad Bechwati on the various tools used to enhance functional environmental acoustics.
  • ‘In Nature We Trust’: a discussion and book signing with eco-architect Marko Brajovic geared to architects, designers, stage designers, artists as well companies and institutions that would like to learn more about biomimicry as a design strategy.

Hands-On Workshops & Masterclasses

12 workshops and masterclasses provide participants – from the design curious through to working design professionals – with the opportunity to put diverse design concepts and theory into practice in a hands-on environment under the guidance of some of the world’s most respected design professionals.

Highlights include:

  • Van Cleef & Arpels master craftsmen workshops tying into its ‘Art of Crafts exhibition’:  admirers of crafts can experience Gouache drawing.
  • A series of workshops in partnership with Crafts Council and British Council, part of the UK/UAE Year of Creative Collaboration, led by some of Britain’s brightest talent. The selected makers, Umut Yamac, Regina Heinz, Juli Bolanos-Durman and Shauna Richardson invite visitors to participate in a variety of experimental techniques from paper and wire sculpture to soft slab ceramics and crochet.
  • The How and Why of Parametric Design with Kas Oosterhuis, presented by Dutch Creative Industry: a workshop aimed at visual artists, designers and architects.
  • Contemporary Approach to Poster Design, presented by Tashkeel: led by aftermodern.lab inc. this workshop is ideal for graphic design students, creative professionals, and others interested in visual communication, requiring them to develop their concepts thoroughly to produce a poster within the allotted workshop timeframe.
  • Experimental Arabic Typography as Architectural Skin, presented by Tashkeel: led by Huda Smitshuijzen, this workshop for design students and professionals teaches basic principles of designing an Arabic typeface along with demonstrating the ever-evolving possibilities of Arabic letters as material for creating ornamental surfaces.
  • The Something Between the Nothing, presented by the Consulate-General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands: led by Sophie Mensen and Oskar Peet of Os & Oos, the workshop starts by defining the ‘space/volume’ between the participants and the ceiling and uses paper, coloured markers and clay to develop new problem solving mechanisms.

There’s also a live digital radio for you to stay tuned to: d3-based Molecule restaurant launches Molecule Radio featuring a live stream of eclectic world beats as well as interviews with regional and international designers.

Visit and pre-register at for the full public programme schedule. With limited space and high demand, it is strongly recommended to pre-register for a place as soon as possible.