Designer/maker opportunities at Dubai Design Week

The ninth Dubai Design Week is scheduled for 7 to 12 November, and the organisers are looking for participants. As part of what it’s calling “a platform to cultivate and empower design in the region”, DDW is planning a programme consisting of installations, exhibitions, workshops, activations, pop-ups and events mostly in Dubai Design District.

The major elements will be invited commissions, special exhibitions or paid-for participation like the Downtown Design exhibits. But there are also opportunities for local creatives to propose a contribution.

Fora start, there are three open calls; these we’ve detailed in our Opportunities page – the Urban Commissions design-a-piece-of-public-furniture competition (deadline for applications 15 July); Outdoor Installations for specific sites around d3 (15 July again); and the UAE Designer Exhibition showcase staged as part of Downtown Design (deadline 31 July).

In additions DDW is inviting proposals for Exhibitions from designers, makers, artisans and independent design studios. The aim apparently is to showcase “a wide selection of design subjects from different levels of expertise and career stage … [offering] creatives a platform for visibility among leading designers from around the globe, whilst expanding and strengthening their audience and professional network”.

So just about anything goes, and anyone with anything interesting to offer will be considered. Exhibitions will be curated, but that might just mean “selected from the applications received”. There’s no prescription as to size or facilities available, but the location will almost always be a ground floor space in one of the d3 buildings. Deadline for applications is 15 August.

Also on offer are Activations – which themselves might be exhibitions, though “events” (something of a catch-all, that) and pop-up shops are also suggested as “a distinctive and interactive experience” that engages visitors. Anything that includes a degree of participation from those visitors will probably get preferential treatment … Apply by 1 August.

DDW is also looking for content for its Workshops programme hosted in the Maker Space, a central area within d3. Colleges, independent makers, design collectives, small businesses, and cultural institutions are encouraged to apply with a workshop proposal; the programme aims to cover “all” design disciplines, so again there’s a considerable opportunity to get some visibility for your brand and/or your ideas. Apply by 15 August.

And finally there’s the Design Market, stalls for small-scale brands, artisans and F&B vendors. We assume there will be some selection on the basis of space available and variety of offer, but there’s no predefined criteria for applications. Just get an email to the organisers before 30 September.

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