Interview with Rue Kothari on Downtown Design 2018
Downtown Design will return in its sixth edition next week from 13-16 November 2018. The highly anticipated event will take place in its custom-built exhibition space on the d3 Waterfront.
Rue explained “This year’s fair is our most diverse and ambitious to date. We’ve evolved not only the concept and curation but the entire visitor experience.”
Rue explains that this year Downtown Design enlisted the help of award-winning architects H+A to deliver a fresh master plan for the fair under the theme of Liveable Cities, complete with wide boulevards, plenty of natural light and green spaces. Another elevating element to this theme comes from local landscape architects Desert Ink, who have designed and built a cascading indoor garden that forms the setting for our bespoke café concepts and pop-up retail. “Taking our hospitality that one step further, we’ll debut our design bar concept, a partnership with the House of Negroni and Interior Designer of the Year, Paul Bishop.”
Downtown Design is expected to showcase 175 contemporary international brands, including 40 regional designers. “We champion creativity and collaboration, so to see projects that bring international manufacturers like Lasvit together with regional designers like Albal to produce standout pieces, is a key moment for us.” Explains Rue.
Downtown Editions will debut this year is a response to demand for regional buyers who expressed an interest in discovering limited edition work. “What began as a test-bed for ideas, has grown quickly to absorb individual designers, emerging studios and craft collectives from Italy to South Africa.” Editions will showcase of around 68 designers, presented against a minimal background, to keep the spotlight firmly on the pieces, and the stories of the designers themselves.
We asked Rue what could we expect from regional participation in Downtown Design and Edition in 2018. She explained that this event has always been a vocal advocate of regional design and it supports regional designee to meet their commercial objectives.
“This year, we’ll see a huge increase in regional participation, mostly clustered in Editions. More than 40 designers from the UAE alone as well as 25 from the wider Middle East, will showcase a broad palette of ideas and approaches – We are actively establishing Downtown Editions as a hub for regional talent in order to nurture our designers ambitions and help them become the first ‘Made in the UAE’ design brands.”
More on Downtown Design, Editions and participants’ work soon on herskhazeen!
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About Rue Kothari:
London-born Rue Kothari has built considerable local knowledge over a decade living in the UAE. Rue spent 11 years working in consumer publishing across a range of branded titles before becoming the Editor in Chief of Harper’s Bazaar Interiors. Rue was responsible for raising it from a fledgling title to one of the most respected luxury interior magazines in the Middle East and beyond. She created and launched the first HBI Design Awards. As the current Fair Director of Downtown Design, she was responsible for the third edition that doubled in size from the previous year, including a greater diversity of established and emerging design brands from around the world. Rue combines regional insight with a passion for design and has extensive knowledge and experience of the regional design market.