September 14, 2017 by Laura Gomez


The third edition of Dubai Design Week takes place 13th-18th November at locations across the city. Staged in association with Dubai Design District (d3), this year’s line-up is the largest programme of design activity ever staged in the Middle East. Covering everything from graphics to interiors, there are events to interest everyone.

Dubai Design Week’s high-impact sculptural, architectural and experiential public installations will be created by a handpicked selection of renowned international and local designers, artists and architects and will be positioned at strategic locations around the city, including the world’s tallest building Burj Khalifa.

Iconic City: Casablanca:
Iconic City is a research-led exhibition and pop-up series, premiered in Dubai aimed at bringing to life the people and pulse that makes each creative city in the region unique. For 2017, Design Week shines a spotlight on Casablanca, Morocco, one of the most important creative hubs in North Africa.

Downtown Design:
Held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice Chairman, Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Downtown Design is the only platform in the Middle East for the region’s trade professionals to discover original, high quality design from all over the world. In its fifth edition, the Fair will take place at the Dubai Design District and present a carefully edited roster of established and emerging brands across a range of product categories; including furniture, lighting, bathrooms, kitchens, textiles and accessories. Fostering greater interaction, connectivity and commercial opportunity, Downtown Design is dedicated to providing a dynamic environment for buyers and brands to do business easily and efficiently. Downtown Design will run from November 14th-17th 2017 as a key element of Dubai Design Week.

Dubai Design Week aims to reflect the broadest range of design interests across the city; the overall programme is shaped by participating companies and individuals, or ‘partners’ from the local design scene, across the region and from around the world. Examples of our partner organisations include designers & architects, showrooms, makers, galleries, universities, manufacturers, cultural institutions, etc.
For more details on the Partner Programme including participation benefits, package options and application process, please read the Partner Information Pack or contact our team at

The future of design and technology for social good
Global Grad Show is an exhibition of innovation from the world’s leading design and technology schools. The 2017 edition will be our largest ever, with 200 groundbreaking projects from 90 universities in 40 countries brought together in a single space and presented to the public by the designers themselves.

Global Grad Show is a world-first exhibition of the most innovative projects from the world’s leading design schools. Founded in 2015, the exhibition offers an unprecedented overview of the world’s emerging designers and the technologies that will shape the future.

The exhibition is an original initiative of Dubai Design Week. In its inaugural edition, Global Grad Show included 47 projects drawn from 10 universities. It has since grown to include over 80 design technology schools from 40 countries, making it the largest student gathering in the world.

Innovation is a value that transcends technology and exists independent of wealth; there are high tech projects and low tech, expensive ones and low cost, mechanical and manual and virtual.

There is no hierarchy between designers, schools, or regions. All share space equally, with the projects mixed together and arranged according to theme to ensure fairness and equal opportunity.

Global Grad Show was created to open the ?eld of design to participants from all places with projects intended for infants and for the elderly, for athletes, of?ce workers, global brands, fruit vendors, and families displaced by war.

A focus on innovation that can improve the world, that honors and encourages a new generation working to design a more equitable, sustainable, and prosperous world.

Global Grad Show is an exhibition of student works from the world’s leading design schools, held each November as part of Dubai Design Week. Since launching in 2015, the show has grown to become the world’s largest student gathering. For its third edition, the exhibition is set to include works from 75 universities from 50 countries.

Designers these days are well thought of but poorly understood. Most of us assume that a designer’s job is to make things beautifully, to elevate an ordinary object so that it sparkles. This assumption isn’t unfair, but it misses something essential.

The beauty of a design is often in its idea, in the impulse that the work responds to and the effectiveness of its answer. A great design delivers both a diagnosis and a cure. It identifies an unseen opportunity or unexpressed need and suggests a solution.

Global Grad Show is an exhibition of beautiful ideas. The projects presented take many forms. Some are conceptually simple, some technically complex. Many are physical; some are purely virtual. There are products intended for infants and for the elderly, for athletes, office workers, fruit vendors, and families displaced by war.

The purpose of Global Grad Show is to bring together, in a single space, highlights from the degree shows of the most innovative technology and design programs in the world. The show’s diversity is its greatest attribute. The 200 projects exhibited comprise a kind of collective intelligence, channeled through the various schools and pointed at the most pressing issues of our time: how to increase access to education, food, and shelter; how to encourage exchange and build community; how to reduce waste and generate clean energy.

The Curator:

Brendan McGetrick is an independent writer, curator, and designer. His work has appeared in publications in over thirty countries, including The New York Times, Wired, The Financial Times, Art Review, Der Spiegel, Domus, and Vogue Nippon. He is the editor and author of six books, including Content (Taschen, 2004), MAD Dinner (Actar, 2010), and Urban China: Work In Progress (Timezone 8, 2011).

In 2011, he curated Unnamed Design, a component of the 2011 Gwangju Design Biennale, in collaboration with Ai Weiwei. The exhibition received over 200,000 visitors and was named the year’s best contemporary design exhibition by the New York Times. In 2014, he co-curated the Russian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, together with Anton Kalgaev and Dasha Paramonova, for which he received a jury prize. He has served as director and curator of Global Grad Show since its founding in 2015.