Dubai Design District launches d3 Architecture Festival 2020

Photo: WAM

Dubai Design District, d3, today launched the inaugural d3 Architecture Festival in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects Gulf Chapter, RIBA Gulf Chapter, establishing the emirate’s first platform to showcase regional architecture, urbanism and sustainable development.

The inaugural edition is set to run from 11th to 13th November, 2020, on the sidelines of Dubai Design Week, held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority.

Curated with Juan Roldan, Associate Professor in the College of Architecture, Art & Design, at the American University of Sharjah under the theme "Identity, Context and Placemaking in the Gulf", the Festival will celebrate the achievements of architecture companies in d3, Dubai and the wider GCC region.

The festival will host a series of talks to steer the Middle East towards a more sustainable future, and invite designers, architects and the general public to participate in daily charrettes. The emirate’s first architecture festival will kick off with an opening reception at Building 6, d3, on 11th November.

Speaking about the new festival, Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of d3, said, "Dubai has long been known as an architectural playground and the emirate’s limitless ambition has found expression in its ever-evolving skyline. As we carry on the process of rebuilding in the post-COVID-19 world, our relationship with the built and natural world has never been more important.

"While offering a platform for critical reflection on social, cultural and economic issues, it will also provide opportunities for new talent and bring the design community together to champion Dubai and the UAE as a hub for knowledge, creativity and innovation."

RIBA Gulf Chapter Chair and Managing Partner of AMA, Andy Shaw, added, "The past six months have shown us all how important the cities and buildings we build for ourselves are, and how we must come together and move forward. Architects have the skills to craft beautiful spaces that can be sustainable and innovative as Gulf countries look forward to how the future could be.

"The exhibition will feature models, drawings and projects from the most exciting architects working in the Gulf, such as Binchy and Binchy and ANARCHITECT who are founded by RIBA members."

"The festival will showcase this diverse and complex constellation of a new architectural landscape in the region, analysing the stakeholders and conditions that have supported its emergence. Firstly, there is a mature generation of local and international designers with a deeper understanding of the nuances of the historical and cultural context.

"Secondly, there is an increasing number of governmental, private institutions, and clients with a growing awareness of a distinctive and contemporary approach to architecture as a way of delivering social, cultural, and economic added value. And thirdly, architectural education as the transversal element that articulates critical thinking in the future architecture in the region."

As a home to more than 50 leading local and international architecture practices such as Foster + Partners, Zaha Hadid Architects, and Benoy, d3’s business partners have designed some of the UAE’s most impressive projects to date, such as At d3, the heart of creativity in the Middle East, architecture and interior design studios make up a significant component of the community’s 385 business partners and 9,000 people.

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