In recent times like the rest of the world, Dubai has witnessed a slump in almost every walk of life. It's hard to picture the city with empty roads, shut malls and deserted airports, especially at this time of the year when the weather is getting more pleasant. However, the return of the sixth edition of Dubai Design Week gave the city dwellers a reason to witness celebratory mood in the city. The grand design show, the first major event in the region since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, highlighted the biggest design innovations across the globe. Designers from every country arrived, participated and showcased the best of their creations. Dubai Design Week has once again reiterated the evolving prominence of design in the region.
When it's about design, Lollypop's presence is inevitable. I was fortunate to attend this week-long celebration of design, and as expected was amazed to witness the unbeatable spirit of design. Amidst all the precautions around COVID 19, Dubai Design Week featured 100+ events and activities from exhibitions to pop-ups, outdoor installations and even a retail initiative supporting Dubai’s artisans, creatives and entrepreneurs. The inaugural show highlighted 50 of the most exciting social impact innovation projects that are set to improve lives. During the exhibition, visitors met graduates virtually and learnt about their work and understood their approach to problem-solving through a series of interactive films.
Amongst the many extraordinary projects, there were 4 that caught my attention. Students from different universities presented some impressive and thought-provoking projects. From cutting edge technology such as Artificial Intelligence and Virtual reality to themes around social impact, they surely made their presence felt in the show.
This innovative concept presented by the students of the University of Cairo was directed towards a green, plastic-free and sustainable environment. It promised to give cash in return of plastic waste.
An app for caretakers of Alzheimer's patients
Alzheimer’s Personal Companion Application (APC), a very unique concept that caught our attention. This app was created to sync up with your Alexa and help the caregiver of an Alzheimer's patient with some serious help and guidance.
A Self-Management School Kit for Children with Type I Diabetes
According to Stats Egypt has the most number of kids with Type 1 Diabetes. This simple yet one of a kind device helps children to take care of their blood sugar and insulin levels anytime anywhere.
Themed to address the issue of water scarcity - what is great about this product is the use of simple material and keeping in mind the simple way to use it.
Apart from these design innovations, there were numerous other solutions that could make a direct impact on human's life. The other key highlight of the event was the seriousness shown towards the COVID 19 situation.
Bring Your Own Mask by the Swiss Embassy
The young Swiss designers were called to create their own interpretation of the mask which would be aesthetically pleasing along with keeping the safety feature of utmost importance.
Created by designers from the ME, keeping the social distancing measures in mind which is the new normal now. The creation of the grids was in such a way that it can accommodate only one person. However, the design was such that there were several paths around, making it aesthetically pleasing.
Please sit here
Every installation placed at the Dubai Design District was conceived in response to the pandemic and was created by Emirati Designers very thoughtfully. The seats were arranged in a way that social distancing is taken care of.
A concept presented by Netherlands consulate and the restaurant was installed in the same area. The idea. was to create cosy and private glass boxes what could allow 2-4 people to have a meal together. No violation of social distancing and a pleasant dining experience.
It was a visual treat to go and witness designs and art from different walks and cultures of the world. All in all a great event wherein people and business witnessed the dynamism of design and the impact it can have on the lives of people. A treat to watch young/ budding designers showcasing their talent. They were fantastic and left us confident about the future of design. We're heading into a new era of design where young creative minds are becoming the torchbearer of digital experience transformations.