Downtown Design launches new Mideast-focused section, Madar

Key brands returning to the festival include Arper, whose ranges are inspired by its design ethos. (Instagram)
Updated 11 November 2019

Downtown Design launches new Mideast-focused section, Madar

DUBAI: The UAE’s Downtown Design, which is part of the Dubai Design Week festival, is set to return, this time with a new addition to its creative displays, Madar, from Nov. 13-15. 

Dubai Design Week features a free-to-attend program that is made up of more than 200 events covering a range of disciplines including architecture, product design, interiors, multimedia and graphic design.

Madar is a curated exhibition of regional talent, with designs being showcased from around 50 contributors, according to guest curator Ghassan Salameh.

Salameh’s exhibition, which is presented within Downtown Design (a dedicated showcase of bespoke and limited-edition designs by established and emerging designers) will focus on regional design. The exhibition will shed light on the current movements in the design market.

The interactive exhibition will present insights into the state of design in the region, mapping out creative activity from Beirut, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

“The idea this year was to highlight regional design because ... Dubai has enough resources to become the link between different design industries in the region. Dubai is always promoting itself as the creative hub of the region so this is to further concretize this with actual concrete steps,” Salameh told Arab News. 

As part of Madar, Salameh said the exhibition will feature works from different categories related to design. “There’s going to be design research, material innovation, digital fabrication, craft preservation. We’re going to also talk about the organizations that are supporting designers,” he said.

“We’re selecting projects that are pushing towards innovation, experimentation, sustainability, design for social impact, responsible design ... We’re focusing on design that’s thoughtful,” said Salameh.

In honor of the UAE’s Year of Tolerance, bespoke rug studio Hands will unveil a piece inspired by children’s artworks. The proceeds will benefit the UAE-based Senses charity.

In anticipation of Expo 2020, Dubai Design Week will also house more country pavilions, including presentations from France and Spain.

One-hundred new brands will be displayed alongside returning exhibitors, with representatives from 30 countries in this year’s edition.

Key brands returning to the festival include Arper, whose ranges are inspired by its design ethos, and Atelier Swarovski, which will present a collaboration with the Spanish designer Tomas Alonso.


Kanye West announces 2020 presidential run

Updated 05 July 2020

Kanye West announces 2020 presidential run

WASHINGTON: Kanye West, the entertainment mogul, announced on Saturday he is challenging Donald Trump for the US presidency in 2020.

“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION,” the rapper tweeted as Americans marked Independence Day.

He offered no further details on his campaign, four months before the November election.

West long ago broke ranks with most of the left-leaning entertainment industry to loudly voice his support for Trump.

In 2018, they met in the Oval Office – a surreal tete-a-tete that included a hug from the rapper as well as an on-camera rant featuring an expletive not often repeated for the White House press corps.

That year, West also delivered a lengthy soliloquy to a president who many deem racist, telling him he loved him – to the dismay of many Democrats and fellow artists.

But in 2019, during an interview with Zane Lowe of Apple Music’s Beats 1 show, he said his support for Trump had been a way to razz Democrats – and announced his own presidential ambitions.

“There will be a time when I will be the president of the US, and I will remember... any founder that didn't have the capacity to understand culturally what we were doing.”

The announcement came days after West  released a new song, “Wash Us In the Blood,” along with an accompanying video including imagery from recent anti-racism protests.

Since 2018, his wife, reality star Kim Kardashian West, has formed her own contacts with the White House as she champions criminal justice reform: she has successfully lobbied Trump to pardon a sexagenarian woman for a non-violent drug offense.

For weeks now Trump, criticized for his response both to the coronavirus pandemic and to anti-racism protests, has been lagging in the polls behind his Democratic rival, Joe Biden.

There was no immediate response to West’s announcement from either candidate Saturday.