A Remarkable Reunion Day for the Design Community

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Day 1 highlights from INDEX

Dubai, United Arab Emirates: INDEX, the long awaited international interior design trade show, opened its doors today to thousands of visitors, marking the first day for the industry’s professionals to reconnect in-person since 2019. Free seminars, product showcases, networking opportunities, and exceptional engaging experiences all took place on the show floor, with visible excitement to reunite. 

Opened by his Highness Sheikh Ahmad bin Saeed Al Maktoum at the World Trade Center, guests were welcomed to explore over a global variety of exhibits and experiences through a dramatic archway installation designed by Kristina Zanic Design Consultants and built by Bond Interiors, titled “The Bottleneck. Inspired by the Covid case ‘curve’, the installation provides visitors a glimpse of life before and after the pandemic. Kristina Zanic explains, “We are taking the attendees and public through a short journey of life before and after COVID, from normal to the new normal. We have seen that disruption as an opportunity, and we want to deliver that experience with our design.” 

A second entrance is another thought-provoking and visually impactful installation designed by Brand Creative, and built in collaboration with Design Infinity. Titled “Off The Grid”, the concept reflects the inner workings of human thought over three periods: pre-pandemic period, our current covid-19 world and a positive outlook on the future. 

The show’s conferences kicked off with The Work Design Summit, with discussions on ‘Experience Driven Workplaces’ opened by Pallavi Dean and Kathryn Athreya from Roar, followed by the much-anticipated INDEX Design Talks with a creative review and a reflection on ‘how social/economic crisis and recovery can provoke bursts of innovation and productivity’. This was hosted by key leaders in the industry including Paul Bishop, Kristina Zanic, and George Arvanitis. Another insightful talk took place featuring Kate Instone, Founder & Creative director of Blush International, on “The Current State of Play in Residential Design’ informing listeners on the current design trends in home designs. 

On the second day of INDEX, attendees can expect more INDEX Design Talks on ‘Design Business Management’ by Kathryn Athreya, Managing Director at Roar, and ‘The current state of Play in F&B Design’ featuring Sneha Divias, Architect & Founder of Sneha Divias Atelier. 

Here is a curated list of the top 5 things to look out for at INDEX in the upcoming days, from designer installations, to industry talks and exclusive exhibitions.

  1. The INDEX Design Talks 

A must-attend feature of the regional design calendar in recent years, INDEX Design Talks in association with GEBERIT, brings the most talented, creative and successful design leaders together to share candid insights into key issues being faced by the industry in this challenging time. Chaired by Esra Lemmens, design strategist and a global design consultant, the talks will feature 15 distinct sessions and discussions between 50 expert speakers. 

Until Wednesday 2 June

Top name speakers include: Paul Bishop, Pallavi Dean, Kevin Mclachlan, Andy Shaw, Joakim de Rham and Justin Wells

  1. Designer Installations at INDEX

This year’s edition will see the region’s leading design firms collaborating with INDEX to envelop, inspire and impress the visiting audience more than ever before. Tasked to inspire and amaze visitors as they enter the event, the design teams of Kristina Zanic Design Consultants and the Brand Creative have developed dramatic installations staged at the entrance of the show. 

The creative concepts will make visitors think and reset, as they physically walk-through towering design archway installations to enter the show. 

  1. RETHINK – A Materials Experience 

Colab, the first purpose-built material library in the UAE based in Dubai Design District, will exhibit an experiential space called ‘RETHINK’ featuring 150 unique, quirky and creative materials in the format of a materials library pop-up at INDEX. With an aim to educate and inspire the design and build community to expand their material palette, RETHINK highlights ways to work with new and existing materials with a focus on responsible material usage, consumption and waste. 

Architects and interior designers will be invited to explore a range of both commercially available and innovative materials, while being able to connect with a global selection of suppliers.

  1. Zero Waste Masterpieces  

This zero waste exhibit by The University of Sharjah for Fine Art and Design Arts invites guests to explore furniture pieces created out of recycled materials collected by students, in collaboration with Bee’ah Waste Management. The art pieces are inspired by the local sand dunes of the Emirates and showcase how waste can be repurposed as furniture that can be used in the daily life, aiming at encouraging and inspiring a whole generation to go green and become more sustainable.

The College of Fine Arts and Design (CFAD) at UOS is committed to promote sustainable practices, leading initiatives to challenge the interiors community “to creatively adopt the three Rs: to reduce consumption, reuse what still can be used, and recycle waste into a resource for further use”.

  1. Work Design Summit 

The first edition of the Work Design Summit, which will take centre stage within Workspace at INDEX, will feature three days of real-world case-studies and research-based insights and discussions. As most companies return to their office environments throughout 2021, the summit will shed light on the dramatic need to reconceive and redesign all aspects related to how modern workspaces look, feel and operate in order to enhance productivity and wellness.

The commercial design community is invited to enjoy five distinct sessions staged each day, featuring prominent designers, corporate end-users, real estate developers and analysts, FM experts and psychologists.

INDEX is back, LIVE and in-person and it has been certified by Venue Safe and dmg events COVID-19 All Secure Protocols.

From May 31- June 2 | Halls 3 & 4 – Dubai World Trade Centre

Mon, 31st May 11am – 7pm
Tue, 1st June 11am – 7pm
Wed, 2nd June 11am – 5pm

About INDEX:

Celebrating its 30th edition, the INDEX international interior design exhibition is the Middle East & North Africa’s largest gathering for the interior’s community. This is the ultimate trade show for the industry, connecting architects, designers, buyers, developers and distributors with local and international furniture, lighting, décor and surface material brands, trend-setting start-ups and the biggest international names in the interior furnishings and fit-out scene for every type of project.

About dmg events:

dmg events is a leading organiser of face-to-face events and a publisher of trade magazines.

dmg events organises more than 80 events across 25 countries, attracting over 425,000 attendees and delegates every year. The company’s portfolio of products includes many industry-leading events in the energy, construction, hospitality & design, coatings and transportation sectors.