Design Days Dubai is back once again

We sit down with Cryil Zammit to find out what we can expect from the 5th Design Days.

March 9, 2016

Design Days Dubai returns for a fifth edition this month with a strong focus on nurturing local talent and the fair’s legacy.

We sat down with the fair’s director and EDGAR contributor, Cryil Zammit, to get the low down on this year’s event. 


How has Design Days Dubai evolved in the last few years?

The perception of design has matured. When we started, design was taken as a pure functional form: a chair, a table. With Design Days Dubai, we brought unique, rare and collectible design and put young emerging galleries alongside renowned ones to offer the possibility to visitors and exhibitors to gain visibility. 

Has the festival been successful?

Young designers have emerged and established themselves thanks to the support of the local institutions and commercial sponsors. Several galleries who first showed at an international level in Dubai are now exhibiting in other shows because they gained experience at Design Days Dubai. I am very proud to see what we achieved in five years and how Dubai has embraced design.

Who should we look out for this year?

From a local point of view, I’d say Aljoud Lootah. Her first full collection launched at Design Days Dubai in 2015 to great acclaim. The National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne, Australia has acquired two of her pieces for the permanent collection of the museum and this is a first for an Emirati designer. 

What, for you, makes great design?

Design should bring a new way of looking at objects with a special focus on the material used, the craftsmanship needed to create it and its capacity to go through the ages. The most iconic pieces of design are often timeless and over 50 or even 80 years old. 

Do you prefer minimalist design or more complicated pieces? 

I am from the lean and simple school. The beauty lies in a smooth and sophisticated approach. I am a great fan of pure Scandinavian lines or design from Asia.

What is the one piece of design in your home that means the most to you?

They are all related to a part of my life such as my very first item, a Maarten Baas chair signed by the Dutch designer (below). More recently I like a specially commissioned armchair by Kwangho Lee that I received for my birthday.

Design Days Dubai is from March 14 – 18. Visit designdaysdubai.ae.