Design acts as a powerful change agent in society by challenging status quo

As a design journalist based in Dubai, I feel incredibly lucky to be able to follow my passion in a region where the A+D industry seems to be in a permanent state of creative churn.

While 2017 saw many an iconic building take shape in the region, including The Louvre in Abu Dhabi and The Etihad Museum in Dubai, along with a raft of retail, hospitality and educational projects; the year ahead also promises plenty to look forward to as well.

We asked leading interior designers for their predictions of future trends across the sectors they specialise in. Their insights, captured in this issue’s Trend Report 2018, are both illuminating and fascinating. Millennials are shaping how our spaces are being designed, and with the concomitant increase in technology, there is also a rise in eco-consciousness, socio-political awareness and new materials making their debut in interiors.

Design is truly a powerful force to change the status quo, and the Surge for Water charity event, held in Dubai last month, exemplified this. Top UAE designers contributed their talents to help people across three continents get access to clean and safe drinking water. They created lighting installations (soon to be seen at Dubai’s The Sustainable City development) to raise awareness of the global water crisis; underscoring once again that aesthetics and conscience are not mutually exclusive.

Another highlight of the regional design calendar is the designMENA summit. Thank you to all the speakers, delegates and sponsors, who made the fifth edition such a lively, industry-focused event. From containers that can be repurposed for refugee housing and a mall in Palestine, which celebrates the olive tree, to discussions on value engineering and copyright infringement, this was a day packed with a lot of learning, knowledge sharing and thought-provoking discussions.

I hope you enjoy this issue as much as we enjoyed putting it together. From all of us at CID, here’s wishing you an enriching, exciting 2018.

By Shalakha Paradkar

Read how architects are finding ways to incorporate environmental consciousness into building designs

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