An Interview with Rue Kothari

Downtown Design Dubai 2016 : In an exclusive Interview with Rue Kothari Fair Director,Downtown Design Dubai 2016, The Interior Directory discusses forthcoming show’s theme, affordable art in MENA Region and how she feels in Dubai after her childhood spent in London.

TID : In yours words, how do you differentiate between downtown design & other designs shows in MENA Region ?

RK : Downtown Design is different not only from other regional shows, but from most other international fairs. Our highly curated approach extends not only to the brands that are approved to exhibit, but to the creative execution of every element, from the design of individual stands, the products displayed, the concept of the common areas and the overall visitor experience. We want people who come to the fair to experience a unique atmosphere, and to enjoy their interactions.

An Interview with Rue Kothari

SieMatic – MultiMatic – Urban Collection

TID : Whats new in this year’s Downtown Design corresponding to tagline : Downtown Design– The only fair in middle east dedicated to original & quality design.

RK : Aside from a raft of new exhibitors including iconic Spanish furniture brands Kettal and Sancal, there are up and coming brands like Bend from LA, London-based Bateye as well as fledgling local lines by two regional designers; Fouad Mirza and Pallavi Dean. There will be a few products that will make their world debut at Downtown Design, as well as an installation by AHEC entitled Seed to Seat, which will engage local designers in a study of sustainable design.

An Interview with Rue Kothari

SieMatic – MultiMatic – Urban Collection

TID : Has art & Design become more affordable in recent years ? What is Downtown design’s philosophy on “affordable art” ?

RK : With both art and design, the idea of affordable is down to perception and education. Understanding which young designers would make a good investment, and buying pieces that you love are the most important elements. There are always pieces to suit every budget, and you don’t need to compromise on quality – but to be better informed on what makes a cost efficient purchase.

An Interview with Rue Kothari

Lasvit – Lollipop – Lighting – Boris Klimek

TID : Being born and brought up in London and now in Dubai for Downtown Design. Do you see Dubai as emerging hub of luxury and art in the years to come ?

RK : I’m a very vocal advocate of the potential of the regional market, and in particular ofDubai’s role in instigating growth. As a geographically and culturally accessible travel hub,Dubai is the natural centre of the rapidly evolving design community. I think it’s important to move away from the old ideas of ‘luxury’ as something superlative, and to start concentrating on authenticity, quality and originality as cornerstones of our growth. We want to build a sustainable hub for design based on strong values – this way we’ll achieve the longevity that we’re aiming for. London had to start somewhere – and their design fair and design weeks have grown in just over a decade, by concentrating on promoting the best quality brands across categories and prices ranges. It’s a good model for us to aspire to.

An Interview with Rue Kothari

Antoniolupi – simplo sink collection – Mario Ferrarini

TID : Any plans to improvise on the format after this year’s edition of downtown design ?

RK : We’re always rethinking the way we do things. I don’t think anyone wants to visit a boutique fair that remains static year on year. The idea is to keep things fresh, current and relevant for our buyers, and to provide a strong environment for our exhibitors to do business. We were oversubscribed with exhibitors by April this year, so we’ll be looking to expand significantly in 2017.

Nordic Homeworx - Oak Slate - Kährs - Eloquent Elephant Gastropub - Taj Dubai

Nordic Homeworx – Oak Slate – Kährs – Eloquent Elephant Gastropub – Taj Dubai

Photo Courtesy : Dubai Design Week 2016


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