The INDEX International Design Exhibition is the largest event for the architecture and design industry in the Middle East. It attracts more than 700 exhibitors from 50 countries, and took place at the Dubai World Trade Centre in May.
Celebrating its 25th anniversary year on 18-21 May 2015 at the Dubai World Trade Centre, INDEX International Design Exhibition provided an unrivalled business and networking opportunity for buyers and sellers of residential interiors products and services from around the world to source an astounding array of the very latest design innovations, trends and techniques.
The event was coordinated by dmg events, an international exhibition and publishing company, which produces market-leading exhibitions and conferences for the global energy, construction, digital marketing, hospitality and interior industries, with events in the Middle East, North America, Europe and Asia.
As a leading supplier of face-to-face business information, with a customer-centric focus that localises operations and relationships, its objectives are to keep businesses informed and connect them with relevant consumers to create vibrant marketplaces across multiple event platforms and communities.
As INDEX is more than just an exhibition, the event provided attendees with unrivalled access to information, intelligence, contacts and hands-on experience. Experts from around the world engaged in the industry's most topical discussions, finding design solutions, facing challenges and seizing opportunities. The show is the gateway to the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), providing exhibitors and visitors with the opportunity to conduct serious business with like-minded professionals.
workspace at INDEX is the largest commercial interiors fit-out and design exhibition in the Middle East is co-located within the INDEX International Design Exhibition. workspace at INDEX is the premium showcase for high-end products and services that combine to create outstanding working environments. The show attracted thousands of top-tier architectural and interior design firms, and end-users from the Middle East and beyond.
The programme of INDEX and workspace at INDEX Design Talks - the free-to-attend seminars and workshops aimed at the region's architecture, design, retail and hospitality communities - was a great success. Covering a wide spectrum of topics related to the interior design and architecture industry, the line-up from each show ran throughout the entirety of the event.
"This year's programme of seminars and workshops will be led by some of the industry's thought-leaders and trendsetters. Converging on Dubai, the speakers will provide valuable insights and deliver talks on thought-provoking subjects across the four day event," commented Frederique Maurell, group event director for INDEX and workspace at INDEX before the event began. "We are hoping that our programme will foster communications and discussions for the future of design for attendees and exhibitors alike."
International architects and interior design trendsetters headlined the four-day programme and shared their vision and valuable insights with the audience. Ranging from trends in overall interior design in 2015-16 and the future of interiors to five-sense and light concepts - natural versus artificial - the discussions focused around five main topic areas: architecture, interior design, project management, hospitality design and retail.
INDEX Design Talks featured more than 16 speakers including Matteo Bianchi, founder and director of Matteo Bianchi Studio; Kristian Krogh, partner and lighting design director at Lighting Design Collective; Theodora Kioussis, managing director of Esadore International; Victoria Redshaw, lead futurist at Scarlet Opus; Samah Aloul, owner and chief designer of SA Interiors; George Foster, head designer at Ethan Allen; Shayma Halawa, managing director and head of design for O'Design; Sophie Johnson, assistant professor at The Canadian University of Dubai; Juan Roldan, assistant professor at The American University of Sharjah; Rob Arthur, general manager at Fabric Architecture ME; and Dr Iman Ibrahim, assistant professor at the University of Sharjah.
"We're delighted to present Aati for the first time at INDEX, among some of the world's most important brands. As the region's leading luxury furniture retailer, participating in such a prominent industry event provides us with a great opportunity to connect with a wider audience," commented Dima Hallal, vice-president, jewellery and home, Al Tayer Group. "Aside from showcasing our heritage of sourcing and introducing leading brands to the Middle East, we are excited to participate in 'INDEX Design Talks brought to you by Aati'. This gives us an ideal platform to share with the audience our vision and valuable knowledge gained from our long-term partnerships with some of the world's finest luxury brands."
For those wanting to inject vigour into a current work environment and for designers of future commercial interiors, workspace at INDEX had a varied and engaging programme from 19 different speakers including Dr Annarita Cornaro, assistant professor of architecture at AUD and principal of COdESIGN, who presented a scenario-based discussion on sustainability, identity and reuse in the UAE; Phil Pond, trend translator at Scarlet Opus shared detailed trends for colour palettes, materials, textures and patterns; Jennie Stallings, dealer support and training manager MEA at Herman Miller, discussed ideas for a holistic approach to offices; Ben Corrigan, CEO and founder of Bluehaus Group unveiled a business case for BIM in the context of interior design; and Sandra Woodall, design director of tangramGulf, was joined by the company's interior designer, Laila Hankir to discuss work-space design in regard to the promotion of health and well-being.
In addition, the Association of Professional Interior Designers presented a session to explore the key factors and design considerations that impact educational excellence. Speakers at this session included Indu Varanasi, founder and managing director of IR Design; Haroution Klmijian, design and development manager at Intermetal; and Chris Morley, head of design at Herman Miller.
"To say that we are looking forward with enthusiasm and excitement about speaking at INDEX and workspace at INDEX this year would be an understatement," commented Phil Pond, trend translator at Scarlet Opus, before the event. "We have strong ties with the UAE design community and with some of the innovative suppliers such as Steelcase. It is such a crucial show on the global interiors events calendar that it feels like we're about to 'come home' to celebrate.
We will reveal, in detail, the design trends for 2016 - colour palettes, materials, textures and patterns. We won't be holding back as we want this to be a truly valuable connection between Scarlet Opus and the local design community."
Young designers of the future clamoured for 12 coveted places to display their work at INDEX and workspace at INDEX.
From 50 digital entries, 12 individuals, who were either in the final year at a UAE university or had graduated in the past three years, unveiled their work, as part of the feature Fresh, to the global design and architecture community when the show opened on 18 May 2015.
Each submission fell into a specific category sector including furniture, furnishings, lighting, textiles, kitchen and bathroom, and outdoor living. The selected designs have shown innovation and evolution of the concept, the relevance of form, functionality and material choices to the design research and concept, and the effective communication of design intent.
"We have exhibitors, visitors and design speakers flying in from across the globe for INDEX and workspace at INDEX, so there really is no better platform for the designers of the future from the UAE to showcase their ideas directly to the influencers and buyers for the design and architecture industry," said Maurell, "For many years, INDEX has supported and promoted young talented design students via the Student Design Challenge Middle East; however, this is the first time we have focused on helping recently graduated students showcase their talents to the region's architecture and design community."