Top talent briefed to boost design across the Middle East

An international design school, supported by a future Arab Council on Design, will launch in Dubai as part of a long-term strategy to boost creative industries across the Middle East. The initiative comes ahead of the city’s inaugural design festival next

An international design school, supported by a future Arab Council on Design, will launch in Dubai as part of a long-term strategy to boost creative industries across the Middle East. The initiative comes ahead of the city’s inaugural design festival next year.

Details for many of the design projects are still being thrashed out by Moutamarat, a Dubai-based joint venture company, which is launching the schemes as part of a long-term programme entitled the International Design Initiative.

The first of the design projects to roll out will be the International Design Forum, which will take place on 3 to 5 February 2007. The festival will include design workshops, conferences and exhibitions focusing on industrial and urban design. To support this, a series of design publications will also be launched to highlight regional design trends and evaluate the development of the creative industries across the Middle East. Designers have not yet been appointed to these publishing projects.

A Design Advisory Board to help lead the various start-up projects is being assembled. So far the board comprises 15 members, including Rodney Fitch, chief executive at Fitch, Rem Koolhaas and Zaha Hadid. The full line-up, unveiled next month, may include Philippe Starck, although his position is not yet confirmed.

The design school will be located in a new building and members of the advisory board will contribute to designing elements of it. The school will offer degrees in graphic design, interior design, architecture and industrial design.

Moutamarat is undertaking research to investigate the feasibility of launching the school, but cannot yet confirm a launch date or specific location for the school, says a spokeswoman for Moutamarat. Specific details of the Arab Council on Design are also still being decided.

Winkreative has designed the branding for the International Design Initiative, which will roll out across its other projects,

Design in Dubai:

• International Design Initiative, created by Moutamarat. Branding by Winkreative

• Design Advisory Board being established to lead the various design projects

• Projects include International Design Forum 2007, Arab Council on Design, design school and design publications, such as Design Guide to the Arab World

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