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Recap: Malta Design Week 2016

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As part of the V18 European Capital of Culture Programme, November’s first weekend saw the launch of the 2016 edition of the Malta Design Week, co-sponsored by DEX Workspaces. It is an annual event that bridges the world of design, art, and architecture to the public, and offers a space for discussion through a network of experienced professionals and prominent figures within the industry.

Owing to its international array of guest speakers and exhibitions, it is a platform through which individuals can learn about art and design on both a local and international level. This year, Malta Design Week featured a series of Design Dialogues – A number of talks, lectures, and panel discussions from carefully selected speakers, that provided a deeper insight into their world and their careers.

The 5th of November saw the first day of Design Week, led by a panel discussion by Paul Cocksedge, from Paul Cocksedge Studio, a London-based design firm focusing on creating simple yet imaginative, people-focused designs. The Studio’s national and international acclaim, as well as its successfully original designs, made its co-founder the perfect figure to start the discussion at Design Week.

Following the discussion the next day was French/Australian urban strategist Frank Minnaërt, who has done extensive work in Sydney before returning to Paris in 2014. Apart from discussing the possibilities of making Paris a space that functions as a communal space with an aesthetic and functional network or transportation, Minnaërt also discussed the work within his own multidisciplinary practice.

On the 7th of November, the founding partner of Architecture Porject Konrad Buttigieg, brought forward the question of how much of our surfaces and spaces are made of physical materials, and how much are actually produced with an abstract soulful concept in mind. His Design Dialogue, ‘Stuck in the Mirror with You’, explored the possibilities of creating sustainable and functional architecture, that is both timeless yet is also conceivable as a cultural heritage embodying a place’s identity.

On the penultimate day of the event, Libby Sellers led her Design Dialogue on the role of collection in both cultures and in design. Formerly working as senior curator of the Design Museum in London, Sellers is now a respected authority on collecting design.

The last day of the event featured co-founder of Atelier Bow-Wow Yoshi Tsukamoto’s talk on combining architecture and eco-tourism to make natural resources more accessible to people without compromising the environment. Following this last lecture, Tom Van Maldaren, architect and CEO at Architecture Project, featured as the moderator for the panel discussion that brought together some of the week’s speakers themselves, along with some other local names from within the design industry, tying up the last day of the event.

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Aside from hosting talks about design, the space at the University of Malta Valletta Campus was host to some of DEX’s unique pieces. During the sessions, the participants and the audience alike had a chance to marvel at six of the furniture pieces from their Vitra range, including Panton, the Tipton, the Basel, the Hal Wood, and the Eames Elephant Chair, as well as the Vitra Wall Clock.

The cutting edge pieces were the perfect complement to the themes presented during the Dialogues, thanks to their effortless combination of form, style, and function.

For more information about Dex Workspaces and their brand, you can visit their showroom in Msida, or take a look at their Partner Profile.


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