‘2040: d3 Architecture Exhibition’ opens at Dubai Design District (d3)


Dubai, UAE, 8 November 2021: The 2040: d3 Architecture Exhibition, an experimental exhibition that will look to the sustainable development of Dubai over the next 20 years, has kicked off today at Dubai Design District (d3).


The exhibition is d3’s response to the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan, which was launched in March this year by His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, and which is a comprehensive future road map for the sustainable development of the emirate of Dubai.
Great design will play a crucial role in bringing the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan to life. With d3 at the forefront of the regional design scene and as the region’s leading creativity hub it has all the elements in place to enable ideas and concepts for the 2040 master plan to flourish and for the architectural firms and visionary architects within its ecosystem to rethink the regular.


Taking place in Atrium 6 at d3 from 8-13 November 2021 the free-to-attend 2040: d3 Architecture Exhibition runs alongside Dubai Design Week, the region’s largest creativity festival which is held under the patronage of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairperson of the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority (Dubai Culture) and member of Dubai Council. It’s the second edition of d3’s annual architecture exhibition, following the successful inaugural event last year, and further establishes Dubai’s first platform to showcase regional architecture, urbanism and sustainable development. 


With the theme of 2040, the d3 exhibition presents experiences and innovative concepts to envision how Dubai could look in 20 years, aligned with the urban transformations outlined by the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan. The master plan aims to ensure the highest standards of urban infrastructure and facilities for Dubai and to develop vibrant, healthy and sustainable communities for residents and visitors while ensuring the emirate has a symbiotic relationship with nature.


Speaking on the exhibition, Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of Dubai Design District (d3), said: “Plans of mega cities are being set today and construction is underway as we look to a growing population, which is set to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050. But how are these future living spaces planned and are they human centred and future-proofed? Establishing dialogue on the future of sustainable cities has never been so important, which is why we are very proud to unveil this year’s architecture festival, our second architecture exhibition at d3 - and this year in a physical format as well. 


“2040: d3 Architecture Exhibition focuses on our own city, Dubai, and showcases innovative ideas and concepts that bring the vision of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan to life. We at d3 are deeply committed to enabling our creative community to be able to support on the master urban plan for our city.   We look forward very much to welcoming visitors to d3 over the coming days to see the multimedia concepts and ideas put forward by the talent within our creative ecosystem.  The exhibition shows how they are rethinking the building of the past and envisaging the sustainable future of our city, Dubai.”


The work of five d3 and UAE-based architectural firms is showcased: Beyrac Architects; Dabbagh Architects; MEAN* Middle East Architecture Network; RMJM Dubai; and Tariq Khayyal Design Partners. The exhibition presents visitors with innovative multimedia experiences and interactive installations that take them on a journey into how Dubai could look in 20 years as well as showcase how architecture, with a human-centric approach, can contribute to enhancing happiness, well-being and quality of life in a sustainable manner.  


Presented across four themed zones, which again align with the goals of the Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan - Mobility and Transportation, Public and Recreational Spaces, Accessibility to Infrastructure and Eco Tourism - the concepts on view envisage the future of the built space inspired by the curating architect’s direct environment, cultural context and experiences of working in the region.  


Each of the architects have interpreted one of the themed zones and designed and produced concepts for it – and have engaged and collaborated with other architects and design organisations where required. Also participating in the show are Mobility in Chain, AESG FutureCity, Dubai Institute of Design and Innovation (DIDI), Desert/NK, X Architects, ARDH Architects and Grimshaw Architects, among others.


Both Beyrac Architects and RMJM Architects have both been involved with the Accessibility to Infrastructure exhibit. Beyrac Architects, initially from France, set up in d3 in 2019 while RMJM Architects have had a continuous presence in the Middle East since the 1960s. The Beyrac presentation looks at creating modern concepts for roads, connection districts, landscape solutions, cycling and pedestrians, and showcases world class ideas on converting car orientated streets into quiet streets for pedestrians and cyclists as well as designs for bridges and walkways. 


Through video interviews and an engaging installation, RMJM has worked with various partners to showcase designs rooted in the understanding of local culture and tradition. Their designs look at the infrastructure of green in Dubai and the importance of planting and shade to make spaces walkable and useable; addressing the need to connect the great places in Dubai and be able to walk home; and thinking of and planning all spaces, whether great or small.


Dabbagh Architects, an award-winning RIBA Chartered Architectural Design Practice based in Dubai, have looked at eco-tourism. Established in 2008 by Sumaya Dabbagh, a Saudi architect educated in the UK, the practice sets outs to create contemporary architecture that is culturally and environmentally sensitive and that focuses on themes of place, belonging and identity. They project their concepts on the future of eco-tourism through a tapestry, video box and experiential tunnel. Among their designs on view are visuals for the multi award winning Mleiha Archaeological Centre, which has been globally recognised as a significant example of a newly emerging architecture in the UAE, as well for Al Ain Museum and the recently completed Gargash Mosque in Dubai.


If you have any comments or questions, please send an email to our Media Contact.


Three people having a healthy conversation at Dubai Internet City