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Dubai Design District and Memac Ogilvy call on the community to ‘Rethink the Regular’

The Initiative aims to promote Dubai as a global design and talent hub.

Rethink the Regular is a global campaign from Dubai Design District (d3) with a simple objective: to position d3 as a creative accelerator that acts as the home for curious minds and novel experiences. The business district entices you to be inspired and see creativity from a new perspective. By breaking the rules and challenging the status quo, design can inspire growth and innovation at a time when the world needs it most.

Created in collaboration with Memac Ogilvy, it showcases not only what d3 is, but the possibilities that design-loving startups, regional and global corporations can discover. The digital Rethink the Regular campaign was launched with a film that has attracted over one million views. It literally demonstrates just how the artistically designed offices, restaurants, shops and recreation spaces in d3 can inspire you through intricate visual illusions that play with perception. The custom music track mirrors the experimental and modern atmosphere d3 is known for, amplifying the physics-bending aesthetic. The final product is a spot that showcases not only what d3 is, but what it hopes to inspire.

Some of the featured spots like restaurants, galleries, workspaces and offices are eclectic and unique, but they share a common trait: they force you to rethink the regular. Whether it’s a sculpture that doubles as a bicycle rack, a restaurant combined with a gift shop or food that fuses two culinary disciplines or world-renowned artist’s murals d3 reimagines the things we see every day in a whole new way.

Under HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision to transform Dubai into a global creative economic capital by doubling the number of creators from 70,000 to 140,000, rethinking art and design has never been so important.

To complement the campaign on-ground, d3 launched a weeklong exhibition called Rethink-Art that ran from 28 March to 3 April. Bringing together classic cars, art displays, Instagrammable installations, iconic murals, free workshops and special dining menus, the event showcased d3’s unique destinations and attracted thousands of people to the business district.

Khadija Al Bastaki, Executive Director of d3, said: “Since d3 was established in 2013, it has served as the region’s go-to destination for creativity. As the world continues to face unprecedented changes, it is important to stay ahead of the game – by rethinking what has been done before, we will be able to conceptualise and build more robust economies that can withstand the test of time. This will help Dubai become one of the best cities in the world. Design plays a critical role in this new vision as it transcends all boundaries, it holds to key to innovation and humanises technology. Through our Rethink the Regular campaign, we aim to inspire people and businesses to create new ideas and concepts in Dubai that move the world forward.  We are excited to kick off this global campaign with our inaugural exhibition celebrating the diversity of d3’s talent by bringing new artistic and culinary experiences to Dubai that reflects our rich heritage and pioneering vision for the future.”

From smart cities to urban mobility and resource efficiency, design methods and practices have already impacted our lives for the better.  The fashion industry is a prime example of a sector that has transformed its business model to cater to evolving needs, as consumers are more conscious of fast fashion and the resources needed to produce the garments available to them. This has created a race to design environmentally friendly and socially responsible materials.

In line with the country’s forward-thinking policies, the UAE has been transformed into a leading design hub and a top incubator of creative talent. Dubai continues to shift the notion of design being a tool to produce aesthetic products to a future-oriented discipline that can transform entire industries. As we head towards a future where health, safety and sustainability are of utmost importance, designers will play a key role in the creation of more resilient and resourceful societies because it breaks down the barriers of imagination and creates positive change.

There are more events planned for the rest of the year to maintain momentum in Rethink the Regular. It has already inspired creators and innovators in the region’s largest design district to share unique perspectives on social media celebrate everything but the ordinary.