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INDEX Dubai 2018

Bursting at the seams with innovation and inspiration INDEX Dubai 2018 was not one to be missed.

INDEX Dubai is an event for everybody. From experienced Architects and Interior Designers, to Product Designers, Suppliers and Manufacturers. It’s a great for new up and coming Designers and you will never guess who else was there? Us, The National Design Academy! So settle in as we bring you our highlights from the event.

INDEX Dubai 2018

The Theme

The theme for INDEX Dubai 2018 was ‘Design for Expression’. This can be interpreted in many ways. For us it was all about our students, past, present and future and what ‘Design for Expression’ means to them.

Looking around the event ‘Design for Expression’ was evident to see from the atmospheric entry or the impressive show stopper ‘Off the Wall’ to the colourful art avenue and welcoming exhibits such as APID (Association for Professional Interior Designers), InDesign and of course The National Design Academy. 

New Designers coming into the industry can gain a lot from attending events just like this, they can be influenced and inspired by the global community of design.  NDA Senior Tutor, Alison Grace-Gahan spoke ahead of INDEX about student engagement at Design Events. What the interview here: Interview Video


Ventura Dubai, had a pavilion situated in the main arena for visitors to explore, titled ‘An Exploration of Self-Expression. The space provided a platform for talented European Designers to showcase their designs.  From furniture, to accessories and finishes, the designs took a ‘no frill or fuss’ approach focusing on high quality design. Although minimal, they oozed craftsmanship, elegance and authentic characteristics.  

This European focused space, was such a contrast to the glitz and glamour style that was once the overriding theme in Dubai. Ventura Dubai was not only a sure-fire way for exhibitors to enter the Eastern Market but also a space of inspiration for design enthusiasts.

NDA Students at INDEX Dubai

INDEX Dubai 2018

INDEX Dubai 2018

We welcomed students to come and chat, support and volunteer with us at our stand throughout each day, and we had great fun catching up and working together. It was great to have so many NDA student’s pop by to say hi. Students not just from the MENA region but from places dotted around the globe.  Did you know that we have students in over 80 countries?

INDEX Dubai 2018

One student we had the chance to catch up with was Janaika Elders, founder of Urban Nest and curator of Dutch Interior Design in the MENA region. Janaika was at INDEX to launch the wonderful range of furniture and interior accents from Dutch Interior Design label, PUIK. It was so exciting seeing an NDA student, standing proudly with this inspiring and promising design.


Index Dubai 1

Janaika, launched the famed PUIK design label at INDEX Dubai this year, and we loved it. Her other project, Urban Nest is very closely connected to the Dutch Design Centre in D3 (Dubai Design District) and is a member of the Netherlands Business Council. Dutch Design can be characterized as minimal, experimental, innovative, quirky and playful with sleek lines and simple form. What’s not to love! We take pride in the knowing of our students excelling in the design industry and to witness this in person is amazing.

Index Dubai 3

So how did creative, driven and very cool Dutch/Peruvian NDA Student, Janaika come this this point? Although she has always loved home décor and interiors, Janaika worked 15 years in logistics before deciding it was time to enter the design industry. She was able to grow her dream business by combining her passion for the subject and the skills she is developing through studying at the National Design Academy. The NDA is helping to get that passion onto paper and get Janaika the qualification she so deserves. We wish her the best of luck with her further success within the wonderful world of the Interior Design Industry.

Index Dubai 4

Always striving to ensure that we are part of the design discussion, events like this are so important for us. So where to next?

Thanks for reading!

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