District 2020 – Cityscape 2019

Connect. Create. Innovate.

Opportunity

A first of its kind, District 2020 is a mixed use development designed to promote an innovation driven business ecosystem and balanced lifestyle. Envisioned as a hub for Dubai’s innovation economy, it is poised to usher in a new era, with a unique urban experience that supports the growth of Dubai. 

Needless to say, with the Expo around the corner and the transition into District 2020 following almost immediately after, the project is of immense significance for the future of the Expo and the city. Whilst there is public interest to understand what happens to the Expo site, the pavilion’s objectives are more geared to attract and inform business entities (partners and tenants) of this unique investment opportunity.

Challenge

With its second appearance at Cityscape, the District 2020 aims to reintroduce its masterplan to international and domestic investors as a thriving, living ecosystem of people who will call it their home and make this place a desirable and vibrant community.

One might presume being closely associated with the Expo, bearing the unique title of ‘Dubai’s first Innovation district’ is enough a proposition to be a show headliner. But standing out amidst a shouting playground of extravagant(albeit often superficial) installations, we know, is no mean feat at a world-class show like Cityscape. The smallest of details could banish a pavilion into the very noise it is trying to cut through.

Moreover, how does one capture the spirit and ambition of a space that fosters creativity and innovation at a property show; where audiences are often more interested in the details like square footage and timelines.

Approach

Tasked with informing audiences on how District 2020 is actively curating a globally competitive innovation ecosystem where people can live, work and visit, it was apparent from the start how we needed to tell the real ‘Human-Centric’ story of its ecosystem.

Most exhibitors at Cityscape are fighting for visitor attention with an overly decorative presence. This year we want to stand out by having a modern looking, clean design language in line with a refreshed brand. From the moment you step into the space we want to convey the message of District 2020 being a new and exciting Innovation hub of the region.

A glowing canopy of floating cubes along with a layout set at a 45 degree angle (to everything else in the exhibition hall) instantly set it apart making a bold futuristic statement on approach. The use of lighter, more translucent materials like fabric and perspex paired with more grounded, recycled materials like chipboard was reflective of a maker space that is built for collaboration and innovation. 

Showcasing the vibrant, active lifestyle the district aims to promote, is an interactive installation that allows visitors to physically ‘cycle’ through the district and its neighbourhoods. Multiple screens delivered layered content both informative and emotive as one pedalled the bike. The installation we felt is a great example of engaging content delivery, allowing visitors to live and experience the spirit of a space as they learn about it.

To further emphasise the human centric approach that is sympathetic to resident and visitor needs, we felt it pertinent to gather public opinion on what exactly it is that people look for in a development and district. A simple analogue polling system helped gather useful visitor generated data and an interesting snapshot of general sentiment. the moment you step into the space we want to convey the message of District 2020 being a new and exciting Innovation hub of the region.

Amongst the many methods used to deliver and explore content we partnered with Soluis to showcase an immersive 360 experience of the district inside a dome shaped theatre.

Results

Besides dedicating an entire corner to those who would make this space, the ‘People of District 2020’, we created a fun activation for visitors to be part of the district where they could take pictures of themselves on what one might call an open photo booth. The pictures were tinted in various colours to match the occupational profile selected by the visitor.