|17 September, 2017

ECHO Dubai Art, Design and Technology Festival Launches in Dubai

The Festival will take place at Dubai Design District (d3).

ECHO - the Middle East’s first art, design and technology festival - will launch in Dubai this year as ‘ECHO Dubai’. The Festival will take place at Dubai Design District (d3) under the theme ‘Interacting with the Future’, and will provide a multi-sensory platform for people, businesses and brands to engage and collaborate through: a curated conference; an immersive exposition; interactive workshops; and an audio-visual sound festival.

Taking place from the 14th to the 16th December 2017, ECHO Dubai offers an already impressive line-up of speakers, artists, designers, technologists, brands and sponsors.

ECHO Dubai was conceptualised by MICE International, an integrated, UAE-grown events management company. Lana Hawilo, Managing Director of MICE International, explains: “Brands are looking to connect with businesses and consumers in more engaging, innovative ways that use all five of the senses, rather than limiting their reach to mobile devices and social feeds. We wanted to create a platform in the region to enable this, whilst also providing opportunities for local talent to be exposed to current and new trends, in a bid to launch innovators from the region. Our vision is to grow an ECHO community that creates dialogue, disrupts the status quo, and brings best practice to the region. 

 She added: “We are thrilled at the calibre of speakers who have joined us, including Dr Koert Van Mensvoort, Annouk Wipprecht, Chris Kesley, and Francesca Rosella and Ryan Genz from CuteCircuit, who, amongst others, will all showcase some of their internationally famous innovations, as well as conduct workshops to help share their knowledge with the UAE community.”

Anouk Wipprecht is an artist, designer and technologist who last week launched her latest project – a collaboration with multi-media performance artist and amputee Viktoria Modesta – called ‘Sonifica’. With Sonifica, Modesta and Wipprecht merged art, technology and architecture to create 3D printed interactive sonic wearables, including a sonic bustier and sonified prosthetic leg.

Dr. Koert van Mensvoort is best known for his work on the philosophical concept of Next Nature, which revolves around the idea that our technological environment has become so complex, omnipresent and autonomous that it is best perceived as a nature of its own. Among his works are the NANO Supermarket - a traveling exhibition disguised as a supermarket that presents speculative future technologies -  and his Letter to Humanity, which took a year to develop and is addressed to all 7 billion people on Earth. It tells the story of the evolution of the world, of ourselves, and how we can use technology to enhance humanity. It is available in 27 languages, including English and Arabic. 

The Festival will welcome a mix of local, regional and international visitors who will be given the opportunity to discover the latest international trends in technology; experience immersive sound and art installations; explore d3’s range of lifestyle boutiques, art galleries and culinary concepts; and grow their knowledge and skills through interactive workshops and talks hosted by some of the world’s leading subject matter experts.

 Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, COO of d3, said: “We are delighted that the Design Quarter at d3 will this year be the host venue for ECHO festival, the futuristic exhibition that demonstrates how art, design and technology integrate and help shape future trends. As a design district, we play a central part in promoting and supporting innovative technology across many aspects of the design world thereby leveraging Dubai’s position as a global creative centre”

The wider ECHO Dubai Festival will be free to the public. Register online for early bird tickets to the Conference, Workshops and the Sound Festival at: 


The ECHO Conference will provide a platform for world class speakers and future thinkers to share their work and ideas through curated panel sessions.

Confirmed speakers include:

-      Dutch based Hi-Tech Fashion Designer and Innovator Anouk Wipprecht.

-      Dr. Van Mensvoort, who shows how technology becomes nature in seven steps and what engineers, inventors, designers and entrepreneurs can learn from that. Read his ‘Letter to Humanity’ here:

-      Chris Kesley is the CEO of Cazza, a startup developing construction automation technologies. At 19 he sold an app development company called Appsitude, which he founded after leaving high school. Cazza is currently developing large-scale 3D printing construction technologies to automatically 3D print houses on-site.

-      Cedric Kiefer, co-founder of onformative. Cedric’s fascination with science, technology and art fuels the development of new projects at onformative. He has taught generative design at workshops and universities including the University for Applied Arts and Sciences in Hildesheim and the Rheinmain University of Applied Sciences.

Conference themes include:

-      FASHION TECH (Intimate Technology and Smart Fashion): Meet and listen to the experts and creative minds behind the most experimental and game-changing fashion initiatives.  A chance to learn from people who have developed the technologies and innovations that are paving the way to the future of what you will wear.

-      INTERACTIVE EXPERIENCES (creative coding, live visuals, and interactive installations): The future of customer experience has already begun. Meet and listen to the digital storytellers that are dedicated to bridging technology and culture in the service of human connection. Learn how to develop end-to-end solutions that suit the new wave of marketing to build seamless customer experiences.

-      LIVING TECH (bio fabrication, biotech, biocotour): The age of bioengineering is upon us.  We’re entering a new Material Age which is driven by creativity, sustainability and environmental responsibility. Meet the experts who are beginning to build materials using living systems. Understand a future where consumer products are designed and grown harnessing biological organisms

-      GENERATIVE DESIGN: Discover the new age of products made with Generative Design.  Engineering ingenuity is paired with the power of parallel computing and simulation algorithms to create products that have been unimaginable in the past. Generative design is set to transform both the physical world and the role of the designer.

-      FUTURES THINKING: Meet the experts who use a method for informed reflection on the major changes that will occur in the next 10 to 50 years, in all areas of social life, business, science, and education. ‘Futures Thinking’ uses a multidisciplinary approach to identify the dynamics that are creating the future.

-      CREATIVE EDUCATION: Education throughout the world faces challenges, therefore a high degree of flexibility and adaptability of the education system is needed to face these challenges. Now, more than ever, original thinking, reasoning, creativity, innovative and entrepreneurial capabilities are needed for the young generation to face the future. Meet the minds who are shaping and paving the way of the future of education.

-      SUSTAINABLE AUTOMOTIVE: As hybrid and electric passenger vehicles are becoming increasingly mainstream, such fast paced consumer adoption brings about new operational challenges to meet the needs of a wide demographic of drivers. Practical application and innovative trends in theoretical research will be debated through technical presentations delivered by leading industry and academia.


The ECHO Expo will provide a sleek, three-dimensional space for brands to exhibit their products and services through engaging installations and immersive experiences. It will give brands the opportunity to provide an emotional, seamless experience with their product or service, and a surprising and memorable experience for the visitor - thereby deepening brand loyalty.

Confirmed expositions includes: 

-      The NON HUMAN DEVICE #03’ by Boris Chimp 504

-      Bram-Snijders will exhibit his SENSIBLE 1.0 installation

-      Refik Anadol will expose his Infinity Room


The ECHO Workshops are a professional and creative platform for interactive learning to take place, conducted by some of the world’s most respected and successful forward-thinking minds. Participants will have the opportunity to meet, network, learn, and collaborate with each other.

Confirmed workshop hosts include: 

-       Ali M. Demirel, who studied Nuclear Engineering and Architecture, started making experimental videos in 1993, focusing on minimal imagery and structural compositions. His concepts are often driven from science and architecture. He also deals with socio-political subjects as Magnetmus and Dunyayi Kurtaran Mimarlar.

-      Michel Guglielmi and Hanne-Louise Johannesen from Diffus work with a theoretical and practical approach towards art, design, architecture and new media: Diffus moves between culture, aesthetic and technology.  

-      Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman is a leading expert in designing for wearable technology using smart textiles. Her experience as an industrial designer, researcher, author, and professor at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn led to the development of Interwoven Design Group, an interdisciplinary design practice where she blurs the lines between design and technology.

Workshop topics include: 

-      Designing Effective Collaborations

-      Interactive Performances

-      Video Mapping

-      Fashion-Tech

-      Designing an Audio-Visual Installation

-      Creative Coding


The ECHO Sound Festival will bring influential and disruptive DJs and artists together, to create audio-visual experiences never before seen in the region. The Sound Festival will take place each evening from 6pm to 3am, and will make use of world-class sound systems and technology to immerse and entertain. 

 Confirmed Artists include:

-      BORIS CHIMP 504 will expose audiences to an audiovisual real-time performance that emphasizes audio synthesis and graphical languages through futuristic Sci-Fi aesthetics.

-      More to be announced shortly.


ECHO DUBAI is the region’s first multi-sensory festival where art, design and technology intersect to provide a platform for local and international businesses, brands and minds to connect and collaborate. This year’s edition will launch in Dubai, taking place from the 14th to the 16th December in Dubai’s Design District (d3), under the theme, “Interacting with the future”. The 3-day Festival will include an expo showcasing immersive installations by local and international exhibitors, a conference to exchange knowledge and generate new ideas within the industry; workshops across a range of artistic and creative disciplines hosted by international experts; and a sound festival that combines leading musical talent with audio-visual technology, to offer a truly immersive experience.   







MICE International is an integrated, UAE - grown events management company based in Dubai. Established in 2011 with a vision to create events that are distinctively significant, MICE International offers a unique perspective that conceptualises clients’ needs to deliver an exceptional, memorable experience. The skilled, multi-cultural team merges creativity, technology and innovation with a wide range of skills, disciplines, and deep regional experience. The team keeps abreast of current and emerging trends to ensure clients receive maximum impact and return on their investment.

For media enquiries and speaker interviews please contact:
Megan Ballantyne
Associate Director
55 697 5176

© Press Release 2017