William Knight appointed head of design for Art Dubai Group
100% design director William Knight is leaving his London post to head up Dubai Design Week.
Knight has been appointed managing director and head of design for the Art Dubai Group, which produces Dubai Design Week as well as the trade show Downtown Design and collectible design fair Design Days Dubai.
He takes over from outgoing director Cyril Zammit and will oversee all three of the events as part of his role. Knight is known for his time spearheading London design events through the London Design Festival (LDF), Clerkenwell Design Week and the UK's Design Council.
His appointment signals an ongoing commitment from the Art Dubai Group to growing Dubai Design Week, which began in 2015, into a key global design event.
"[Dubai] is already the region's design hub and is primed to become one of the world's key design destinations," said Knight. "I'm hugely excited by the opportunity to develop a unique, sustainable and globally relevant series of events and to contribute to the swiftly evolving design culture in Dubai."
The new role means Knight will no longer serve as event director of London trade show 100% Design. He was appointed by the fair's new owners Media 10 in 2012 and tasked with reinvigorating it.
The trade show is now a major component of the LDF, another event marked by Knight's fingerprints. He served as its deputy director between 2004 and 2012, during which time it grew into one of the premier design events globally.
Before that, he was public affairs manager at the London-based Design Council. His most recent role at Media 10 also saw him directing Clerkenwell Design Week, the highest placed UK event in Dezeen Hot List.
"There are few candidates worldwide with such high-level commercial and non-commercial experience combined," said Art Dubai Group CEO Ben Floyd. "I look forward to working with him to help grow the city as a global destination for design trade and talent."
In 2015, event organisers told Dezeen that bringing the global design community together in Dubai for a week each year is an important way to showcase what the city can offer the design industry.
"The growth rate of the design industry in the region is double the growth rate of the design industry worldwide," said Mohammad Saeed Al Shehhi, CEO for Dubai Design District. "That's an opportunity for us."
Knight begins his position with Art Dubai Group from 1 March 2017, but will continue in a consultative role with Media 10 Ltd for the forthcoming edition of Clerkenwell Design Week this May.