05 December 2023

Qatar Museums Announces Inauguration of First Edition of Design Doha in February 2024


Doha, December 04 (QNA) - Qatar Museums announced Monday the inauguration of the first edition of the biennial event Design Doha from Feb. 24 to 28, 2024.

The Design Doha will be held every two years, highlighting excellence and innovation in the design community in Qatar, the Middle East and North Africa. It serves as a new platform for practitioners from across the Arab world, helping to build professional pathways and engage with the acclaimed design professionals from around the world who will convene at the event.

HE Chairperson of Qatar Museums Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani said that as a global hub for culture, Qatar Museums not only builds museums and galleries and presents great collections and exhibitions but also develops the nation's creative industries and helps emerging talents be successful in their careers. Recognizing that there are far too few platforms in the region for designers to present their work, the inauguration of Design Doha is a testament to the excellence and innovation of our region's design community. With so much talent in the region, the aim is to provide a platform to support Arab designers in advancing their creative practices and businesses and to share their talent with the world.

Doha Design District's Interior Design Senior Manager Shaikha Al Sulaiti expressed her pleasure in hosting the inaugural Design Doha events. As a dynamic and innovative community, where creative talent can meet and be mutually inspired, the Doha Design District has quickly become a key piece of Doha's cultural fabric, helping position the city as the regional design hub.

Design Doha will offer exhibitions of work from a wide variety of design practices, ranging from architecture, urbanism and landscape design to textiles, wood, glass, ceramics and graphic design.

Among these are over 20 activations curated by partner design studios based in the region. A site-specific commission by South Korea-based designer Choi Byung Hoon will go on permanent view at the National Museum of Qatar, and a commission by Dutch designer Joris Laarman entitled the Doha Dragon will be installed in the Doha Design District. Juried prizes will provide monetary awards, mentorship opportunities with international design experts and market exposure. Design Doha will also feature a series of illuminating conversations with global leaders in design and creative industries.

The exhibition program will be anchored by Arab Design Now, a regional survey of more than 70 Arab designers, which will be on view from Feb. 24 to Aug. 5 2024 at M7, Doha's center for innovation, entrepreneurship, fashion and design. Other exhibitions that will be unveiled at M7 during the biennial are Colors of the City: A Century of Architecture in Doha, Weaving Songs in collaboration with Turquoise Mountain, and 100/100 HUNDRED BEST ARABIC POSTERS Round 04.

Following the announcement will be two open calls for submissions. The first, the Design Doha Prize, will be awarded by an international jury to four design practitioners based in the MENA region.

These chosen individuals, specializing in categories of interior, product, furniture and craft design, will not only receive a prestigious monetary award but also benefit from valuable mentorship opportunities with top design experts, and gain exposure to international markets, enriching their careers and amplifying their influence in the world of design. The open call will go live on Dec. 17.

Artistic Director of Design Doha Glenn Adamson explained that they have adopted a museum-based curatorial model, dedicated to showcasing designers from across the Arab world. The energy in the region is extraordinary, and Doha has rapidly become a global design destination. The biennial will take place alongside museums, stadiums, studios and infrastructure, creating a platform for creative industries into the future.

Deputy Director of Programming and Partnerships of Design Doha Fahad Al Obaidly said that the modern development of Qatar's design community started 25 years ago with the opening of VCU Qatar, the oldest art and design school in the region. That tradition continues today through the openings of M7 and Liwan and the development of the future Qatar Preparatory School, devoted to the creative industries.

This commitment to excellence in design was internationally recognized in 2021 when Doha joined UNESCO's Creative Cities Network as a Creative City of Design. Al Obaidly hopes to reinforce this journey with the Design Doha inauguration next year.

Qatar Museums' M7, Liwan Design Studios and Labs and Doha Design District located in Msheireb will serve as hubs for Design Doha throughout the five-day biennial, which will take place as part of the winter gathering of Qatar Creates, the national cultural movement that curates, promotes and celebrates the diversity of cultural activities in Qatar and connects residents and global audiences with Qatar's creative industries.

The Design Doha Forum, the headline programming event for the biennial, is curated by Senior Advisor for Academic and Cultural Affairs at Qatar Museums Dr. Jelena Trkulja. Its primary objective is to position Doha's design sector within a global context, with a particular emphasis on the design of inclusive and equitable cities. The Forum will bring together Qatar-based and international design experts, who will explore how design can contribute to creating urban spaces that are inclusive and equitable for all. Through engaging discussions and diverse perspectives, the Design Doha Forum offers a unique opportunity to connect with designers, professionals, and other experts while gaining insights into the evolving world of design.

Running throughout Design Doha will be the Designers Breakfast Club in partnership with FROMM, a design platform based between Qatar and Italy. The program aims to empower emerging designers in Qatar through targeted coaching that aims to enhance creative processes, promote personal and professional development, and equip designers with valuable skills for success in interior, furniture, and accessories design.

Commenting on the partnership, Founder and CEO Alia Rachid said that FROMM. is honored to contribute to this event, particularly through 'The Breakfast Club' coaching series. FROMM. are dedicated to cultivating talent, offering comprehensive mentorship, guidance and business insights all crucial for bringing their designs to the global stage.

During Design Doha, Liwan Design Studios and Labs will host an event for creatives to launch their annual design publication, Al Journal, an initiative connecting local and global design voices, and encouraging collaboration and commentary on creative, cultural, and intellectual matters centered on design.



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