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Design Doha Qatar biennial news

4 December 2023

Location: Doha, Qatar

Monday 4 December 2023

Qatar Museums Announces Design Biennial

Celebrating Arab Creatives Across Disciplines

More than 100 Designers from the MENA Region to Participate in Inaugural “Design Doha

24 – 28 February 2024

M7 Design & Technology Museum in Doha, Qatar:
M7 Design & Technology Museum, Doha, Qatar

Design Doha Qatar biennial 2024 event

First Edition of the Biennial, hosted in Qatar’s Doha Design District, to Consist of Regional Survey of Arab Designers, New Commissions,
Juried Awards, Panel Conversations with Global Industry Leaders, Collaborations with regional design studios, coaching programs on the business of design, and Special Events

Qatar Museums today announced the inauguration in 2024 of Design Doha, a biennial showcase for excellence and innovation in the design community in Qatar and the MENA region. Established under the leadership of Qatar Museums’ Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Design Doha will be 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.

Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa said, “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 our 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, our 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.”

M7 Design & Technology Museum, Doha building:
M7 Design & Technology Museum, Doha

Led by Artistic Director Glenn Adamson, the inaugural Design Doha will take place from 24-28 February 2024. Design Doha events will be held within Msheireb, a creative neighbourhood that nurtures collaboration, creativity, and innovation and is serving as host for the event. The Doha Design District is the heart of Msheireb, one of the smartest and most sustainable cities in the world, which was meticulously designed to be in harmony with local traditions and modern standards with the help of its bespoke Seven Steps architectural language. Design Doha takes on a crucial role in this district, further activating it as a vibrant hub for creatives.

Doha Design District’s Interior Design Senior Manager Shaikha Al Sulaiti said, “We’re honoured to host 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. We can’t wait to welcome the world’s design community next year and witness the exchange of ideas and collaborations that are sure to abound.”

Liwan building courtyard chairs:
Liwan building courtyard chairs Design Doha Qatar biennial

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 of design and the 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 24 February to 5 August 2024 at M7, Doha’s centre for innovation, entrepreneurship, fashion, and design. Curated by Rana Beiruti, founder of Amman Design Week, Arab Design Now examines how local and regional designers balance contemporary design with traditional methods derived from the region’s heritage, with a particular focus on environmental and sustainable design. Other exhibitions which will be unveiled at M7 during the biennial are Colors of the City: A Century of Architecture in DohaWeaving Songs in collaboration with Turquoise Mountain, and 100/100 – HUNDRED BEST ARABIC POSTERS.

Glenn Adamson said, “For Design Doha, we 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 its place alongside museums, stadiums, studios and infrastructure, creating a platform for the creative industries into the future.”

Liwan spaces private studio:
Liwan spaces private studio Design Doha Qatar biennial

Fahad Al Obaidly, Deputy Director of Programming and Partnerships of Design Doha, said: “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 recognised in 2021, when Doha joined UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network as a Creative City of Design – and we are hoping to reinforce this journey with the Design Doha inaugurating next year”.

Qatar Museums’ M7Liwan 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 Dr. Jelena Trkulja, the Senior Advisor for Academic and Cultural Affairs at Qatar Museums. 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 programme 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: “Qatar Museums’ initiative with Design Doha marks a significant milestone, and FROMM. is honored to contribute to this event, particularly through ‘The Breakfast Club’ coaching series. At FROMM., we are dedicated to cultivating our talent, offering comprehensive mentorship, guidance, and business insights — all crucial for bringing their designs to the global stage.”

Liwan library room:
Liwan library room Design Doha Qatar biennial

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

Following today’s 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, specialising 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 17th December.

The second open call, launching on 7th December, provides graphic design students, recent graduates, and established graphic designers based in Qatar the opportunity to work with UNESCO’s Creative Cities Network to create the official logo of Doha Design City.

About Qatar Museums

Qatar Museums (QM), the nation’s preeminent institution for art and culture, provides authentic and inspiring cultural experiences through a growing network of museums, heritage sites, festivals, public art installations, and programmes. QM preserves, restores, and expands the nation’s cultural offerings and historical sites, sharing art and culture from Qatar, the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA) region with the world and enriching the lives of citizens, residents, and visitors.

Under the patronage of His Highness the Amir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, and led by its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, QM has made Qatar a vibrant centre for the arts, culture, and education in the Middle East and beyond. QM is integral to the goal of developing an innovative, diverse, and progressive nation, bringing people together to ignite new thinking, spark critical cultural conversations, educate and encourage environmental stewardship and sustainable practices, and amplify the voices of Qatar’s people. Since its founding in 2005, QM has overseen the Museum of Islamic Art and MIA Park, Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of Qatar, QM Gallery Al Riwaq, QM Gallery Katara and the 3-2-1 Qatar Olympic and Sports Museum. Future museums include Dadu, Children’s Museum of Qatar, Qatar Auto Museum, Art Mill Museum and the Lusail Museum.

Through its newly created Creative Hub, QM also initiates and supports projects—such as the Fire Station Artist in Residence, the Tasweer Qatar Photo Festival and the creative hub for innovation, fashion and design M7—that nurture artistic talent and create opportunities to build a strong and sustainable cultural infrastructure.

Animating everything that Qatar Museums does is an authentic connection to Qatar and its heritage, a steadfast commitment to inclusivity and accessibility, and a belief in creating value through invention.

About Qatar Creates

Qatar Creates curates, celebrates, and promotes cultural activities within Qatar. Working with partners in museums, film, fashion, hospitality, cultural heritage, performing arts, and the private sector in Qatar, the Qatar Creates platform amplifies the voice of Qatar’s creative industries, directly connecting audiences to events.

About Msheireb Properties

A national real estate development company and a subsidiary of Qatar Foundation established as a commercial venture to support the foundation in achieving the Qatar National Vision 2030. The company aims to enrich people’s lives and improve the overall quality of how they live, work and thrive by creating modern, innovative, and authentic developments.

Msheireb Properties partnered with industry leaders and experts in order to align the architectural lessons of the past with the latest in eco-friendly technologies, in order to employ a new approach to urban planning; one that combines traditional methods and modern technology to preserve the environment as well as the cultural identity of Qatar.

An emerging leader in sustainable development, Msheireb Properties’ new language is used to create buildings of a shared DNA, reviving local heritage and culture through a unified architectural idiom. Its signature city district, Msheireb Downtown Doha, is developing a blueprint for sustainable urban regeneration.

Msheireb Properties received ISO certification from the British Standards Institution for quality (ISO 9001:2015), environmental performance (ISO 14001:2015), occupational health and safety (BS OHSAS 18001:2007), and Risk Management Standard (ISO 31000:2009).

About FROMM.:

FROMM., launched between Msheireb and Milan, is a luxury contemporary furniture brand creating the ideal fusion of design and manufacturing. Born with the vision of empowering young talents in the region, FROMM. debuted at Milan Design Week in 2022, showcasing its inaugural Shurouq collection.

We collaborate with both local and international designers, producing collections that masterfully blend heritage innovation with contemporary aesthetics. Our educational platform, FROMM.LAB, offers designers the opportunity to co-design, collaborate, and contribute to FROMM.’s collections. These collections are represented both locally and globally, making appearances at some of the industry’s most significant events. At FROMM., we believe in design’s power to transcend borders and celebrate the rich tapestry of cultural exchange.

Design Doha Qatar biennial images / information received 041223

Location: Qatar

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Comments / photos for the Design Doha Qatar biennial page welcome