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Regional Brilliance Showcases Creativity at the First Design Doha Biennale

The inaugural Design Doha Biennale runs until Aug. 5.

The first-ever Design Doha Biennale, overseen by Rana Beiruti, a co-founder of Amman Design Week, presents the focal exhibition titled "Arab Design Now." Featuring contributions from more than 70 designers, including 38 commissioned pieces, this event provides a significant stage for creatives hailing from various Middle Eastern countries such as Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, and the West Bank to exhibit their creative projects. Scheduled until August 5, the biennale offers a significant opportunity for these designers to display their diverse range of works.

The show features a survey of more than 70 designers.

Beiruti claims that the shown pieces demonstrate the dedication of Arab designers to respecting and reinterpreting the region's rich cultural heritage. She emphasizes the shared cultural bonds among Arab nations, despite imposed borders, stating that the exhibition encapsulates this unity through unexpected commonalities showcased by designers from Morocco to Qatar.

One prominent feature of the exhibition is "Tiamat" (2023), a large stonework structure resembling pointed arches commonly found in Palestine, Syria, and Lebanon. Created by Palestinian architects Elias and Yousef Anastas, the work is a component of their continuing investigation into modern architectural applications of structural stone, concentrating on constructions with a small carbon footprint and ethical quarry extraction.

On view at M7 in Doha, the show also boasts 38 commissioned works.

Another notable exhibit is the intricately designed "Bridal Chest" by Jordanian group Naqsh, reflecting customary wedding dress designs in Palestine. Made from onyx stone with brass inlays, the chest is inspired by the bride's bag, symbolizing her transition to her husband's house.

Bricklab, situated in Jeddah, partnered with the 6:AM group to create "An Archive for Modern Glass" (2023), a towering illuminated column showcasing patterns reminiscent of Jeddah's modernist architecture and Venetian glass.

Abeer Seikaly's "Constellations 2.0: Object. Light. Consciousness" (2023) merges Venetian glassmaking with Bedouin weaving practices, featuring a stunning chandelier crafted from over 5,000 pieces of Murano glass.

“Bridal Chest” by Jordanian collective Naqsh.

In addition to "Arab Design Now," the Biennale includes five other exhibitions exploring various themes such as the history of architecture in Doha, Arabic posters, Uzbekistan's crafting traditions, and cultural kinship.

The Biennale, according to Glenn Adamson, Artistic Director of Design Doha, is a profound narrative journey that gradually reveals a profoundly significant story to visitors by moving from thoughts on the land and craftsmanship to cutting-edge technology, language, and culture.

Glenn Adamson, the Artistic Director of Design Doha, describes the Biennale as an insightful storytelling trip, unfolding from reflections on the land and craftsmanship to advanced technology, language, and culture, ultimately revealing a deeply meaningful story to visitors.

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