Design Doha Exhibitions

Qatar Museums presents Design Doha, a biennial event showcasing design and innovation in Qatar and the MENA region. The biennial took place from February 24 to February 28, with the opening week heralding the start of a series of exhibitions, extending until August 5, 2024.

At the heart of the exhibition lineup is “Arab Design Now,” a comprehensive survey featuring over 70 Arab designers and showcasing 38 specially commissioned works. Hosted at M7, Doha’s hub for innovation, entrepreneurship, fashion, and design, this exhibition explores design themes rooted in the unique geographies and cultural values of the Levant, the Gulf, and North Africa. Curated by Rana Beiruti, co-founder of Amman Design Week, “Arab Design Now” investigates how regional designers blend contemporary design with traditional techniques, particularly focusing on environmental sustainability. Accompanied by a significant publication, this exhibition marks the first comprehensive survey of multiple projects by participating designers.

Reflecting on the exhibition, Rana Beiruti emphasised the commitment of designers across the region to heritage-based traditions and rituals, highlighting their collaborative approach and intimate connection with the region’s landscape.

The showcased designers represent a diverse array of talent from Palestine, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Morocco, UAE, Syria, Algeria, Italy, Iraq, and beyond. Their works encapsulate a broad spectrum of design disciplines and sensibilities, contributing to a vibrant tapestry of creativity.

In addition to “Arab Design Now,” Design Doha will feature five additional exhibitions:

  1. “Colours of the City: A Century of Architecture in Doha” – Exploring Doha’s architectural evolution through various styles and influences, including ‘Arabic Deco,’ Doha Classicism, and contemporary adaptations.
    Colours of the City installation image.
  2. “Weaving Poems” – Presented by Turquoise Mountain, this exhibition celebrates the artistry of Afghan women weavers, showcasing abstract carpets inspired by their oral heritage.
    Weaving Poems installation image.
  3. “100/100 Hundred Best Arabic Posters Round 04” – Celebrating Arabic graphic design through a selection of top posters from a regional competition.
    100/100 Hundred Best Arabic Posters Round 04 installation image.
  4. “Cultural Kinship” – Curated by Joe Bou Abboud and Asma Derouiche, this pop-up exhibit and retail experience explores Middle Eastern and Arab identity through innovative design products.
    Cultural Kinship installation image.
  5. “Crafting Uzbekistan: Tradition in Threads” – Presented by the Uzbekistan Art and Culture Development Foundation, this exhibition blends traditional Uzbek craft with contemporary creativity, featuring historical and contemporary artifacts alongside a new creation by Lebanese designer Nada Debs.
Crafting Uzbekistan: Tradition in Threads installation image.

Design Doha’s Artistic Director, Glenn Adamson, expressed excitement about the inaugural edition, highlighting its role in showcasing the region’s creative vitality and fostering international collaboration. With a diverse range of exhibitions and programs, Design Doha aims to provide a dynamic platform for regional designers while engaging with global industry leaders and audiences.

About Design Doha

Design Doha, a newly established biennial in Qatar, serves as a prominent platform for showcasing excellence in local, regional, and global design. Spearheaded by Qatar Museums and led by its Chairperson, Her Excellency Sheikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, this initiative encompasses exhibitions, commissions, and related programming. Collaborating closely with local institutions such as M7, Liwan, VCU Qatar, and Msheireb Properties, as well as international partners, Design Doha fosters a strong support network and promotes a sense of community involvement. Held biennially, this event provides a recurring focal point for nurturing the burgeoning creativity within Qatar’s design sector.

Location: Doha

Date: February 24 – August 5, 2024

Caption featured image: Arab Design Now installation image. ©Edmund Sumner.



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