Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council at Milan Design Week 2023

Echoes of Alchemy

Together with the creative consulting studio Mr.Lawrence, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council presents the exhibition Echoes of Alchemy during Milan Design Week 2023, running from April 17 to 23, 2023, in the apartment at Via Cesare Correnti 14, part of the 5VIE district.

‘Sofra Collection’ dinnerware by Irthi x Studiopepe, Image Courtesy Casalinghe di Tokyo

This exhibition explores the connections between the traditional Emirati practices of construction and food, and the ways in which they have contributed to the country’s topographical and built environments. The exhibition aims to question and challenge our assumptions about how we make and consume things within these realms, and to highlight the pivotal role that craftsmanship methods and ingredients have played in shaping Emirati culture.

Echoes of Alchemy takes a unique approach to exploring these connections by breaking down, documenting, and redesigning traditional recipes for both construction and food, and applying them within the context of contemporary space. By doing so, the exhibition sheds light on our shared cultural heritage and provides a deeper understanding of the meaning of sustainability. It draws on traditional methods of excavation, harvest, preservation, and craftsmanship, and demonstrates how these methods relate to gastronomy, architecture, and design. It is a continuing education on the importance of sustainability and the ways in which traditional practices can inform and enrich contemporary practices.

‘Sofra Collection’ dinnerware by Irthi x Studiopepe, part of ‘Echoes of Alchemy’ exhibition in Milan, Image Courtesy Casalinghe di Tokyo

About Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council

Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council is an organisation that was established under an Amiri decree by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.

Page from Recipes for Future | A Cross-Cultural Alchemy gastronomy research by Irthi, Mr.Lawrence studio, Casalinghe di Tokyo & Studiopepe, Image Courtesy Casalinghe di Tokyo

Irthi’s mission is to empower women practising traditional Emirati crafts through capacity-building programmes and access to new sustainable markets, whilst preserving and protecting its cultural heritage for future generations. By representing both traditional and modern crafts across the MENASEA and Central Asia regions, working with partner organisations and championing artisans and designers, the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council is looking to empower women professionally and socially. The council aims to provide a fresh narrative for women by developing new market opportunities and sectors as well as delivering social development programmes and vocational training, while taking care to preserve the skills and rich cultural heritage of the UAE for current and future generations.

Irthi has been forging cross-cultural collaborations, with more than 500 artisans and 9 contemporary crafts collections, through five initiatives that are targeting everyone from children and youth to aspiring artists, designers, entrepreneurs, and established artisans, and positioning the tangible and intangible heritage of the region at the future of the luxury industry engaged in the traditional crafts of Talli, Faroukha, and Safafah.

Irthi’s bold vision to open dialogue, share skills and explore new alternatives, has led to collaboration opportunities with several multi-sectoral entities, expanding the scope for networking and embracing new knowledge.

Page from Recipes for Future | A Cross-Cultural Alchemy gastronomy research by Irthi, Mr.Lawrence studio, Casalinghe di Tokyo & Studiopepe, Image Courtesy Casalinghe di Tokyo

Echoes of Alchemy, Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council

Location: Via Cesare Correnti 14

Duration: April 17th – April 23rd, 2023



SELECTIONS is a platform for the arts, focusing on the Arab World.

Selections editorial presents a quarterly print magazine and weekly online publication with high quality content on all subjects related to Art and Culture. Full of world-leading artworks, exquisite brand imagery, original creative illustrations and insightful written articles.
Selections Viewing Rooms presents carefully curated online art shows aiming not only to shed light on contemporary art executed by living artists, but also for viewers to buy contemporary fine art, prints & multiples, photography, street art and collectibles.
Discover the previous and current shows here.
Cultural Narratives foundation is an extensive collection that is travelling the world by leading established and emerging talents aiming to reflect the culture of the region in their works.