design doha

Showcasing the Fusion of Tradition and Modernity in Qatar’s Design Landscape through Design Doha

Opening on 14th February, Design Doha is a biennial dedicated to creative innovation. This event is created to foster the design culture of the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region and create a space for design excellence in Qatar. Design Doha will take place until 5th August.

Design Doha is going to provide creatives and institutions with a space to showcase their designs and ideas. This biennial is committed to offering tangible and authentic solutions. It also aims to showcase the richness of MENA culture and creativity, while highlighting the exceptional design environment of Qatar on the global stage.

The week-long opening event replete with discussions, exhibitions, and engaging activities focuses on the design scene in the MENA region. By convening leading voices in design and presenting new design technologies and award-winning creating, Design Doha aspires to attract a global audience.

Design Doha is a testament to the excellence and innovation of our region’s design community. It is a curatorially-driven initiative that unites creative leaders from across the glove while supporting Arav designers in advancing their creative practices and businesses

Sheikha Al-Mayassa bint Hamad bin Khalifa Al-Thani, chairperson of Qatar Museums

Besides the activities as part of the program, Design Doha is giving out a prize and it is open to all practitioners based in the MENA region. It Is an initiative providing recognition and support for talents in the fields of product design, interior design, furniture design, and craft across the MENA  region. The 2024 edition of the prize is centred around of theme of “design excellence”.

The goal of the prize is to promote the talent and creativity of the MENA designers. It also aims to empower these designers, provide them with valuable guidance, and showcase their work to a wider audience.

In order to be eligible to compete for the prize applicants must be either citizens or residents of the MENA region and at least 18 years old by the application due date. Applicants should have an established design business that has been trading for a minimum of two years. Moreover, the applicant’s company should be based in the MENA region. Last, the prize can be received only once by designers.

The winners of the Design Doha Prize will be assessed by a panel of 8 judges representing local, regional, and international design communities. Applicants will be assessed according to the criteria as follows: innovation, practicality, sustainability and social responsibility, business model, and application quality.

The deadline to submit is 30th January 2024.

Design Doha will hold multiple exhibitions and events which include Weaving Songs (24th February – 30th March), Arab Design Now (24th February – 5th August), Colors of the City (24th February – 30th March), Designers Breakfast Club (25th February – 28th February from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM).

Weaving Songs

Weaving Songs is an installation by the Afghan-born, Amman-based designer Maryam Omar. Evoking a creative atmosphere, the installation has been inspired by the poems associated with weaving practice recited and cherished by the women weavers. Omar pays tribute to these communities with her carpets. They are a response to the natural and cultural landscape of Bamiyan.

Photo credit: Nada Hesham

Some designs even represent the weaving process itself: the frame of the loom, the hanging threads, and the forms of the weavers themselves bent over their work. The installation is completed by passages transcribed from the communal poems, and photography and sound recordings that capture the artistry of these extraordinary women.

I feel Design Doha will bring the wonderful tradition of handmade carpet weaving to light. I hope by experiencing my work, viewers will feel the value the carpet weaving tradition and carpet weavers hold in today’s design scene

Maryam Omar

Weaving Songs is organized by Turquoise Mountain, a non-profit charity supporting artisans who revive traditional craftsmanship and provide jobs, skills, and a renewed sense of price in places where artisanal heritage is at risk.

Photo credit: Nada Hesham

Colors of the City

This is a dual-themed exhibition that presents global influences in the capital of Qatar.  It aims to highlight the heritage treasures of Art Deco, Classicism, and Modernism, focusing on Qatari adaptations of those styles brought about by architects from Europe, America, the Middle East, and South Asia. The second part of the exhibition explores Al Jaidah‘s narrative tracing his projects to the Al Thumama stadium, which has been a pride of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Al Jaidah’s designs harmonize cosmopolitan and cultural elements. Through 3-D models, photos, interviews, and films, Colors of the City will thread Doha’s architectural fabric.

Designers Breakfast

In collaboration with FROMM, this four-day coaching series centers on enhancing the creative process and fostering the personal and professional growth of emerging designers. The goal of this event is to assist designers in improving their businesses, optimizing their freelance practices, and advancing their careers. The coaching program encompasses four key areas: Design Development, Supply Chain Management, Marketing, and Distribution. Each designer participating in the event will have to choose specific areas to focus on and create a presentation for the coaches. The coaches will include:

Photo credit: FROMM