Design Crossing


Clearly I haven’t kept up with my 60 days sketch project; I got really sucked into reading on my topic.. Oh well..

Our semester started yesterday, and I can tell that with all the work ahead its going to fly by (thankfully). We started our first design project today (during orientation!), which is a group proposal for the Tasmeem design conference. Working in groups is extremely difficult, but it seemed so much easier with the guidance of our new associate director. We brainstormed for a while, put all our ideas on a board and then as a group we clustered those ideas into meaningful proposals. I was the only one to break out and put my own cluster together, and it was accepted. So tomorrow we are taking our four new directions and “exploding them” as Paolo likes to say. I’m supper excited because that means I have a one in four chance of having my idea being chosen by the group as our proposal.. But even if it doesnt get chosen I’ll be just as happy to exhibit work in the conference within the scope of the other proposals since they are all looking really interesting at the moment.


Since Then


Our MFA trip to Amsterdam was a defining point in my design journey (and probably my entire life). Actually the whole spring semester provided me with many eye opening, opinion changing, life altering moments. It was an incredible semester. After the trip I made a choice to stop posting anything for a while because the workload was too much to keep up with and also be running a blog on the side. I did however keep my camera handy and documented the entire journey privately. Its been about a month and a half since the semester let out, I gave myself a month of full rest and mind numbing junk to indulge in (crappy TV shows, and even crappier novels). Now I’m ready to fill in the gaps from last semester and start something new. My biggest critiques last semester was that I didnt “create” enough “stuff”.. Too many of my projects were mind based and conceptual, and I needed to start making. There are 60 days left until the fall semester starts, and I plan to make “something” each day until it does (inshallah). If nothing else I’ll have a handful of sketches and idea that my professors will help me refine and improve for my thesis.

Hopefully many more updates coming soon..

Design Road – Curating Contemporary Design

Last weekend a number of our MFA students got a chance to attend a three day workshop called Design Road. The workshop I signed up for was called Curating Contemporary Design, and it was taught by Gillian Russel. As part of the workshop we had a choice to visit one ongoing exhibit in Doha, we chose to go to Mathaf and see the Cai Guo Qaing exhibit. Even though I had seen the exhibit before, I hadn’t seen the new sculpture by the Kuwaiti artist Sami Mohammed so I was quite ok with going back (first image). I also got a chance to really look at a few things I hadn’t really paid attention to before and I had fun.

At the end of each day there were seminars given by the instructors of the workshops so we all got a feel for what everyone else was learning, I really wished I could have signed up for two workshops after listening to the other instructors talk.

Also we all got three stickers to cover that expressed how we felt about the experience, I used Canvas magazine to make mine.

I learned a great deal about curating in general for my instructor, which is something I had always wanted to learn.. but it was so interesting to hear that curators were now having to figure out how to curate for contemporary design in a way that would really get the message of the new design movement across.

Ego by Takashi Murakami

My sister is out of school for a week so I decided to take her to the Murakami exhibit at AlRiwaq art space, in front of the Museum of Islamic Art. I didnt think anything would be able to top Cai Guo-Qaing‘s fireworks show for at least a while, but I was wrong; this exhibit was fantastic. In one room there was this huge circus tent, with flower cushions on the floor and we sat on them and watched anime for half an hour.. I felt like I was in a completely different universe.. All I could think about during the whole experience was Bruce Sterling’s talk about “suspending disbelief”.. today was the first time I suspended my disbelief.. it was an amazing feeling.

On the way out the lady at the front desk handed my sister and I this build it yourself paper doll.. we enjoyed putting it together ourself 🙂

F is for Faculty

I stopped by the annual faculty exhibition the night it opened, and it was packed! I liked all (ok most) of the faculty work, but I really appreciated the print by Michael Hersrud (speaks to my photography side), and the drawing by Zach Stensen (speaks to my quiet side). If you haven’t stopped by yet you should go, its open until the 21st of January.

Cai Guo-Qaing: Saraab

Yesterday me and half of VCUQ made the five minute drive over to Mathaf to attend my first event at the gallery since signing up for grad school in Qatar. I’m really glad I finally made it out there, and I’m pretty annoyed with myself for not making it to their Suwalif exhibit. The experience yesterday was truly unique, from the sound of bombs exploding, to the feeling of the explosions as they rocked your insides. It was the first time I’ve ever attended an opening in which I felt that all my senses were completely engaged. Then the actual exhibit was so calming and inviting, its amazing how much work he was able to put together in such a short amount of time. And the cool winter weather was just the icing on the cake.

Click here for AlJazeera clip from the explosions.

Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art


December 30, 2010 – October 1, 2011 @ Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art

Sajjil means‘Act of Recording’ and it brings together over 200 artworks from Mathaf’s extensive collection. Here you will find turning-points in artistic thought as it evolved in the Arab world during the century leading up to the 1990s.

The Future of A Promise

The Future of a Promise will be the largest Pan-Arab show of contemporary art at the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. It will run from 2 June to 20 November.

From Tunisia all the way to Saudi Arabia, this landmark exhibition brings together more than twenty-five recent works and commissions by some of the foremost artists from the Arab world.

Presenting important works that range from installation, performance and photography, to video, sculpture and painting, The Future of a Promise includes the following artists: Ziad Abillama (Lebanon), Manal Al- Dowayan (Saudi Arabia), Ahmed Alsoudani (Iraq), Ziad Antar (Lebanon), Ayman Baalbaki (Lebanon), Lara Baladi (Egypt/Lebanon), Fayçal Baghriche (Algeria), Yto Barrada (Morocco), Taysir Batniji (Palestine), Abdelkader Benchamma (France/Algeria), Ayman Yossri Daydban (Palestine/Jordan), Mounir Fatmi (Morocco), Abdulnasser Gharem (Saudi Arabia), Mona Hatoum (Lebanon), Raafat Ishak (Egypt), Emily Jacir (Palestine), Yazan Khalili (Palestine), Ahmed Mater (Saudi Arabia), and Driss Ouadahi (Algeria), as well as three Abraaj Capital Art Prize Winners, Jananne Al-Ani (Iraq), Kader Attia (Algeria), and Nadia Kaabi-Linke (Tunisia).

The exhibition is being curated by Lina Lazaar, produced by Edge of Arabia and supported by Abdul Latif Jameel Community Initiatives and Abraaj Capital, three newly partnered organisations whose commitment to contemporary art practice in the Middle East is at the heart of a current artistic renaissance in the region.

Follow this link to view this events facebook page.

JAMM- Art and Beyond

From their website:

“JAMM specializes in tailor-made cultural projects, large and small without geographical boundary. More than simply an art consultancy, JAMM is a vessel to promote cultural diplomacy. Our goal being to advance Arab & Iranian artists in the West, and Western artists in the East, and thus encourage further collaboration between the two.”

DAI Cultural Season 16

Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah posted the images from their DAI Cultural Season 16. They apparently visited Dar Jehan in Jabriya and had a calligraphy workshop. I regret not signing up, I’ve always wanted to learn calligraphy. If you have never been to the Dar you’ve truly missed out on one of Kuwait’s finest cultural activities. For more info on their weekly events visit their website here.

“Neither Here Nor There”

The lovely people over at Confashions From Kuwait have posted images from their trip to see the Neither Here Nor There art exhibit that is going on at Dar AlFunoon until May 19th. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to stop by before the show ends, but now I plan to definitely stop by. Amazing photos, Confashions.