Crafting Design Futures: Artists from Morocco and Qatar take on contemporary design and traditional artisanship  – Doha News

Crafting Design Futures: Artists from Morocco and Qatar take on contemporary design and traditional artisanship  – Doha News

Eight artists from Morocco and Qatar delve into a cultural exchange premised on the fusion of traditional craftsmanship with modern design.

A cohort of designers from Qatar and Morocco are participating in a year-long exchange programme as part of the Qatar-Morocco 2024 Year of Culture initiative.

Under the auspices of Design Doha, a biennial exhibition focused on creative innovation, the designers are collaborating with local designers and artisans to investigate the intersection of traditional craft practices with contemporary design.

The theme “Qatar | Morocco Crafting Design Futures” seeks to set up connections among designers in Morocco who have ongoing ties with Qatar, as well as to aid Qatari and Moroccan designers in innovating new projects in design and craftsmanship. 

Moreover, the initiative strives to preserve the skills and creative traditions that have influenced the cultural fabric of both countries over generations, ensuring their legacy for future generations.

According to one Moroccan participant, Hamza Kadiri, the initiative represents the intention to cultivate interpersonal exchange and meaningful collaboration between interconnected cultures.

“[Year of Culture] serves as a platform for artists to not only showcase their work but also to engage in dialogue, collaboration, and mutual learning,” he said. 

“By cultivating collaborative opportunities and expanding the creative horizons of regional artists, initiatives like YoC aim to empower talents from the MENA region.”

Kadiri hails from a family with a rich history in woodworking, and his artistic work is deeply rooted in the characteristics of the raw material. He praised Qatar’s dedication to supporting and advocating for artistic expression within the region.

“Qatar’s partnership with Morocco underscores its dedication to progress and cultural exchange,” he said. 

In addition to Kadiri, the designers from Morocco, who include Amine El Gotaibi, Sara Ouhaddou, and Bouchra Boudoua, focus on textiles, installation work with ceramic and glass, and pottery.

They participated in a two-week research residency in February, either at Liwan or Torba Farm.

The four Qatar-based designers – Reema Abu Hassan, Majdulin Nassrallah, Nada Elkharashi, and Abdulrahman Al Muftah – specialise in ceramic traditions, contemporary designs, installations and spatial interventions, the pigments and natural materials, as well as upcycling techniques.

They traveled to Morocco in January, where they embarked on a series of trips to studios and artisan schools in Rabat, Casablanca, Marrakech and Fes.

The exchange programme will conclude with an exhibition in Doha later this year, and will present works from all eight participating designers.

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