Making Through Linking
2011 – Doha, Qatar
In its seventh edition, the international design conference Tasmeem Doha 2011, hosted by Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, introduced TasmeemLab, a collaborative design performance acknowledging the creative potential of design in the region and its role as a connector . The aim of TasmeemLab was not to design perfect creations or performances but rather to provide insights into the design process and the meaning of design as a connector . Its intention was also to directly connect design professionals, students and the general public.
TasmeemLab invited a select group of designers from the Arab world: Khalid Shafar (UAE), Manar Al Muftah (Qatar), Richard Kahwagi (Lebanon), and Younes Duret (Morocco) to create live demonstrations of their designs. Visitors were offered a view into the designers’ workshop spaces to see the process that goes into creating design objects. Working from individual work spaces, each designer was asked to reflect on the theme “link” and produce a piece or project live. The performance needed to reflect the notion of design as a connector.
In his design, Khalid reflected on the ‘link’ theme through two design statements: The expression of shape & form and the connection between industries: clothing fashion & furniture design. For Khalid, the circle is the natural form of ‘Link’ as it is the result of the meeting for the two ends of a straight line. In his design, Khalid used a traditional fashion piece – the Egaal – the circle shape black head band local men wear on top of their head covers in the Arab region. His design ‘ARABI’ is a space divider made of 81 Egaals joined together with brass wires, hinged and supported by wooden rods. The outcome was a successful experiment merging two industries: clothing fashion & furniture design in one object.