Style gurus take lead roles as Arab world bids for global design's centre stage
- United Arab Emirates: Wednesday, July 19 - 2006 at 13:57
- PRESS RELEASE
Three major figures from the world of design, Sheikh Majed Hamoud Al-Sabah, Karim Rashid and Ricky Burdett are helping to put the Arab world on the design map by joining the Advisory Board of the International Design Initiative (IDI).
The IDI is being developed around a flagship series of research projects, meetings, forums, debates, installations and visits. Its aims are comprehensive and its activities will impact on all aspects of global design.
Its stated aim is to turn a spotlight on the design innovations taking place in the Arab world and abroad. It will spark debate, ensure design remains a key driver of change and act as a bridge between regional and international designers.
The IDI's flagship event is the International Design Forum (IDF), which will be held in Dubai from February 3rd to 5th, 2007. The IDF 2007 will focus on industrial and urban design as well as on the relationship between design, business and creativity.
The activities of the IDI are guided and supported by a high-profile Design Advisory Board. Sheikh Majed Hamoud Al-Sabah, Karim Rashid and Ricky Burdett join the Board's fifteen other design luminaries which include Zaha Hadid, architect, UK, and Professor at the University of Applied Arts, Vienna; Nadim Karam, architect, artist and Principal, Atelier Hapsitus, Lebanon; Bernard Khoury, architect, DW5, Lebanon; Rem Koolhaas, architect and Principal of the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, OMA, The Netherlands; Khalid al-Najjar, architect and Principal [dxb] LAB, UAE; Stefano Boeri, architect, urban planner and editor of Domus, Italy.
The Design Advisory Board is scheduled to convene in Dubai and other locations prior to the IDF. Throughout the rest of the year, Board members will be in regular contact with Moutamarat to discuss areas of responsibility and involvement, contributions to design publications and participation in special events.
Sheikh Majed Hamoud Al-Sabah explains why the IDI is not only important to design in the Arab world, but also an essential addition to the global design agenda: "The Middle East desperately needs a life-saving plan in design and architecture and I think that the IDI is going to be the platform to make this happen."
And Karim Rashid adds: "Design is the most critical AND NECESSARY ingredient to shaping the future of the Arab world and the rest of the world."
As a multi-disciplinary designer, Karim Rashid couldn't have a higher profile. Half Egyptian and half English, New York-based Rashid has designed pieces for many world-renowned clients including Alessi, Georg Jensen and Prada. As well as furniture, fashion, lighting and art, Rashid has been successful in architecture and interiors. The permanent collections of 14 museums worldwide, including MoMA and SFMoMA, feature his work.
His background in various areas of design, and specifically industrial design, adds an invaluable and powerful voice to the IDI debate. He brings with him a strong international profile—and he also represents an unparalleled design force in the Arab world.
Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah is a visionary and an innovator in the Arab world retail sector. He brought international fashion brands to the region through his style emporium, Villa Moda, which debuted in Kuwait and has since opened in Dubai, Qatar and Damascus.
Sheikh Majed Al-Sabah's success story underlines the significance of design in the region, and his long-term commitment to the IDI greatly strengthens the link between design and business and its celebrations of the design innovations emerging from the Arab world.
Ricky Burdett is currently both Centennial Professor in Architecture and Urbanism at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an adviser on architecture to the mayor of London. He has been chosen as the director of this year's Venice Biennale, on the theme of world cities.
As one of the recognized international experts in the field of urbanism, his expertise in urban design and urban planning will strengthen one of the central themes of the IDI.
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