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As part of the “Design Labs” initiative, Irthi collaborated with The Lél Collection, a Pakistan-based studio supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and whose workforce comprises of displaced Afghani artisans, to create the “Talli x Misbah Collection – B”.
The Misbah Collection – B focuses on the Misbah as a home décor element.
Bidwa’s trainees from the Bidwa Social Development Programme learned how to cut and engrave semi-precious stones, marble, and wood beads, in addition to an array of resin inlay techniques. The challenge was carving and setting inlays in a three-dimensional format rather than the traditionally used flat format to create a “larger than life” Misbah Collection which ranges from three to eight meters long. The collection features beads engraved with geometric shapes inspired by traditional patterns carved on Emirati doors.
Bidwa’s artisans have combined their knowledge of Emirati Talli weaving techniques with Macramé weaving techniques to produce woven rope elements that link the beads together. The result is a series of sculptural design elements that may be placed on a dining table, hung, or simply laid on the floor to highlight the poetics of a space.
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Brown, Green, Navy blue
Cotton rope, Lapis Lazuli, Marble, Nylon thread, Resin, Serpentine, Silk rope, Wood
Representing both traditional and modern crafts across the MENASEA and Central Asia regions, working with partner organisations, and championing artisans and designers, the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council is looking at the empowerment of women professionally and socially.
The council aims to provide a fresh narrative for women, by developing new market opportunities, and sectors, delivering social development programs and vocational training, as well as preserving the skills and rich cultural heritage of the UAE for current and future generations through its five initiatives:
Bidwa Social Development Programme, which employs 40 artisans and provides them with vocational training and helps them find new markets for their skills through commercial collaborations and regional artisan exchange programmes.
Artisan Skills Exchange Programme, which enables the development of artisans’ capacities and technical skills as well as social development through a series of artisanal skill exchanges within the MENASEA region.
Hirfati Youth Programme that seeks to train and engage with the next generation of designers and artists through a mix of activities that combine traditional and contemporary crafts.
Azyame Fashion Entrepreneurs Programme that aims to develop the next generation of UAE-based fashion designers through training, mentoring and business development.
Crafts Dialogue, a unique project that brings together the Council with Barcelona-based Creative Dialogue to create works, which will marry Emirati and international crafts into contemporary designs.
Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council is an affiliate of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, an organisation that was established under an Amiri decree by His Highness Sheikh Dr Sultan bin Muhammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah, and is chaired by Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah.
Presenting “PROXIMITY”, a collection created in collaboration with Southern Sweden Design Days showcasing a selection of new work from ten designers and studios. As a whole, the collection contemplates the notion of proximity, interconnection, and belonging. Whether through contemporary references to traditional crafts techniques; the use of locally sourced materials such as wool, lichen, steel, and wood; or playful visualisations of the notion itself, the selected pieces illustrate the importance of closeness, interconnection, and kinship in uncertain times.
Featuring pieces by Andrea Santivanez, Andréason & Leibel, Ebba Lindgren, Förstberg Ling, Jóna Berglind Stefánsdóttir, Lab La Bla, Lisa Darland, Louise Hederström, Moa Lönn, and Studio M.
Organised by Form/Design Center in Malmö, Sweden, Southern Sweden Design Days is an annual event currently in its second edition, which highlights sustainability, collaboration, development, and innovation in design. This year’s theme, as described by the event organisers, “[reflects] on the notion of being close – the connection between people, cities, countries, species, professions, etc”.
The physical exhibition of “PROXIMITY” will take place at Lokstallarna, Södra Bulltoftavägen 51, 212 22 Malmö from 19 - 22 May 2022.
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